Passover and Resurrection (6): World Mission through Truth
Passover and Resurrection (6): World Mission Through Truth
John 17:17-18 - “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.
Remember the Humble Pattern of Mission - As is stated here and many other places (e.g., Phil 2:5-7), Jesus left a place of ultimate comfort and pleasure to become our Savior in a fallen world of pain and trouble. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich” (2Co 8:9). There was no Prince’s palace for the Prince of Peace. He was “sent” into the world for us and for our salvation. This is the humble pattern of mission. As a result, the disciples of Jesus are to go out and reach out in order to touch others.
Embrace the Transforming Principle of Mission - This text is part of the “High Priestly Prayer” given in the Upper Room at the Last Supper, the “last will and testament” of Jesus. The emphasis is in vs 8: “As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. ” Christ came to change the world through these men who would then change others by the life-giving message of the Gospel (2Ti 2:2). This required their transformation or sanctification. How? The means of their transformation is the truth of the Word of God: “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17). Through His Word, the disciples would be those who would bear much fruit as disciples (John 15:16).
Act on the Personal Decision of Mission - It is hard for us to “leave” a place of comfort, but Jesus did that and so do His disciples. Disciples take up crosses, get their heads chopped off (Paul) and get crucified upside down (Peter). But it’s worth it all. Where is God calling you to get martyred? Where is He calling you to go? Where is God calling you to be? Where is God calling you to stay? Perhaps it is not to traverse the world to learn an isolated language to evangelize (do it if you can), or to address the 30,000 leaders in the corridors of power in America with unassailable truth (do it if you are able), but only to go next door and show kindness to your neighbors (do it because you must). Perhaps you need to just be more faithful to the mission of your local church? Perhaps overcoming your discontent in your current circumstances makes you more serviceable to the Holy Spirit now, rather than in your idealized vision of future glory. To be prepared for any service in God’s Kingdom, we must be those who are being sanctified by His Word.
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more