“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (John 20:21-22).
As Jesus was sent by the Father to fulfill the mission of God, so did he send out the disciples to go and fulfill the mission of God. While we are not one of the original twelve disciples, we are the ones who follow Jesus as the disciples did. We are the ones who have turned from our sin and have been redeemed and forgiven. We are the ones who are following Jesus to learn from him. We love the good news that Jesus taught and lived and died for. We seek to take every thought captive so that we would pursue holiness and maintain our commitment to following Jesus. We don’t follow Jesus merely to reap the benefits as many in the crowd did; rather, we follow Jesus because we believe what Jesus taught and we understand the life he has called us to live. So as we consider the twelve disciples, we are followers of Jesus; and we are, therefore, disciples of Jesus.
As disciples of Jesus, we are also sent out as disciples. We are sent to fulfill the mission of God. And if the mission of God is to redeem people from every tribe and tongue and nation, then we are called to preach the gospel so that people from every tribe and tongue and nation would believe Jesus and follow him. We are sent ones. We as the church live in this world to be the church to the world. We are sent from the walls of the church to be Christ to the world around us!
I’ll be honest. I wrote this from my desk in my office within the walls of the church. I should be writing this from the coffee shop downtown. I should be writing this from the 400 Block where I can be interrupted by people who don’t know Christ so that I would be able to tell people what I am writing. I am sent, yet I realize that being sent is also being sent to minister and equip God’s people. But if I am always comfortable in my office within the church walls, I am failing to recognize God’s call on me to share Christ with the non-believers around me.
I am sent. You are sent. We as a church are sent. The goal of being sent is the same for each and every one of us; that we would be messengers of salvation, that we would be the aroma of Christ to those around us, and that we would go and be ambassadors of Christ to every person that we are around. As people in the church, we need to be very careful that we don’t slip into the easy mindset that trusts in the church’s programs to be the ambassadors of Christ and the messengers of salvation. There is a place for these sort of “Come and See” sort of events and programs, but to rely purely on the “Come and See” programs in the church is to miss God’s call on us to “Go and Be” Christ to the City of Wausau and to the nations.
Would you ask God this week if he would give you opportunities to “Go and Be” Christ to someone? Would you ask God to heighten your sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s leading so that we might be his ambassadors representing Jesus Christ to the world? As you do, trust that God will give you the words as he breathes His Holy Spirit on you!