Yesterday, I finished reading Christopher J.H. Wright’s book, Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament. In the chapter entitled, “Jesus and his Old Testament Mission,” Wright says the following about how Jesus’ understanding of his mission should influence our own conception of missions:
“So we ought to realize then that missionary commitment is not some kind of optional extra for the extra-enthusiastic. Nor was it just a new idea invented by Jesus to give his disciples something to do with the rest of their lives. Still less was it a merely modern movement of the church that coincided with colonial expansionism. Mission lies at the very heart of all God’s historical action in the Bible. Mission to his fallen, suffering, sinful human creation, and indeed ultimately to his whole creation as well. That is why he called Abraham, sent Jesus, and commissioned his apostles. For there is one servant people, one Servant King, one servant mission.” (p. 175)
He then goes on to describe what the character of missions should be in light of Jesus’ mission:
“The spirit of servanthood, written into the prophetic vision of the Servant, lived out in the ministry of Jesus, should be the motive and the method of all Christian mission.” (p. 178)
So to summarize:
- Mission is important to God and an integral part of how he chooses to work in his creation.
- Every individual Christian and church is called to mission.
- Mission is to be characterized by humble and sacrificial service.
May our lives and churches reflect these truths as we go out into our Jerusalem, Judea & Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).