I Am with You Always

I am with you always, even to the end of the world - Matthew 28:20

     I read the testimony of a woman who had adopted two little girls. These children had experienced much abuse and abandonment from their birth parents. Their new mother did all she could to assure them of her love and relieve their insecurities. She told them with tears in her eyes, that she would never leave them.

     After Jesus’ resurrection He assured His disciples that He would never leave them. They had just endured the dreadful nightmare of seeing their Lord and friend brutally crucified. But when they had thought all hope was gone, the dark cloak of despair that had clung to their souls was joyfully cast down at the feet of their risen Savior.

     Jesus knew that the trials of their faith were just beginning. Amidst the joy of proclaiming the life giving Gospel to others, there would be persecution, great losses and for most of them, even martyrdom.

     As the Son of God beheld their futures in the light of His foreknowledge of their lives from beginning to end, He confidently proclaimed to them, “I am with you always, even to the end of the world.”

     In this life, Christians are often orphaned, abandoned and rejected as the result of our devotion to Jesus. But we have been adopted into a new family (Romans 8:15, Ephesians 1:5) and are now accepted into another realm far superior to the one we are living now that stabs us with the thorns of rejection and loss. Jesus has imparted to us His Holy Spirit, and the comforting presence of His Spirit within us assures his adopted ones of the truth of Jesus’ promise to all those who are His disciples. We will never be abandoned by the One who loves us so; He is with us always and we are never alone.

     He has declared that He would be with us until the end of the world. Is Jesus saying here that His presence with us will someday commence with the end of the planet? In the Greek the word used for ‘world’ is aion (ahee-ohn’). The primary meaning of this word, according to Strong’s concordance is “forever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity.” Some translations use the word ‘age,” instead of ‘world’ because that word meaning can also apply. Ages also come to an end. But if we think about it, Jesus is eternal and so is our union with Him. We are made eternal through His sacrifice for us. - For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). With this in mind, we must conclude that there can never be a time when He will not be with us.

     We return to those definitions, focusing on the primary meaning of the word, ‘world,’ which according to the original Greek, actually means ‘forever,’ and we come to the conclusion that Jesus is saying to His disciples – “I will be with you always, even to the end of eternity," - an eternity that has no end.

Copyright 2015 by H. D. Shively

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