I Am With You

“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they say him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, `All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” (Matthew 28: 16 – 20 NIV)

After these instructions Jesus was taken up to heaven as we know from the Gospel of Luke. Each of the gospel writers gives us a slightly different version of the events surrounding Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension. I have chosen this passage from Matthew especially for the words, “I am with you always.” How is it possible that Jesus could ascend to heaven and still fulfill the words, “I am with you always?”

We will turn to another gospel to see part of the answer to this question:

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” (John 16: 12 – 15 NIV)

In the process of saving the world God gave His one and only Son to live among us, teach us, be the example of God among us living the life of a human, and then giving His life so that all He taught could become a reality in our physical world. In the 3 ½ years that Jesus ministered among us it was impossible to completely transfer all that was necessary to establish the kingdom of God on earth. However, after He was glorified Jesus and the Father together sent the Holy Spirit to complete the work in us that Jesus began. Father gave to Jesus all that is necessary to save the world. Jesus then gave all that Father gave Him to us through the active and continual work of the Holy Spirit among us. When Jesus said the words, “I am with you always,” we must relate “I AM” to the incident of the burning bush in the revelation of God to Moses. The presence of the Holy Spirit is the fulfillment of the “I AM” spoken from the burning bush and the fulfillment of the “I AM” spoken by Jesus.

There is much more to it. That is exactly why the Holy Spirit is among us. The Holy Spirit will guide us into all the truth and show us how to fulfill the command of Jesus to make disciples of all nations. As we establish a Bible School in Kissi, Kenya, Africa, we are, in part fulfilling Jesus among us and the establishment of the kingdom of God on the earth.