It isn’t the full gospel without a commission

Jesus gathered “us” all together for a talk. He did so in the upper room prior to his death, and then again on the mount of ascension prior to that fifth gospel element. I say “us” because of one of my favorite verses in the Bible. I love it when I literally find myself in the Bible. 

John 17:20

“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word….”

There I am. There you are, in bold italic. He thought of us that day. Even better, the first followers took him seriously, eventually, that they were indeed the light of the world after the departure of the Light of the World. Their faithfulness in telling their story of having been with Jesus, resulted, down through the ages, in my salvation!

It also resulted in my commissioning.

A central, not auxiliary, but primary facet of the gospel in its fullness is commission. There are five elements in my mind. We’ve been taking them one at a time:

1. Incarnation

2. Crucifixion

3. Resurrection

4. Commission

5. Ascension

These five form the fullness of what Jesus accomplished to ensure the good news and human flourishing, hope, life, purpose…redemption, and the completion of his kingdom.

Here’s why I think this is a big deal: we are saved to save. We’ve been loved in order to love. We were harvested to be thrust into the harvest. Every one of us was made a priest, royal at that, and an ambassador. We are the hope of nations. Saved into kingdom labor. 

There is no graduation ceremony or certification process or earning or proving for this. Look no further for examples of the immediacy of kingdom labor than all he healed, even those he told to be quiet! That he can and does use the weak is clear and compelling. We are his choice ones, not in spite of our fleshy weakness, but because of it, and that slathered in grace. The perfect story displayed. 

In fact, I love the woman at the well for precisely this reason. She was chosen by the Savior to open a formerly closed mission field prior to herself being saved. Can God speak through Balaam’s ass, or what? “Could this be the Messiah?” she implores of her city leaders. And they believed in him before she was sure. In fact we’re not even told, are we, that she did believe. Surely it is so. 

A torn, blemished, reputation-less, uneducated, female, in every way unqualified in today’s hyper-credibility culture, save her genuine encounter with Jesus, and Samaria was flooded with the gospel!

Our commission is great. Yet how simple and small it is. If grace has been offered to me, then I have it to offer to all on my pathway. This overlooked gospel-element just might be the one, from this world’s vantage point, upon which time and eternity hinges. Set it aside and the very death Jesus conquered reigns.

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