Every week, with great fear and trembling, I prayerfully consider what I am going to speak on and what I am going to say in this blog. It is always a challenging task. It really does not matter to me if one person reads it or one million. Every(one) matters, therefore, I care about how what I say or write is taken. My hope is for people to be encouraged, but also for people to be challenged. That is a tough pair to try to hold together. This week I feel very challenged to hold these two together. I am speaking this Saturday on Jesus as an apostle. (If you question that notion please come Saturday or at least read the Gospel of John and Hebrews 3:1!) It is the last in a series on Call and Commission and a sub-series called “Jesus the Greatest ______,” where we have looked at Jesus as our example, guide and inspiration for what we do and how we do it. The basic notion is that, if we are living as part of the body of Jesus we must look like Jesus. If we look little, to nothing like Jesus, we have a serious problem. It is challenging because Jesus is a standard we will never fully live up to. But, that cannot, it must not, stop us from looking at what we should look like! That is the challenging part. But there is a comforting part in all this. It is, that as we look at Jesus, we discover his love for us. We look to Jesus to show us how to love and discover a God who loves US! Okay, that was just the preface to this post. Let’s look at Jesus as apostle!
An “apostle” is, at its core, one who is sent. Jesus was an apostle—he was sent by his Father. He was sent to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God, he was sent to seek and save the lost, he was sent not to condemn the world but to save it, he was sent to represent the Father to the world and bring Him glory.
We too, as Jesus’ disciples, his followers and his body on earth, are sent. And importantly, we are sent just as Jesus was sent (Jn 20:21)—to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God, to seek and save the lost, not sent to condemn the world but to save it, to represent the one true God to the world and bring Him glory.
So, why then do we see so many supposed “sent ones” looking nothing like Jesus? Why do we see so many holding signs in the name of condemnation instead of holding the broken? Why do we see Jesus’ body trying to “attract” the lost instead of going to find the lost? Why do we see so many willing to trade the Gospel message that the Kingdom and it’s resurrected King have come for the message of any kingdom offering prosperity? If Jesus is gloriously representing his Father by seeking, saving and proclaiming Good News of God’s kingdom who is really being represented with condemnation, complacency, and a different gospel?
It is my heart that we, the Body of Christ regain our call to be sent into the world as Jesus’ body doing what Jesus did, the way he did it. Truly, that is the only way to be followers of Jesus and the only way to bring glory to the One True God.