Monday, September 03, 2007

Three more lessons from Jesus: together, proclaim, repentance

In Mark 6 we read the account of Jesus sending out the disciples two by two for the purpose of reaching the villages. Three things jump out at me when considering this text:

  1. Jesus did not send them out alone even though they could have reached twice as many villages by “dividing and conquering”. Rather, he sent them out in pairs. Jesus felt it was important that they not be alone in this mission. He wanted them to have the support, comfort, encouragement, accountability, and friendship of another. What can we learn from this principle? Is it wise to be Lone Rangers as we follow and serve God? It is important that we are not alone in our Kingdom service.
  2. Jesus told the disciples to move on if they were not welcomed and the if message was not embraced. They weren’t told to persevere and stick with it until the message was finally received. Rather, Jesus told them to “shake the dust off your feet when you leave as a testimony against them.” Is it our responsibility to make people believe and repent? No, Jesus is telling his disciples that they are simply supposed to proclaim the message and the people are responsible for receiving it. Are you comfortable with this? Are you ok walking away?
  3. What message did the disciples preach? Was it “God loves you and has a plan for your life?” Or, “let me tell you how to have your best life now?” No, the message was repent. This was also the message of Jesus: “The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news.” When you have the opportunity to share with others, what do you say? Do you campout on discussing God’s love or do you move on to challenging them with repentance? If not, why? This is what Jesus and his disciples did.

4 comments:

C. Marie Byars said...

Martin Luther: "The life of a Christian is a life of repentance." Lots of Christian fellowships try to claim that when you have become a Christian, you no longer sin. What a set up for all sorts of spiritual blind alleys.

Eric Jones said...

Marie,
I hear what you are saying; daily repenting is definitely what a Christian’s life should look like. However, that means that we daily choose to turn from the desires of our flesh and turn to God. Scripture tells us that if we are in Christ we are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves instead to righteousness. It says that if we continue sinning it’s as though we have never seen him or know him. Whoa!

If Christ is in us then we are going to live much differently than we did before and much differently than the world lives. Can we be free from sin? I believe the cross is powerful enough for that to be true and pray that I will allow him to fully and completely sanctify me. Praise God for that and also for his mercies. Because, when we are in Christ we are not expected to continue sinning, however if we do commit a sin we have an advocate who goes to the Father on our behalf.

There are definitely blind alleys on both sides of the road.

Milton Stanley said...

Excellent insights. Thank you.

Eric Jones said...

Thanks Milton