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I get so “caught up” in what my part is in the kingdom that I worry about who I’m working for. Is it me and my own selfish desires? Is it for God and a deep desire to do His will? When I run across statements like numbers 5 and 6 below it causes me to stop and listen. I pray that we all consistently ask for His guidance in all we do so that in the doing we remain faithful to His purposes and not our own. Practically speaking how do we find ways to help us keep this focus using the forms of community available to us here and now? How does the community itself work this out so that it does not become so institutionalized that it forgets the purpose for which God has revealed to them?

Reading part 14 of “Missional Jesus” on the Jesus Creed blog (www.jesuscreed.org) reveals the following today:

Now we enter into a self-identified passage of missional intent and direction by Jesus, often called the “missionary discourse.” Matthew 9:35-11:1 is our passage, and we’ll break it down into manageable units for a few days. I begin with 9:35-10:4.

1. Missional Jesus participates in the mission of God.
2. Missional Jesus therefore prays to God for “extenders” of his mission-working kingdom of God.
3. Missional Jesus prays because missional Jesus is moved by oppression and the need for mercy on so many.
4. Missional Jesus not only prays but, after hearing from God (isn’t this implicit?), he specifically identifies 12 workers for the kingdom and appoints them as his personal representatives (apostles) in the kingdom missional work.
5. Missional Jesus appoints his “extenders” (”missioners” is a nice word) to do what he has been doing in Matthew, chps 8 and 9: they are therefore extenders of Jesus and not doers of their own mission. Missional work is Jesus work.
6. Not all of Jesus’ “extenders” follow Jesus faithfully.

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

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2 Comments

  1. This gets to the heart of so much of what the Christian community exists for:

    1) To ask the question What Would Jesus Do?
    2) To go out and do it

    Of course, we attempted to ask this question in the 90’s, and quickly turned it into a trite tagline. What we meant when we asked it was “what wouldn’t Jesus do?” (wouldn’t curse, wouldn’t get drunk, etc.) But the question is still an essential one. If Jesus lived in my context what would he be doing and what would he be sending me to do?

  2. I have been asking myself questions related to this topic a lot lately (more than usual). I really have been wondering that if Jesus were walking in my shoes today would He be making the kind of decisions that I make. Would He treat people the way that I’ve been treating them. Would He have the same vision for the future that I have? I’m also encouraged in the realization that not all of Jesus’ disciples followed Him faithfully.


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