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 lo I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
The last part is the best part of this very important commissioning of the disciples. First Jesus tells them what to do; then He tells them how they’re going to do it. And just to make sure they don’t miss this part, He sets it off with an exclamation: “And lo …”
And lo … (Heads up! I have something very important to say …)
And lo … (Pay attention, please …)
And lo … (Get ready for an amazing surprise …)
And lo … (You’re not going to believe this …) I am with you all the time, from now until the end of anything you can think of. You will never be separated from Me. I know I’m asking a lot of you, but don’t forget, I am right there with you the whole way.
The present tense form of this verb makes an important point in and of itself. You would have thought He would say: “I’m going to be with you …” because He hadn’t left yet. Earlier, He told them, “it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate [Holy Spirit] will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7). And we know that the Holy Spirit came with a bang at Pentecost, just as Jesus had told them to wait in Jerusalem until He came. Yet here He says, “I am with you.”
I believe He made this promise in present tense because that’s what it is – a present tense promise. He is with us right now. He has always been with us. He will always be with us. We will never be alone. So when we seek to fulfill this Great Commission, Jesus is right there with us, enabling and empowering us to do His will.
How’s that for a wonderful piece of comfort? As far as I’m concerned, Jesus saved the best for last.