So I Send You ~ 20141228 ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org
12/28 So I Send You Audio available at: http://www.ephraimbible.org/Sermons/20141228_so-i-send-you.mp3
We looked last week at what Christmas is all about, why the Father sent Jesus into the world, what he came to do. Today I want to look at the same thing from a different perspective. Listen to what Jesus says to his disciples in John 20
Did you hear that? As the Father sent me, so I am sending you. This is amazing; Jesus takes his own commission with which he was sent into the world by the Father, and he passes that on to us. As the Father sent me, so I am sending you. Jesus was sent on mission from the Father. He was very clear in the task he was sent to accomplish. He knew what he was sent to do, and he would not be sidetracked from his mission. If, as his followers, we are sent by Jesus on mission, we need to understand what we are sent to do, and be diligent to do it.
Jesus says to his Father in John 17
Jesus sends us, his disciples, into the world, just as the Father sent Jesus into the world.
So we need to ask, why was Jesus sent? What was his mission and what is our mission? What is different about Jesus' mission from ours? What is the same? If we are sent by Jesus into the world, what should that look like? What does it mean for us to be followers of Jesus, in the sense that now we are to carry on doing what he was sent here to do? Through this lens we can look at what Jesus was sent to do, so that we can better understand what our lives are to look like.
I Only Do What The Father Sent Me To Do
Repeatedly Jesus said that he does only what the Father sent him to do.
Jesus did not do his own thing. He was sent for a purpose, and he did not deviate from that mission. He came to do the will of the Father.
When Peter tried to turn Jesus from the cross,
Jesus would not be thwarted from his purpose. He had his purpose fixed on the things of God. He let go of lesser things to pursue that which his Father had sent him to accomplish. We his followers must also learn to let go of lesser things and focus our attention and energy on that for which he sent us. We must learn to live with determination and purpose. “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
Truth and Light
Jesus said to Pilate
Jesus was sent to testify to the truth. He told the truth to sinners, he told the truth to self-righteous religious leaders, he told the truth about himself and about the Father. He told the truth about hell and about eternal life. He claimed to be the way, the truth, the life, the only way to the Father. He made people aware of their sin and their need for a Savior. Jesus said:
Jesus came to bring the truth that sets people free. He came to bring truth to dispel the lies. He came to bring light to overcome the darkness.
Jesus came as the light of the world.
Jesus said in John 12:
He brought truth and light to combat lies and darkness.
Jesus came to proclaim the truth about himself, about his Father, about hell and eternal life. We who have been set free by him must be proclaiming the truth and bringing light to the darkness. “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
Jesus told the truth even when it was costly to himself. He gave strong warnings to those who rejected him. He confronted the self-righteous who considered themselves better than others. He challenged their thinking and reasoned with them from the scriptures. He offended those who would ultimately conspire to put him to death. He warned of the danger of following hypocritical religious leaders. He said things like 'woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!' and
He said things like: “have you not read” (Mt.19:4) and “because of your hardness of heart” (Mt.19:8). He said:
He told the hard truth even when he knew it would cost him deeply. Jesus warned his followers:
“As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
To Seek and To Save the Lost
Jesus went out of his way to pursue lost sinners and bring good news to them. Jesus invited a despised tax collector named Matthew to be one of his followers.
Jesus came for sinners. He spent time with sinners. He ate and drank with sinners. He damaged his own reputation associating with the lost, the low, the despised, the outcasts. He went out of his way to pursue lost people. In John 4, we are told,
He had to pass through Samaria. Why? Because there was a woman who had been divorced and remarried 5 times and was now living with a man she was not married to, who needed the gift of living water that he came to freely give.
In Luke 18, Jesus said:
And in the next chapter,
Jesus came to Jericho to find a rich man.
“I must stay at your house today.” Jesus came to Jericho to find a tax collector who had gotten rich by extorting his own people.
Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. He went out of his way to pursue sinners and broken people that everyone else cast aside. We who have come to know our sin and our need for a Savior must go to those who are lost and broken. “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
Physical and Spiritual Needs
Jesus cared for the immediate physical needs of many people. He fed the multitudes, he healed the sick and caused the lame to walk and the blind to see, he even raised the dead. But he went beyond the outward physical needs to the deeper spiritual disease of the heart. To the crowds who were looking for a free meal, he said
To the woman caught in the very act of adultery and dragged out to be execute,
To the paralyzed man who was lowered by his friends through the roof to be healed by Jesus, Jesus said:
To the woman of the street who washed his feet with her tears and dried them with her hair he said:
To the woman who had 5 husbands and was living with a man she was not married to, Jesus said:
To the religious leader who came to him by night to ask a question,
To his own disciples who had been arguing about who was greatest, he said:
Jesus cared for the immediate needs of those around him, but he went deeper and addressed the disease of the heart. We should be concerned about the material and physical needs of those around us, but we must move beyond those to the deeper issues of the soul. “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
Jesus demonstrated a different kind of leadership.
Jesus, fully conscious of his divine status as Lord, stooped to serve his followers. He acted with humility. Jesus said:
We as his followers are sent by Jesus not to be served, not to lord it over others, but rather to stoop to serve others. He gave his very life as a ransom for us. We must be ready to serve others, to give of ourselves, even to give our very lives for the eternal good of others. “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
By The Spirit
Jesus was sent by the Father to accomplish the mission he was sent for. He came to testify to the truth, to bring light to the darkness, to confront religious hypocrisy, to seek and save the lost, to meet physical and spiritual needs, to give his life as a ransom for many. How? How did he accomplish the mission? John tells us:
Luke tells us:
Jesus was empowered and enabled by the Holy Spirit to do what he came to do. “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
If we are to live on mission sent by Jesus, to do only what pleases him, to testify to the truth, to bring light to darkness, to confront religious hypocrisy, to go out of our way to bring the good news to lost sinners, to meet both physical and spiritual needs, to serve others sacrificially, how can we do this? How can we possibly follow in Jesus footsteps? How can we live up to this high calling? “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” This is more than we can possibly do. Jesus goes on to tell us how.
Jesus sends us into the world on mission to rescue fallen humanity, to bring the good news to dying souls, to see lives transformed by the gospel, and he gives us the Holy Spirit to live inside so that we can fulfill our mission. We are not on our own. We have a high calling, but God is at work in us to enable us to do what he calls us to do.
How about you? Are you fulfilling your mission? Are you living passionately and purposefully, doing only the things that please him? What things need to go? What things need to start happening that aren't yet happening? As the Spirit prompts you, make a note and seek his help. Allow him to do his work in you and through you for his glory and for your good.
Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org