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    A Different Take On The Great COMMISSION

    A Different Take On The GREAT COMMISSION

    (Mt 28:16-20) [16] Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. [17] When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. [18] And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. [19] “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, [20] “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
    On these verses, the church agrees. This is considered the most compelling evidence of God’s directive on the church. Besides stating what was to be accomplished, nothing is said about the “manner” they were to go out and do these things. Although nothing was specifically mentioned “here”, it should not be a command we should consider to be accomplished through our own interpretation. Jesus had already “trained” His disciples on the “how” and so it was not necessary to “repeat” those directives.

    Today, the evangelical churches, as a whole, have developed their own methodologies on the manner they are to carry out the great commission and, in the process, have either forgotten or purposely “discarded” the way in which Jesus directed His own disciples to carry forth His directive. Let us take a look now and see just “how” Jesus trained His disciples to accomplish His directives.
    Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. And He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece.”
    “Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them.”
    So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.
    (Luke 9:1-6 NKJV)
    1-Before being sent out, Jesus did what any commander would do before sending out His “soldiers” into the battle. He gave them all the “weapons” they would need. Since no one can give what they do not possessive themselves, Jesus gave them what He Himself possessed as demonstrated previously through His actions which He performed in their presence. As a result, His disciples were left with no doubts about that “power” they were being given. They’ve seen it in action and witnessed the consistency in which Jesus performed those acts of God’s power. Their new “weapons” of warfare “worked” as each of them were soon to learn through actual practice.

    2-The second part of Jesus’ directive to His disciples was to outline for them their “purpose”. Again, like any good commander, Jesus laid out for them “target” directive. “Preach the kingdom of God” and “heal the sick”. Jesus has been doing both since He started His ministry and His disciples can have no misunderstanding as to what He meant by both. As shown by Jesus, the Father’s heart is to reconcile the lost through the preaching of the Gospel and the healing of the sick. With the simple act of “proclamation” and the evidence of this kingdom of God in the healing, nothing else would be needed to accomplish their task.

    3-Now comes that part which the church of today tends to forget. Here is the “plan” of Jesus and the Father, “take NOTHING for the journey ‘including’ staffs, bags, bread, money or additional tunics (undergarments)”. Jesus did not ask of His disciples to do something that He did not already do Himself. Jesus led by example in a “follow Me as I follow” perspective. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus taught that nothing of the concerns of this life were to be our focus but only the pursuit of the kingdom of God and His righteousness. So it would make sense that nothing more would need to be taken when being “sent out” to accomplish the Will of God as all those things would be provided for by the Father, just as they were provided for Jesus. Today, this is not the case at all. Money is needed for transportation, hotels, dining and entertainment as well as the cost of renting of the facilities or other expenses incurred on the various trips to preach the Gospel. It is considered a “normal” approach to accomplishing the great commission. To follow Jesus’ instructions to His disciples is considered “impractical” at best and disastrous at worse. As a result, THIS part of Jesus’ instructions is “conveniently” placed in the context of “first century” limited technology with no practical application for today. Yet, the bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the same YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER. Well, just like this other reference we can’t seem to accept, we “decide” to place the context of Jesus being the same without change, based on His “message” and NOT His methodologies. Anything else just doesn’t make “sense” as it is no longer “practical” in its application. Times have changed!

    4-The next part of the, “how” they were sent out, instructions, was to “go into someone’s house and remain there until the work is done”. Today, this is unheard of. Most traveling speakers will stay in a hotel room. Some church leaders “may” open their homes but most do not. It doesn’t matter what the reasons are, it is simply not “expected” of private homes to be offered to the traveling preacher. Most times, I suspect, the reason of “practicality” outweighs the idea of inviting the speaker into one’s home. A whole host of reasons can be conjured up to explain this and because of the many reasons that may be offered, I will not make an attempt at listing them. Since it has become commonplace for traveling preachers to stay in hotels, the second part of the requirements of staying in a “worthy” person’s home can be “ignored”. If no unworthy person is found to house the traveling preacher, then leaving that city and shaking the dust from their feet as a “testimony against them” doesn’t have to be observed. No harm, no foul!

    Now some may wonder why am I drawing attention to this? Today, the “power” of the Gospel of Jesus Christ seems to be losing it’s “power”. Many wonder why we are not seeing the kinds of miracles of healing and deliverance as in the time of Jesus and immediately following in the book of Acts. There are many reasons that can be offered up but today, the focus is on the very nature of the great commission itself. If you start on the “wrong foot”, doesn’t it stand to reason that the rest of your journey may be in jeopardy?

