Having a goal for our lives is important. Christ has given us His goal; are we interested?
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”John 6:68
I found a new passage that works very much like the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20, which says,
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The passage of which I am speaking is personal. Jesus spoke it directly to Paul (Saul at the time), but we can assume that its message was given to the disciples earlier. It ties together the Old and New Testaments in a very specific way.
Here is the passage:
16 ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ Acts 26:16-18
Jesus had appeared to Saul (Paul) on the road to Damascus. This commission sounds very much like the Great Commission, but with more information. Jesus is tying together Isaiah 6:9-10, Mark 4:21-22, and then the Acts 26 passage. Here are the first two:
9 He said, “Go and tell this people:
“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’
10 Make the heart of this people calloused;
make their ears dull
and close their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”
[Although it sounds like God is hardening their hearts, He is simply giving them over to what they have already done in their hearts. See Romans 1:24-26]
21 He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? 22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. Mark 4:21-22
At this point in Jesus’ ministry, it wasn’t time for full disclosure. He had yet to rise from the dead. THEN, it would be time to tell everyone! What was it that they were to share with everyone?
18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Colossians 1:18-20
We will delve the depths of this passage tomorrow. For today, let’s rejoice in the great calling of Christ on our lives that we get to participate with Him in reconciling the world to Him by sharing the Good News of what Jesus has done or us and what He will do for them.
Abba, thank You for such good news to share with others. Helping people align themselves with Christ is pure joy for me, whether it’s unto salvation by the calling of the Holy Spirit, or to an even deeper walk with Christ for long-time followers. Thank You for including me in Your Plan. Amen.