Explore the Bible Study: Commissions

9:12 AM

The word “commission” is defined in Dictionary.com as “the act of committing or entrusting a person, group, etc., with supervisory power or authority. An authoritative order, charge, or direction. Authority granted for a particular action or function. A document granting such authority.” When we hear this definition, we should be reminded that God has commissioned all believers in this same manner. With this understanding, let’s look at how Jesus begins to lead His followers to understand this commission. As you study or prepare to lead the Explore theBible Study: Commissions, consider whether you are faithfully fulling the commission that has been granted to you by Jesus Christ.

Prior to this passage in Luke, chapter 24, the two followers who encountered Jesus on the road to Emmaus returned to Jerusalem with their hearts on fire because they had just spent hours in conversation with the risen Christ. They were so excited that they returned to the place that posed danger – Jerusalem. They found other followers so they could share their resurrection story. As they were telling their story, something happened that would change everyone’s life forever – Jesus appeared before them and began to completely reveal His purpose for coming. With Jesus’ appearing, He began to prepare them for their commissioning.

First, Jesus offers them peace – Luke 24:36-38

Can you envision being in the room and hearing the reports of Jesus’ return from the dead? Imagine the uncertainty, doubt, and questions. Even as the momentum of His appearances was increasing, the idea that Jesus was alive was hard to accept. John 20:26 tells us that the doors were locked to this room because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders; yet, suddenly, Jesus appeared! It’s no wonder they were afraid. It makes logical sense that many of them thought they saw a spirit. They needed to hear His words, peace to you.

Notice Jesus asked two questions in Luke 24:38 – Why are you troubled? Why do doubts arise in your hearts? We know why these followers were troubled and had doubts but what about believers today?

  • What might cause you to be troubled?
  • What might cause you to have doubts?

Jesus didn’t just tell them they should be at peace. We all realize that just telling someone they should have peace doesn’t mean they will, even if the directions come from Jesus. Jesus not only told them they should be at peace, but He revealed something that should give them peace.

Second, Jesus demonstrates His humanity – Luke 24:41-43

  • Jesus demonstrated His humanity by telling the disciples to see and touch His hands and feet. God led Luke to record this encounter so we, who can’t see and touch, can be assured that Jesus arose from the grave – fully human, yet fully Divine.
  • Jesus also demonstrated His humanity by requesting food.  Jesus understands us because He was fully human even after His resurrection. These disciples could forever vouch for the fact that this post-resurrection appearance was a real encounter with an actual person who had eaten and shown Himself to be alive. 

The disciples continued to share this message so we, who couldn’t interact with the resurrected Christ, would know that Jesus is alive! We are reminded of this in 1 John 1:1-4 – “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have observed and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 that life was revealed, and we have seen it and we testify and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us— 3 what we have seen and heard we also declare to you, so that you may also have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” (CSB)

Third, Jesus reminds them of His Divinity before commissioning them – Luke 24:44-47

Just as He did with the two on the road to Emmaus, Jesus turned to the written Word to remind His followers that He was fully Divine. Jesus reminded them once more of what was written about Him in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms. They had heard this repeatedly but had not grasped it. Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.  We struggle with this as well. We hear the Word repeatedly, but we still need God to open our minds so that we can understand the Scriptures. 

Without His death and resurrection, centuries of prophetic utterance would be in vain. More importantly, without His death and resurrection, Jesus’ life would have been a lie, and we would remain in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17).  When Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, they realized that a crucified and raised Messiah was not an adjustment in God’s plan but was God’s plan all along. There need no longer be an obstacle between humanity and God because of sin, and the stage was set for repentance for forgiveness of sins to be proclaimed to all nations!

Finally comes these disciples (and our) commission in Luke 24:48-49

This small band of disciples were instructed to stay before they were to go. They were to await the coming of the Holy Spirit to fill them with power in order to carry out what they were now given authority to do. 

Jesus has committed, entrusted, and given authority for believers to act on His behalf. This commission binds believers to God to serve “at the pleasure of Almighty God” by sharing and showing the Good News of Jesus Christ. We are given authority to act on behalf of Jesus Christ so that those who are lost might be saved.
  • Think about your normal week. Try to make a mental list or write down you daily activities.
  • How should knowing you are commissioned by Jesus change the way you view your daily activities?

The video below should serve as a reminder that you are sent into a lost world to share to show the Good News of Jesus.

The downloadable teaching helps provide more details for this study along with some tools you can use in guiding a group Bible study. Be sure to use this as a supplement to your study of the Explore the Bible Study resources provided by LifeWay.

Download PDF Version                  Download Word Version

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