    God has not called us to “choose for ourselves” which of His commandments we are to obey and which to ignore through “impracticality”! He has never left the choice up to us which of His commandments to obey and which to simply ignore. His commandments have never been the “Ten Suggestions” but the “Ten Commandments”, to illustrate the most basic of His commands to those who choose to follow Him. God never “minces” words. Every word of God is measured and purposed towards a specific goal. (Isaiah 55:11) When Jesus gave those instructions of “how” His disciples were to go out and accomplish their objectives of preaching and healing, He gave to them what He had received of His Father. Later, Jesus even confirmed this when He told them of the coming of the Holy Spirit:
    However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
    (John 16:13-15 NKJV)
    Everything Jesus did and spoke came directly from the heart of His Father. Nothing Jesus did can be overlooked. Everything Jesus, spoke and instructed came with clear purpose and design from the Father. If we choose to “cookie cut” those examples and “discard” those that seem “impractical” because of the difference in time periods, then we are leaving out some of the most important elements of what made Jesus’ work and commission so successful. Had He not accomplished all that His Father directed of Him? Can anyone say that Jesus’ methods were “less perfect”? If we cannot bring ourselves to say Jesus was less than perfect in all He said and did, why then do we choose to “ignore” those things He instructed His disciples to do when sending them out to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God and heal the sick?

    Jesus sent His disciples out two by two and instructed them to not carry with them “provisions” for the long journey. He did this because He “knew” that His Father would make the necessary provisions for them as well as He did for His Only Begotten. They were sent out under Jesus’ authority which He received of His heavenly Father. If no extra provisions were needed then, why do we think we need them now? Could the reason for this is actually our “lack of faith”? We “gloss” it over by “rationalizing” the impracticalities of that method and we lie to ourselves by saying that, at least we are preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing the sick. Well, perhaps not healing the sick because that was for way back then and not today but at least we are “preaching the gospel”.

    How foolish we have become and do not realize that when Jesus sent His disciples out with the bare necessities with no additional provisions, the very nature of this was to “demonstrate” the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom of God! Yes, our actions preach far louder than our words. If we do not “demonstrate” the kingdom of God in action within our own lives, how then can we truly “display” the grace of God working in our lives and promote that same grace to work in the lives of others? We become as hypocritical as the religious leaders of Jesus’ day!

    We may “want” to look at this passage of scripture in a “historical” context but this is part of the Gospels of Jesus Christ and to leave anything out is to choose to ignore those parts we have no faith for. How can we call ourselves a people of “faith” when we do not live our lives as such? Our concept of faith becomes contradictory to what the bible teaches about faith. As mentioned before, we simply cannot “cookie cut” our way through the bible which is profitable for instruction in righteousness and correction when we are in error. We cannot choose to “disqualify” any portion of scripture because of its apparent “impracticality”. If we truly believe that we can do “all things” through Christ who strengthens us, then let us take another serious look at the “how” as well as the “why” of the great commission. Let us follow the example of one of the greatest warriors God had raised up and instructed on how he might become prosperous and have good success:
    Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
    (Joshua 1:7-9 NKJV)
    The key to success as defined by God is very simple. SPEAK the Word of God, MEDITATE on the Word of God day and night, and OBSERVE TO DO according to ALL that is written in it, neither turning to the right or to the left. God left Joshua no “wiggle room”. Nothing in God’s word was to be “interpreted” as “impractical” or “outdated”. If God’s Word is forever “alive”, then who are we to decide for ourselves which parts of God’s Word we should “obey” and which parts we will “ignore”. Something to seriously think about.

    Last thoughts...Why spend so much time and effort coming up with complicated doctrines to justify your refusal to obey "all" of God's Word and keep it simple. Just obey all of God's Word and watch how quickly He shows His approval by doing all He promised to do. What I have found is that God is more than able to meet every single need of ours when we obey all of what He says we are to do. Nothing complicated about it! We just need to give up "our control" over our lives and trust Him to care for us in all things. How difficult is it to REST? This REST is what He is calling for us to enter into and to find it, we just need to LEARN OF HIM....this equates to TRUSTING HIM implicitly! Simple!

    Jerry Sundberg

    Soon after I received the Lord in 1976, I started receiving prophetic visions and warnings about the future of the church and the United States. I share my visions on my Hidden Manna websites and offer free of charge my two ebooks entitled “Hidden Manna” and “Hidden Manna 2”.

    Website: Hidden Manna

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    Item Reviewed: A Different Take On The Great COMMISSION Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jerry Sundberg
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