“Before I go (weak cough), I just want you to know….”
You probably can’t count the number of movies you’ve seen in which a dying person gasps out a final message to a loved one. Jesus left a message for us, but it wasn’t just once and it wasn’t delivered in weakness. He repeated His message often enough that His followers were clear on His command and the authority behind it.
For over a month following His resurrection, Jesus spoke to His disciples about the eternal significance of His own work and the task He had left for them. All four Gospel writers noted Jesus’ words as He sent out His disciples as witnesses of the Good News.
Jesus modeled and taught His disciples Kingdom living and commanded them in turn to make disciples of others, who would then reach others, teaching them to do the same—countless spiritual generations in the Kingdom of God.
Jesus’ call meant committing our lives to this mission from our hometowns and across cultural and geographical boundaries. As people followed His command to go, Jesus said, He wanted them to make disciples of “all nations,” the peoples (ethne) of the world, teaching them to do the same. Jesus not only told His disciples to start where they were (for them, in Jerusalem), but also to look beyond their own town to Judea. From there they were to go to Samaria (which the disciples realized was full of Samaritans!) and then “to the ends of the earth.”
As believers we’re to follow Jesus in all areas of life, taking His message to all areas of the world. With today’s international mobility in employment and education, people from other cultures may come to us right where we live. We can start there. But to fulfill Jesus’ commission, the gospel also needs to touch the more than three billion unreached people living beyond our Jerusalem, our Judea and even our Samaria—a geographic call to all nations around the world.
Where can you make a difference today, by praying, giving, sending, or going with God’s Good News to the ends of the earth?
“Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.”
Luke 24:46-48 NKJV