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“A single grain of rice can tip the scale. One man may be the difference between victory and defeat.” If you are a passionate Disney fan like me, you...
Before we can understand the urgency of going we have to know the actual reason why we are going.
We are commanded to go.
"Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
- Mathew 28:16-20
This is a scripture you hear a lot in any missions context.
Let's put it in context. Jesus has been traveling with these disciples for 3 years, they’ve seen and experienced a lot...healings, demons fleeing, dead people coming back to life…multiple times. And now one of these former dead people is standing in front of them: Jesus.
These words are Jesus’s last before he goes up to heaven.
Imagine you are one of the disciples, everything you’ve seen with Jesus and every prophesy you've heart about Jesus have just come to pass. And these are the last words he’s giving you. I’m convinced these words were really meaningful and that the disciples took them to heart.
There are 4 concrete things Jesus is telling in this command: go, make, baptize and teach.
Jesus says go to all people all over the world, to every tribe, to the smallest corners of the earth.
ἔθνος or ethnos is the Greek word used in this command. Ethnos like ethnic, so Jesus isn't talking about all countries here but every ethnic group, every language and culture.
Go and disciple them, go, get into action. Get going and go to every people group.
The disciples back then really went far.
We all know that becoming a disciple is a process. There is a natural starting point and then there are a lot of small steps to keep taking as you become like Jesus.
In the Jewish context, the understanding of discipleship or the concept of following a rabbi, means to become like the teacher. And that’s what the disciples have been doing for 3 years.
They were experiencing this firsthand and understood what it means to be like Jesus.
So when Jesus says to them, make disciples of all nations, they have a very clear understanding of what that looks like.
To help every people group to look like Jesus. It goes along with teaching, to teach the people what Jesus taught them. Not only the encouraging things but also that we need to deny ourselves, that true followers of Jesus also need to submit our lives to him.
Baptism is a sign that we are following Jesus. It is a witness to the natural and spiritual world. And also makes a statement that we are not following our own ways but following the life and teachings of Jesus.
I believe Jesus was very intentional with the way he was communicating. To disciple the nations, and when they got started in this discipleship process that they would be baptized and taught.
Now we have an understanding of why we need to go. Jesus commanded it.
What does urgent mean?
In German the word is dringend and it means coming with a force, leaving and impression.
In English urgent means needing immediate action or attention.
In the book of Acts in chapter 2 we see that just 10 days after Jesus give the Great Commission the Holy Spirit comes.
People from all over are coming and are hearing about Jesus in their languages. 3000 people are baptized and join the church.
We are not taking this command as seriously as we should.
If I finished all my oats in the morning what will I do? I will make sure I go to the store that day to get oats for tomorrow’s breakfast. Oats are very important to me. But this isn’t such a good picture of urgency.
Maybe urgency for the bathroom is a better picture. When I need to go urgently, I can’t talk to some people or still do a couple more things. I need to go or I will soil my pants.
What level of urgency are you using when you think about the Great Commission?
Should? Need to? Oh, I can get a couple more things done before I start? Or I can’t stand still because I’m compelled to go!?
We want to see the Kingdom of God expanding, we do have Good News to share with the world. The gospel is good news, that we can have relationship with God, that God came to earth to live among us, and died a criminal’s death for our sin, and that Jesus had victory over death!
There isn’t a better message than this.
How can we keep this to ourselves?
God wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
- 1 Timothy 2:4
Who? All people. Germany. Gen Z. Everyone.
Do you want that too? Yes? Now the question is... is that how your life looks? Do your actions match what you believe?
Does Gen Z urgently need to hear about Jesus? Let me share some statistics from a Barna study on Gen Z. These are stats from Gen Z believers worldwide.
I have no words, this is shocking. And these are the numbers of Christian Gen Z, not all of Gen Z regardless of religious beliefs.
That's 68% of Gen Z Christians who don’t think God is active today.
And 64% who don’t believe God is interested in a personal relationship with them.
This breaks my heart.
There are so many people who are missing what God has for them.
Jesus said, go and teach them to obey everything I have shared with you.
Teach them so that they have the ability to believe in the fullness of who God is and who God has called them to be.
They are searching for things that truly fulfill them. There is openness for spiritual stuff, and that’s good.
The problem is especially in Germany, when people think about Christianity, they have an opinion. Already have ideas about what they think Jesus is like because of what they know about him through culture. Unfortunately, that idea is probably not the truth of who Jesus is.
It’s our responsibility to go out and to speak truth. So that people can get to know who God truly is. Then they will see the lies in what they have thought.
"How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"
- Romans 10:14
Gen Z needs to go to Gen Z to tell Gen Z so that Gen Z can hear, believe and be saved.
There are way too many people who don’t know who Jesus really is.
Do you believe your friends know the gospel?
Has there been a messenger in their life? Or is it you? Are you the messenger?
But not until we start going. Not until we understand the urgency.
Ready to go?