As the Easter weekend passes, those words “He has Risen Indeed” continue to ring in our hearts, especially as we read how Jesus was so sensitive, loving, comforting, encouraging and challenging with His disciples after His resurrection when he appeared to the disciples in Galilee.
As Christians examine the scriptures, it becomes clear that there were issues He wanted to make clear to His disciples: a) He was joyfully returning to His Father; b) He was going to prepare a place for believers; c) He was helping them recover from there disbelief and doubts; d) He had plans and purposes for the disciples; e) the disciples needed to have power to fulfill His purposes for them; f) they needed to wait in Jerusalem to receive the Holy Spirit power that His Father had promised; g) His instruction in the Great Commission.
By reading the New Testament, it is obvious that the Commission found in the Gospel of Matthew 27: 18-20 was meant for the Apostles, for us, and believers to the very end of the age. What we can examine is how it applies to us.
Jesus modelled for us by His ministry that it was not primarily in the Synagogues but in the towns, the marketplace, in people’s homes, where the fishermen were fishing, on the Mtn, by the seaside, but always where the people were.
We know from scripture how the Apostles, under severe persecution, spread the Gospel and built the foundation of the church of Jesus Christ for the early church and for us. We often forget these Apostles were Galileans and primarily uneducated just like many of us.
Over the centuries, when you study Church history you see the serious confusion and divisions in the church and how people like Luther and others helped line up theology in accordance with the New Testament.
As we examine the Commission, or more appropriately our mandate, there is one word that seems we have not fully understood or taken to heart, and that is the word go. We all can’t travel to the nations, nor are we all called to, but what we can do to fulfill our calling is go to our neighbours, our coworkers, our fellow students, customers, clients, extended family for a bare minimum.
How about becoming involved in civic affairs, coaching sports, belonging to different social affairs, joining community clubs, offering to be volunteers in our community projects?
We are to be light and salt with Good news and we will hear about family problems, mental health issues, addiction matters, employment concerns, hurting people looking for answers, and relationships being made available to give counsel, eternal responses, and prayer needs.
The church's role is to equip the saints; our role is to go, and as we go we will bring the hurting, the hungry, and the lost to the church to be baptized and taught. He did mean GO.
John Grady lives and writes in Fort St John.
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