On a mountain in Galilee

The apostles had an indication why Jesus had told them to go to Galilee when he took them up one of the mountains. From there they could look out to the next stage of the kingdom’s mission, the Gentile nations beyond. The three and a half years public ministry of Jesus had been limited to Israel (cf. Matt 10:5-6; 15:24; Rom 15:8), but the ministry that the risen Jesus now passed on to his disciples extended to all nations without distinction. His power would be in his disciples, preserving them through dangers and enabling them to perform remarkable works (Matt 28:16-17; Mark 16:15-18).

Jesus’ purpose in this activity was to establish his church (cf. Matt 16:18), as his followers preached the gospel, baptized those who believed, and taught the converts to understand and follow his teachings. As the converts, in turn, passed the message on to others, the church would continue its worldwide expansion, assured always that the victorious Jesus was working with his people (Matt 28:18-20).

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