HIS MISSION, OUR CO-MISSION
Terry R. Baughman
So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 10:21).
Jesus made His mission known from His early ministry in the synagogue at Nazareth to the day of His death in response before Pilate. He came with a defined purpose. In each of the synoptic gospels Jesus said, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Matthew 9:13, Mark 2:17; Luke 5:32). Before Pilate’s questioning Jesus revealed, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (John 18:37).
Throughout the ministry of Jesus He gave expression to His purpose for coming, His mission during His ministry, and His vision to accomplish His ultimate goal of bringing everlasting life to all who believe. He said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
Jesus most thoroughly outlined His ministry mission when He read from the scroll of Isaiah in Nazareth. He had returned to His home town for the first time after beginning His ministry. The news had spread that Jesus had begun teaching and explaining the Scriptures. Perhaps they thought He was coming of age and would become a new rabbi. They asked Him to read the selected passage for their Sabbath reading. As He took His place in Moses’ seat He opened the book and found the prescribed verses and began reading, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Isaiah 61:1-2).
When Jesus read this far in the passage He suddenly stopped and declared, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21). Before He finished speaking that day the crowd was incensed and angered to the point of attempting to cast Him off of a cliff to His death. No doubt they perceived His comments were blasphemous, but He spoke the truth.
Before His ministry was completed a few years later, Jesus left His believers with instructions to fulfill His mission. It is often referred to as the Great Commission. Matthew recorded that Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them …, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19–20). Luke revealed that, “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:47–49).
When we act in obedience to His Word and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others we are fulfilling the commission and helping to complete the mission He set out to accomplish. Our mission is possible!
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:15-16).