The First and Last Words of Jesus
By Rick Warren
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:18-19 (NIV)
One thing is made very clear in Scripture: God wants you to tell people the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. In fact, some of the first and last recorded words of Jesus were about sharing the hope you have in him.
In Matthew 4:19, at the beginning of his ministry, Jesus gathered a small group of fishermen and carpenters—just ordinary people—and said, “Follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” (NLT) These were some of the very first words Jesus spoke to his followers.
Do you see Jesus’ logic in that verse? If you’re not fishing for people, then you’re not really following him. The proof that you are truly in God’s family is that you’re bringing other people into the family.
Later in the book of Matthew, Jesus talked again about sharing your hope. This passage is called the Great Commission. Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18-19 NIV). These were some of the very last words of Jesus before he went back to heaven.
Why does Jesus have “all authority in heaven and on earth”? Because he created the universe, so he’s been given all authority over it. Jesus authorizes you to go make disciples. This means you are God’s agent!
Is anyone going to be in heaven because of you? Have you ever led anybody to faith in Christ? Follow the first and last words of Jesus, and people will one day say to you in heaven, “Thank you! I’m in heaven today because of you.”