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Every right is given to someone else

Now the eleven disciples (of Jesus, deceased AD 30) went as instructed to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And seeing him they worshiped. But these faltered, whereupon Jesus, coming near to them, spoke, stating “Every right in heaven and upon the earth has been given to me. You all – having started your journey – you make disciples in all people groups, immersing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to keep all those things that I have commanded to you. And each of you – you look and see; I am with all of you every day until the end of the age.” Matthew 28: 16-20
 
I expect you may well have read one or more biographies of famous people. How do they end? Inevitably, they end with the death of the famous person, accompanied by a reflexion on the achievements of theirs which may have outlived them – for a time. 

But take a look at the paragraph in bold above. It’s the final paragraph of Matthew’s biography of Jesus. He went willingly to his own death so as to die on behalf of his enemies. He was willingly creating a way to forgiveness and blessing for those who had rejected him and pursued him to death. And he was raised from the dead. 

 
Interestingly, the final paragraph of Matthew’s biography does not directly address Jesus’ enemies. Instead it focuses on his “friends”, his “disciples” These disciples had run away. Coward-like, they had been absolutely determined to avoid being executed along with Jesus. Why die? Why suffer for Jesus’ sake? They had been totally successful in avoiding death. 

‘We have a date with Deity, an appointment with the Almighty.’ (Vance Havner, speaker and writer, 1901-1986) 
And then, the faithful women who see him alive tell them that he is risen from the dead and that he wants to see them in Galilee… Would they go?  “Now the eleven disciples went as instructed to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them."

"And seeing him they worshiped. But these faltered, whereupon Jesus, coming near to them, spoke, stating…..” How very much like Richard Syvret. They were happy to “worship”, happy (as it were) to do “church”. After all he has risen from the dead and they are terribly impressed. But, deep within, the reality was that they were faltering. They believed only because the real identity of Jesus was now blatantly obvious. But, inside each and every one of them, the unreality of it all fought with the reality of it all. So Jesus draws near and speaks personally.

To me it’s absolutely wonderful that this formerly dead man is now reported, in the closing paragraph of this first-century eye-witness biography in these words: “Jesus, coming near to them, spoke, stating “Every right in heaven and upon the earth has been given to me. You all – having started your journey – you make disciples…”

“Every right in heaven and on earth…”? “Every right…. has been given to me…” In Jersey, as in the UK and elsewhere, a great deal of emphasis is given to our “human rights”. The concept of “human rights” now, in principle, governs the way that this world operates. (“I demand my human rights.”) How then can Jesus so clearly say that every right in heaven and on earth has been given to him? Who has “given” “every right” to him? Does he deserve to have this total autonomy? Is it because his total autonomy was in fact totally used by him, as a man, solely to give his own everlasting life, as Son of God, to his enemies? Is that why every right and authority was given to him after his cross, for ever, as part and parcel of his resurrection?

 
He deserves “every right”. Richard Syvret, falteringly, uses his rights for himself. Jesus asks his disciples to use their rights for others. “You all – having started your journey – you make disciples in all people groups, immersing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to keep all those things that I have commanded to you.” 

‘In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way you need to help the weak and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ (Paul, the Apostle, circa 5-67 AD) 
These disciples – and others who will become disciples through them – were to become devoted to Jesus and to the ultimate, glorious “good” of others. Falteringly.

That’s why Jesus tells them all, “Each of you – you look and see; I am with all of you every day until the end of the age.” He is with those who give by telling others.

 
Sinner Syvret

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