It probably felt funny standing on the Galilean hillside that spring after everything that had happened. The people were all familiar, but not quite the same. I imagine Peter looking over Jesus’ shoulder, expecting the Roman cavalry to crest the ridge any moment and break up their little gathering. John was just happy to be with Jesus once again, and he was determined to savor every moment. There were a few skeptics, even among the 11 remaining disciples, but everyone waited, anxious to hear what Jesus would say this time. He stretched out his arms, raised his voice, and issued a command:
“Go therefore and make disciples . . .” (Matthew 28:19)
After following Jesus for three years, hearing his teaching, and witnessing his miracles, the disciples were told to go recruit.
Were they surprised? Were they scared? These are the questions I wish Scripture answered more often. We don’t really know how those 11 men felt, but we do know how they acted. They obeyed. Their actions in the months and years that followed are recorded for us in another book of the Bible—”Acts” is short for “the Acts of the Apostles.”
While I may never get an answer to how it felt, if I read the passage in my Faithlife Study Bible app, I get extra details not otherwise available, like this picture of Mount Tabor, where Jesus probably spoke these last words of his earthly ministry.
I get even more clarity from two articles that appear in the notes: “Being Missional” by Ed Stetzer and “Baptism” by Bernie A. Van De Walle.
These were the last words Jesus spoke to his followers on earth, and the Faithlife Study Bible helps us understand the context in which they were spoken. Download it free from your favorite app store, and you can start enjoying the extra details in this and many other passages.