By Rev. Dr. Sergio Arevalo, Jr.
Eagle Rock Lutheran Church, Los Angeles, CA
June 15, 2014 (Trinity Sunday & Father’s Day)
Today is Trinity Sunday at the same time Father’s day. Today is a fitting day to recall the love of the Father God, and the support of our human fathers. Happy Father’s Day to all fathers!
In our passage, the disciples were gathering onthe mountain in Galilee.This was probably the Mount Tabor, where, (it is commonly supposed,) Jesus had been before transfigured. It seems to have been here also, that he appeared to above five hundred brethren at once (J. Wesley).
The people present in the passage were the eleven disciples, and Jesus Christ; some worshipped him, some doubted him. In Greek, “edistasan” may mean “they hung in suspense,” as the scales of the balance, when it is hard to say which prevails. These doubts were afterward removed, and their faith grew up to a full assurance, and it tended much to the honor of Jesus Christ.
There are three things that we are going to study here. If we want to be completed in our discipleship we need these three things: the great power of God, the great commission, and Jesus’ great assurance among his disciples.
Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has given to me.” That “authority” is exousiain Greek. Exousia may mean the following: the power of authority (influence) and of right, privilege, force, capacity, competency, freedom, etc. That exousia for me is like the “power of attorney.” The essence of this is that one’s privilege is extended to another person, usually in certain transactions.
Jesus received the exousia or “power of attorney” from His Father, and now he is sharing or giving that to his disciples. The words, “Therefore” may also mean “as a consequence” “as a result” “because of that” or “I gave you also that power.”
Let me give you an example of that power of attorney.
When we are driving on the streets and when a policeman stops us for any reason. We will stop. Why do we stop? We don’t even know him, we have no relationship with him, and it may be the first time we see him. We stop because we see him in police uniform with badge and sometime with pistol. The policeman’s attire symbolizes power given to him by the government, and we stop because we respect the government or else the policeman will force his authority over us in that situation. Like what we see on TV that police cars chase evading cars that don’t want to obey the rule, and the representative of the government.
Yes, indeed, we have that power coming from God. And it is not our rights per se but it is part of the grace of God and the love of God. There are things that we need to bear in mind if we have that power comes from God:
Got Power, Got Responsibility. If we have power from God, it means he trusts us to do his will, and be part of his missions. That power is not a privilege but a responsibility. If we have responsibility, we have roles to do.
The giver of that power expects high from us. He expects us to be honest with the power. He expects us to complete his entrusted mission. He expects us to do it according to his will, according to his time—not according to our will, not according to our convenience.
When Queen Victoria was a child, she didn’t know she was in line for the throne of England. Her instructors, trying to prepare her for the future, were frustrated because they couldn’t motivate her. She just didn’t take her studies seriously.
Finally, her teachers decided to tell her that one day she would become the queen of England. Upon hearing this, Victoria quietly said, “Then I will be good.” The realization that she had inherited this high calling gave her a sense of responsibility that profoundly affected her conduct from then on (sermonillustrations.com).
Brethren, I hope when we hear today that the power is with us, that he entrusts us this power, we might bear in mind that we must be responsible as Christian who has mission in our church and our community. Got power? Got responsibility!
In our passage, the great commission is mentioned when Jesus says, “go,” or “go ye,” and it’s a revolutionary command. It is not only a word of command, like that, Son, go work, but also a word of encouragement. A paradigm shift, contrary to Jewish tradition which is “centripetal” (from outside to inside). Jesus’ strategy is “centrifugal” (from outside to inside). He didn’t like us to wait. He commanded us to move from one place to another, to move from our comfort zones to critical zones.
What are our comfort zones? When we are watching movies, when we are playing, when we are manipulating our smart phones, when we are sleeping, when we are good, when there is no problem—these are examples of our comfort zones.
If we are in any of this situation, we don’t want to serve God, we don’t want to work for the Lord, we don’t want do his will for us. A lot of church’s activities, and God’s missions are in limbo, and are hindered due to laziness, laxity and indifference of church people.
When Jesus said, “Go”– it means we must leave our comfort zones, and venture in critical zones. We might get a paradigm from our firemen. When the alarm sounds, they are running towards their fire truck, so that they could go to the fire zones as soon as possible. They need to be there in fire zones to stop the fire, and to save human beings and properties.
When Jesus said to his disciples, “Go”–it means they have to save many lives, they should leave their comfort zones, and go to critical zones. If we have the power from God, we need to be responsible. We need to leave our comfort zones, and go to critical zone to follow God’s will and to save more lives for Christ.
Jesus gave His mission to His disciples- “Make disciples of all nations.” It’s not just sharing the Gospel, but making them like us disciples. It is like child rearing. Parents should not only make the baby grow, but they must feed them, guide them, equip them, teach them until they grow up and become matured.
III. Great Assurance
Jesus told about the great assurance– “Surely I’m with you always to the very end of the age” meaning “forever”…”anytime” (24/7), and “anywhere.” It’s a great assurance simply because our God will not leave us, he will not depart us even though we could be in critical zones.
Did you already feel that when you are alone? When you are afraid? When you are afraid of the dark? When you are alone in a dark place of your home, alone in the street, you are afraid that somebody might do you harm.
Yes, indeed, everybody is afraid of the dark, afraid of taking a risk, afraid of doing God’s mission because we are alone. But let’s be reminded of the words of Jesus, “Surely I’m with you always…”
Are we not assured when we hear those words of Jesus? Are we not assured that Jesus is beside us now, protecting us, helping us, and empowering us?
Jesus instructed his followers to make disciples, and baptize newly converts with this ritual, “in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”—one of the many verses used to prove about the existence of the Holy Trinity.
We as Christians upon receiving the power of God, the commission and his assurance to us, we need to “mark” our converts with the name of the Holy Trinity, “in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit” because in doing that we give all the glory to our Father God, to our Savior, and to the Comforter.