“Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’” (John20:21)
Jesus’ words are one of five occasions in the Gospels and Acts on which he presents the Great Commission to the disciples, calling them to continue His mission until His return. This repetition of the Great Commission shows that the world mission of the church was neither an afterthought nor a one-time comment. Missions was central to Jesus’ instruction of he disciples and for His commission to His church.
This great verse defines the source, the model, and the authority for missions. What Jesus did in His life becomes our model or patter for missions. What He said becomes our authority for missions. His being sent from the Father and our being sent reveal the source of missions. The model for our mission is that of Jesus. He was sent from the Father; declared the Father’s message; and engaged in preaching, teaching, healing, receiving outcasts, unmasking sin, serving, and finally dying for others.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, You sent Your Son, our Savior to model for us what it was that we were to do when He returned to You. We are to engage those that are homeless, helpless, hopeless, and with more needs than they can handle. You send us to those in our community, those in our state, those in other states, and yes sometimes even to those who live on the other side of the world. Through the Holy Spirit, we will discern where it is You have already decided where we need to be, to help others. It is in Jesus’ name that we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Getting out of a bad rut, means getting into a good one!”
“The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittal: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.’ But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.” (Jonah 1:1–3)
God called Jonah to a missionary venture—to preach to Nineveh, the capital of Assyria and Israel’s prime enemy. God called Jonah to go to a different people wit a strange culture and a foreign language. God was grieved over the wickedness of Nineveh. He gave Jonah a message of judgment, announcing His plans to destroy Nineveh, and Jonah rebelled.
He fled in precisely the opposite direction. God allowed him to retreat from the missionary call. When we seek to run away from the presence and the call of God beloved, we can usually find others ready to help us escape. Jonah’s purpose was to flee from the mission to which God had called him. In so doing he sought to hide from God’s presence. Such a step is always utter futility. The cost of fleeing in rebellion to God’s call and command always carries a price tag with it as Jonah quickly discovered.
“But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” (Exodus9:16)
God raised up Pharaoh to demonstrate His power. Egyptian religion considered Pharaoh a god. The Exodus proved only the true God of Israel possessed divine power. God’s deeper purpose in the Exodus was hat His name might be declared in al the earth. Knowing that God wants His name known in all the earth provides authority for missions as Christians declared His name, love and power.
From the very beginning of the Bible, God is never presented as a tribal god or one who is confined to certain geographic territory. He is the God of all the earth, who acts so all peoples of the earth may know Him.
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“He said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’ Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, ‘This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have clothed with power from on high.” (Luke24:44-49)
The risen Lord explained to the eleven apostles (“sent ones”) the entire Old Testament as relating to Himself and the purpose of His life and ministry. He tied together all of he Old Testament and showed its relation to all of he events leading to His death and resurrection. He showed that the entire intent of he Old Testament and, thus, of His life, ministry, death, and resurrection, pointed to the missionary purpose of the “sent ones”—to proclaim repentance and forgiveness in the name of Jesus Christ told all the peoples of the world, beginning right where they were—in Jerusalem.
The conversation has tremendous implications for Christ’s Church and for Christians of all ages. Missions are not an activity tacked on to the gospel, but reflects the very purpose of God from eternity. Missions is not based on a sing passage, bu on a theme that permeated the entire Bible. Missions began in Jerusalem where Jesus’ disciples were, but in reality ours begins wherever we are. The destination is to the ends of the earth. Being clothed in the power of the Holy Spirit, makes us ready for the task, no matter where we might find ourselves. Clear?