What Jesus Teaches About Missions
Roy Blizzard III © 2014
Mark 16:15 – “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Mathew 28:19-20, “ Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; 20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Luke 24:45-47 –“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46) And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47) And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
In John 12:32 when Jesus foresaw that His being lifted up upon a tree would draw all men unto Him and thereby reveal the depth of divine love for all men, He had no thought of confining the magnetism of this holy sacrifice to people of any one community or race. Jesus in that statement evidenced a desire that ALL men should be drawn to Him, and His desire that they should be drawn by the power of the cross is an edict to all believers to preach a crucified and resurrected Jesus to all who don’t know Him.
Remember: For a King to express a will is to command a deed; to command a deed is to commission a doer of the deed.
The association of Jesus with publicans and sinners was not from choice of their society, He was doing home missions work. He was seeking and saving the lost of his own land. When certain hypocritical minded leaders of Judaism found fault with His service to these outcasts, Jesus gave the beautiful parables of “The Lost Sheep”, The Lost Coin”, and “The Prodigal Son”. He declares God’s joy over the repentance of sinners, and reminded His critics that if it were a lost sheep or a lost piece of money that were being sought, it would meet with their approval.
This put these hypocritical leaders in a bad light when it was shown that they cared more for the things of trifling monetary value than for human beings who were deemed insignificant to them and to God. But in the parable of the “Prodigal Son” they were shown a portrait, in all actuality, not so much about the son, but of a Father who was devastated by the shame and rejection of His son when he asked for his inheritance early, before the death of the Father. We here in the West can’t understand the tremendous feelings of shame and devastation felt by a Father who would have his son reject his place of inheritance. Think about this when you are tempted to do evil.
But oh the love that was shown when that son repented and came home, the Father rejoicing and calling for a feast. He is overjoyed! But what about the brother? He was upset about the Father’s love for the son who have fell into sin. While for many of us who are believers this story can’t help but reassure us of our Father’s love, to those hypocritical leaders in Jesus’ day it would have cut them to the core by exposing their opposition to God’s love and even God Himself by opposing God’s mission to search for the lost of men.
Look at the parable of The Good Samaritan. Jesus related this story for the enlightenment of one who was by profession an interpreter of the Torah-the Bible, but who had an overwhelming prejudice that colored his interpretation of God’s Torah concerning love for one’s neighbor. This parable teaches us that our neighbors are the ones who need us, they need our service to the Master manifested within their lives. They need the power of God manifested through preaching the Good News that Jesus’ Kingdom exists now and is waiting for them to join. This is loving service.
This plan of God was designed to assist Jesus’ task, who would then break down the middle wall of partition… He has canceled the hatred by his flesh, so that He might create within Himself, from the two, Jew and Gentile, one new man, the man who can come to God in repentance and become the person who exists within Jesus’ Kingdom within the existence of God. Ephesians 2:14-15
In John’s gospel, Jesus more openly discussed His purpose to also include Gentiles within His Kingdom. There was a purpose of God, kept secret down through the ages, to bring the gentiles into Jesus’ Kingdom, and finally revealed here when Jesus speaks, “…them also must I bring.” John 10:16 This “Mission” to the gentiles was further explained by Paul in Romans 10:14, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”
Did you not realize that Jesus’s whole ministry upon the earth was simply to prepare men for a missionary movement outflowing from the Kingdom following His resurrection. After this singular event, His disciples were no longer sent “ONLY” to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Jesus’ commission to the disciples required them to GO out by “going unto all the world, preaching and teaching.” In other words, HELPING our fellow men to become knowledgeable about God and His Kingdom.
In Luke 24:45-49 it is said, “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures… And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” His disciples were told that they were to tarry in Jerusalem “until ye be endued with power from on high.” It was the manifestation of Jesus’ Kingdom.
The disciples were to wait, not for a lost world to come to them and ask for salvation, but to wait for God to send them the Power to offer salvation. Then they were to Go and offer salvation to all the world’s prisoners and the gates of Hell that were holding men prisoner couldn’t stand before them. This was not a granting of the disciples permission to go with the exercising of it rather optional, but rather this was an imperative command!
Only as His disciples obeyed the command to Go did Jesus promise His presence to abide with them always. Did you catch that? How many of us have known people who “waited” for God for years with no answers to prayers when if they had been going out and doing what Jesus had commanded, His presence would have been there with them.
We need to understand that No Nation or People are to be counted as unworthy to receive the Gospel of Jesus. Germany may have had its Hitler, but it also has its Jesus. Russia had its Lenin, but it also has its Jesus. Italy, Spain, Japan, India, Iraq, Iran, even here in the USA, they all have their murderers and sinners, but they all have their Jesus. All the countries of the world are just as worthy of Jesus as any other. As the Cross of Jesus had the three main languages of His day, so is His message to go out to all the people of the world.
When the early believers went out in obedience to the Divine Command to preach the Good News to every person, they went out in a spiritual power that was invincible, the Gates of Hell could not prevail against them. Only when believers ceased going and sat down to dispute over “technicalities of doctrine” did the Shekinah of the Divine Presence depart from them.
The genius of Jesus’ Gospel is that it serves others. His doctrine is not “Thou shalt not”, but “Thou Shall”. Jesus’ golden rule is positive not negative. It is not do nothing to others, but” do unto other what you would want them to do unto you.” Luke 6:31 Do you remember in Mathew 12:45 the story of the person who had an evil spirit cast from him and after his heart was clean it was soon filled with worse spirits because it was not filled with the positive good of Jesus.
Remember the story of the barren fig tree. It was withered when the blessing of God withdrew from it. It could no longer survive in a world without being blessed by God. It suffered because it bore no fruit, it was negatively good, but it lacked positive value. It did not serve the needs of man that it was commanded to do.
No church that sits quietly, enjoying the luxury of its own hope, seeking through contemplation or debate its spiritual edification while being indifferent to the needs of a lost world, is worthy to be called “the body” of a Christ who emptied Himself, poured Himself out for others, while going about doing good. A body is obedient to the will of its head and the head of the church has commanded His body to Go unto all the world preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of Jesus and make students of God’s Word and teach them how to exist within God’s existence.
If you don’t know anything about Jesus’ Kingdom or the Bible or know how to exist within His existence how can you go unto all the world and do anything? Isn’t it time we began to learn how to obey our Master’s Commands?by