The God of the Bible is a God of global mission. Just before he gives his great commission in (Matthew 28:18) Jesus says, “All authority on heaven and earth has been given to me.” How many of us actually believe that? If we as a Christian people lived as if that statement were true then it doesn’t matter what he says afterward, we would be obedient! Here is the whole commission.
(Matthew 28:18-20) English Standard Version (ESV)18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
After Jesus tells us the has the authority to give the commission he tells us to “Go.” We look over this part so often. There is this illusion in the church today that slaps the name of Jesus on a ministry and then calls it making disciples. But, You and I simply cannot live our lives with the idea that whatever ministry we come up with will fulfill the great commission. Following Jesus means that we submit to his authority. Therefore, the commission is a command to us. So, do you believe that Jesus is really who he says he is? And, are you willing to obey him?
In Luke 9 we see 3 men who approached Jesus seeking to follow him. The first said “I will follow wherever you go.” to this Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nest but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” Jesus says to another “Follow me.” the man then looks at Jesus and says “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” Jesus says, “Let the dead bury the dead but as for you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” There was another that said, “I will follow you lord, but let me first go and say farewell to my home.” Jesus tells him “No one that puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Do you see a pattern here? All of these men wanted to follow Jesus but in typical Jesus fashion he seems to talk them all out of doing it. If there was anything that Jesus made clear it was that if you truly follow him then you abandon everything for the sake of the gospel.
(Luke 14:25-26) English Standard Version (ESV)25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
Jesus is obviously saying that his will is the number 1 priority if you’re going to follow him. That sounds a lot different the most everything we teach in our churches today. There are challenges after challenges given just like this one by Jesus. Think about the one in Mark 10. A rich young ruler comes to seek eternal life from the Christ and Jesus basically calls this man out and tells him he has to give up everything if he wants it. What is wrong with this guy? You and I would have jumped all over that! This guy can start writing checks and pouring into the ministry and it’s going to be great! Instead Jesus says, “Go sell all your stuff and then we’ll talk.”
The kind of abandonment that Jesus required from the rich young ruler is the very core of the invitation in the gospel for us. All of this abandonment is for one purpose. to see God glorified among all the nations.
Much like a compass the Bible points us to something. That something is Gods glory! that’s what the entire word is about from front cover to back. You and I have to understand something. This word, this life, this commission, is about something far bigger than us. The western view on Christianity teaches us just the opposite. we have come to see the gospel as being all about what we want.
I have a three-year-old daughter that I can slowly see being taught by culture this very principle. That the world is all about her! I have to break that stronghold now! What a hard thing to do when children are given a toy overtime they eat. If I allow her to go through life thinking it is all about her then I will set her up for failure. To you I would beg don’t go through life thinking it’s about you. If you do, your life will be totally miserable.
It’s not just culture that says it’s all about us, we have perverted the church in this way too. You ever notice how no matter what story we read in scripture we’re always in the hero spot? Young David defeating the Palestinian giant with just a sling and a rock. David’s purpose is to point us to Jesus not ourselves! This guy killed animals with his bare hands. Friend, you’re no David! and your problems aren’t Goliath. if they are, then you’re in big trouble!
Becareful where you put yourself in the Bible. We can forget that Jesus is the true hero of the story! Every one of these stories are all to point to his glory. The emphasis should be on him not us. If from every one of these we see a point that is to glorify God, then how are you doing that with your life? How is your life affecting the great commission? Remember, Gods mission iS the reason why there is a bible at all!