Blessed to be a blessing #1
1. The Great Commission
What is the Great Commission all about? Is it just a call for a select group of Christians to go overseas as missionaries? Is it just an optional extra that we can take or leave depending on whether we feel like it or not? How are we to understand these final words of Jesus?
The final words a person speaks are usually very important. And Jesus’ final words are no exception. They come as the climax of His life and with the highest authority in the universe. They come to us not as a choice, but as a command: “Go and make disciples of all nations”.
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
With these words Jesus is telling us what is most upon His heart and what He is calling all His disciples (not just a few) to do. This was not just an after- thought that Jesus added to His teaching right at the last moment as He was about to leave His disciples. It was the end result of all that Jesus had been preparing them for over the three years He had been with them. more then that, it was somthing that God had been preparing Israel for over many centuries. It was the very heart of what the Old Testament was all about the very reason why God sent Jesus into the world.
2. Two thousand years earlier
The Great commission was not first given by Jesus His disciples, but was given by God to a man called Abraham two thounsand years earlier.
(Gen 12:1) Now the LORD had said to Abram, Depart from thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, to a land that I will show thee:
(Gen 12:2) And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
(Gen 12:3) And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Ever since our first parents sinned in the garden of Eden, God has been seeking to bring people back to Himself. He began this process by first choosing a man- Abraham, and then a nation- Israel. He entered into an agreement or covenant with Abraham with Israel. This covenant had two parts.
In the first part of the covenant God promised to bless Abraham. But in the Second part of the covenant God made His final purpose clear- “I will make you a blessing… and I will bless all people on earth throught you… ” Was God choosing to bless Abraham and his descendants because they were His favourite people and He wanted only them to receive His blessing? No! He would bless them so that they would become a channel of His blessing to the nations.
3. God is a missionary God
God’s covenant with Abraham and the message of the whole Bible makes it clear that God is a missionary God. His purpose is that throught His people He might reach out to all the people of the earth, so that all might know Him, and come back into fellowship with Him. He tried to do this through Israel. But Isral failed. She was only wanted God’s blessing for herself. She was only interested in the first part of God’s covenant with Abraham (“Iwill bless you…”), but was not interested to carry out the second part (“…and Iwill make you a blessing to all people”).
Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
4. Great Re-commission
Jesus came to fulfil God’s covenant with Abraham to bring God’s blessing to God’s chosen people, the Jews, but also to call into being a new group of people (the church) to take this message of salvation to the rest of the world. So the ‘ Great Commission’ that Jesus gave to His disciples at the end of His earthly life was really ‘the Great Recommission,’ He was calling His disciples to again do what Israel had failed to do. Now, with the hightest authority in heaven and on earth, and with the promised Holy Spirit’s presence to enable and empower them, they were to “go into all the world and make disciples of all people”. Jesus whole life and ministry had prepared them for this great moment of re-commissioning.
Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
5. Blesses to be a blessing
What can we learn from God’s covenant with Abraham and Jesus command to His disciples in the Great Commission? We can learn one simple truth: God blessess us so that we might be a blessing to others. God has brought us into relationship with Himself throught Jesus so that we might help bring others into relationship with Him also. We should not hold the spiritual blessings we have received in Christ to ourselves. They are given to us so that we might give them away. Freely you have received, freely give’.
Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.
Mat 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Mat 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
(Luk 14:23) And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.