How are we able to follow Jesus’ command to, "Go (πορεύω), therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you."
1st He brought us into the world at a specific time.
Psalm 139:13-16 You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, because I am wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works! My very self you know. My bones are not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, fashioned (embroidered in Hebrew) in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me unformed; in your book (God's plan) all are written down; my days were shaped (the time You had determined that I should be on the Earth), before one came to be.
The italicized words in blue are Rick’s.
A case in point:
Jeremiah 1:4-5 The word of the Lord came to me: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you,
a prophet to the nations I appointed you.”
Thus, God carefully designs each of us from His intimate knowledge of who we are and are to be. He knew each of us from before we were born, knows us now in our present, and will continue to know us on into eternity. He then placed us on the Earth at a particular time. We were designed for this present time.
2nd Jesus equipped us to do what he brought us into the world to do.
Matthew 22:35-40 . . . and one of them [a scholar of the law] tested him by asking, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
By what means do we love God and our neighbors?
Romans 11:29 For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.
Romans 12:3-8 For by the grace given to me I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than one ought to think, but to think soberly, each according to the measure of faith that God has apportioned. For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them: if prophecy, in proportion to the faith; if ministry, in ministering; if one is a teacher, in teaching; if one exhorts, in exhortation; if one contributes, in generosity; if one is over others, with diligence; if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness..
1st Corinthians 12:7 To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit (in some translations, "the common good)."
3rd we do not pass out these gifts in a manner dependent upon our own strength. We are under authority.
In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus delegates His divine authority to the Apostles. In the book of Acts we see the Apostles travel throughout the Mediterranean world delegating that authority to leaders of local churches. That delegation has continued down through the generations and around the world to the ordained pastors of our generation. It is under that authority that each of us give our gifts to those most needy in our world, and to our brothers and sisters.
Scripture from the NABre under license from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc.
The Dead Sea seen from Herod the Great's Masada Fortress
Photograph by Kat Larson