Sunday, 28 April 2019

Being Sent - Isaiah 54 / Matthew 28

Jesus is risen and He is Lord! All the forces that would hold us in slavery have been dealt with and defeated. So we can now GO in freedom - to go out there. For us it is not to a specific land but rather to go to all kinds of lands, nations and ethnic groups. To each one helping them enter the Kingdom of Jesus by being in relationship with Him.

The story of the Israelites is a preview to all this. They too were stuck in slavery, then with a dramatic event were led out. The Isaiah writings all point in the same direction too. Yet we can also look right back to Genesis 49:10 where the forefather Israel blesses his sons, and to Judah says he will rule that will extend to all nations.

All this comes together in the risen Jesus. Among his final words are (v18) 'all authority is given to me'. Here he is again referring to Daniel 7:13 - 14, where authority is his and all nations will worship. Remember this is not some time in the future, but has happened, through the death and resurrection. Then Jesus uses a simple logic to commission the followers: Given that, now this! Given that He has all authority, now you GO! Go and make disciples, baptising them, and teaching.

This is just three things, i.e. it is not complicated! Win people over to become followers like you are; baptise them into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and teach them the same stuff you have learnt (are learning). Thats it! Yet none of it is going to happen unless you GO!

It is to all nations. The Greek is 'ta ethne' - all ethnicities. Go even to people far from God. Isaiah 54 invited even the 'barren woman' to sing for she will see life, to enlarge the tent, to spread out ...

Remember this is a Quiet Revolution. It is not military takeover, there is never force or coercion. All authority has been given, the Kingdom is there extending around the globe, so the task is to go and encourage people to enter and receive it. Hence our key question:

Key Qn: [OUT] To which people is God calling you to GO!
Challenge: Pray for these people

The task is to GO, and this is not an 'add on', but for all of us. For we can GO even in our role as mother, father, brother or sister - i.e. still retaining the correct priority to our families. We can GO as an accountant, in our scientific job, or our warehouse role - i.e. we can GO as we are, through who we are and what we do we can still make disciples, baptise and teach. It does however need the commission to GO to be a key priority, with us realising it is at the core of the God-given life purpose we have.

Yet we do not do it alone. The last thing Jesus said was 'I will be with you'. He is not sending us alone, but the risen Jesus will be with us, working ahead of us and beside us. It is His work, and we get to join in!

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