Tuesday, August 9, 2022

What Happens When You Are Sent?

Early one recent morning I was reading in the 13th Chapter of the Gospel of John. I treasure the rich words of Jesus as He taught and encouraged His disciples, while on the earth. His words apply to you and me today as well, and are still just as powerful.

In this Chapter, Jesus washed the disciple's feet as an example of how we must serve one another. He added that if He, the Teacher and Master, washed their feet, his followers must wash each other's feet. Serving and loving one another displays the very humble heart of Jesus to the world. We are not greater than our Master, Jesus, and if He served, so should we. Great stuff! Stuff that you and I must embrace as His true followers.

Jesus spoke something very powerful during His discourse. Something we must stop and ponder. He said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me." (John 13:20) As I began to ponder this verse I saw the whole plan of salvation for man, in just one verse. What a super descriptive picture of God's infinite grace, in just a few words, and how true they are!

God so loved the world that He sent Jesus. Ultimately He went to the cross and bore the sins of all mankind. He died on that cross, but three days later rose from the dead. He remained on the earth for about 40 days. Just before He ascended back to heaven He charged His followers with what we call The Great Commission: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20) Listen to Mark's version:  "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned." (Mark 16:15-16)

Here is the most powerful thought I received when reading John Chapter 13. The Great Commission is the command for us to go. That means that Jesus sends us. Whether it is across the street, or across an ocean, we must obey the command to go. Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me." (John 13:20)

From the fall of man to the Cross of Christ, man was separated from God the Father by sin. In His perfect timing, God sent Jesus, His Son. In John 14, Jesus said to His disciples, "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going. Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way? Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." (John 14:3-6) (Underline added)

It's not just that Jesus came and made the way for us. He is the way. By virtue of His command to go, we are sent out by Jesus. As we go, we must share Jesus, who He is, and what He has done for us. Whoever receives you and me, receives Jesus. And whenever a person receives Jesus, they receive the Father. Jesus said, "I and the Father are one." (John 10:30) He told the disciple Thomas, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father..." (John 14:9) The barrier of sin has been obliterated by Jesus. We are reconciled to the Father. But we must receive Jesus to receive the One who sent Him, Father God. The barrier of sin has been broken down.  Once again, we have access to God's domain! No wonder it is called the Gospel, or good news!

The reason we must ponder this is so that, with the Holy Spirit's help, we understand the power of going and sharing Jesus. Jesus is the link between lost mankind and our loving Father. He is the power of the Great Commission! Without obeying His command to go and make disciples, His earthly ministry and sacrifice would have no power. We must go!

"WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED. How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!" (Romans 10:13-15) (Underline added)

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