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Advent 2 -Where is Jesus today?

December 7, 2018

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In this advent season we remember Jesus is coming back the question that follows is ‘Where is he coming back from?’ or ‘Where is Jesus today’?

Our advent verse helps us answer this. First it reminds us that ALL authority in heaven and earth has been given to him. Who gave it to him? The Father is the obvious answer. And so we believe that Jesus is now reigning in heaven with his Father with his enemies as his footstool. (see Hebrews 1:3). So we can have confidence in his sovereignty in our lives and in the world. And we are those who go into the world to see his reign established in our lives and our world.

However in another sense the authority referred to here is the authority of Revelation 5. The authority to bring the whole of history to climax and fulfilment. Jesus has this authority because he has triumphed at the cross and resurrection. Because he has ‘purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation….and they will reign on earth’. Revelation 5:9-11.

Therefore , as the verse emphasises, the command of his disciples is to #beonemakeone. The call to go to ALL nations and peoples. To bring them back to serve/worship God because Jesus has purchased/redeemed them. The greek work for ‘nations’ is all peoples or people groups, all gentiles or peoples not like us. The word go is a participle ‘in your going’ a reminder that wherever we happen to be going our call is to make disciples -this is the standard for all Christians. So in your going to work, going to sports club, going to the school gate… the command is to make disciples.

However the participle is linked directly to the command to make disciples and so carries an imperative sense. So we need to do more than just see this as a standard for Christians but we need a strategy to fulfil it. Jesus gave the disciples a strategy to begin in Jerusalem and then move out. Peters strategy was to the Jews and Pauls to the gentiles. What is your strategy to reach the nations? Is it to give financially to a particular overseas mission or country/people group? Is it to pray for a particular overseas mission or country? Is it to go? What is your part in the strategy?

I have been challenged by the young missionary John Chau who was martyred trying to reach a forbidden island (North Sentinel Island). I have my own questions about his actions and wonder whether he got his strategy right or worked with the church to reach out. But I do admire his desire. I dont know the full story but I just wonder whether going solo was his error. We were never meant to fulfil the great commission on our own.

For our verse gives us another location of Jesus. Jesus is with the disciples who are following this great commission. In other words Jesus is where the church is. This is our ecclesiology that we are the body of Christ. And the body of Christ should be doing the same (or even greater) things than the physical body of Jesus did. We should be going, finding the lost, baptizing and teaching obedience to the command of Jesus. This is the task of the church. And we are a global, international body,  being the body of Jesus in all the nations in the world. So let us make sure we are part of one and accountable to one. And let us also see how we can support the church in mission across the world working with the local church.

This Sunday we as a church are praying for and giving to help the persecuted church. Not to take them away from their ‘going’ in sharing Jesus is tough places but to pray for them, encourage them and release resources for them to be the body of Christ.

So this advent make sure in all your going you seek to obey the command to make disciples. However more than that make a strategy to reach the nations. Get involved in overseas mission. Strategy takes research, conversations, commitment and action. Make a strategy and be involved in our churches strategy. Talk to someone form the mission fund group or find a group you can talk late into the night and strategize with.

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