Commission; August 6, 2018

John 20:21-22 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

After giving the ultimate proof of His divinity by rising from the dead, Jesus then gives the ultimate commission to His disciples, sending them as He was sent. On the face of it, that’s absurd. Jesus was and is the only Son of God, and certainly the only human being to be born of a virgin. He is the only Savior, the only one in whom faith produces the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. How could anyone be sent the way He was sent? It comes down to understanding the broader definition of Jesus’ commission. Very simply, Jesus came to earth as God’s agent to express and demonstrate His love to mankind. The entire New Testament and much of the Old Testament speaks of this in various ways. The disciples in that room, and by extension, believers today, have that same commission. This is not hubris. If anything, it takes intense humility to accept this commission, since we have to acknowledge that we are utterly incapable of fulfilling it in our own strength and wisdom. As soon as He delivered this commission, Jesus then made it possible to fulfill it, by giving the Holy Spirit. Up until His resurrection, Jesus Himself operated only in the power of the Spirit, rather than in His own power as the Son. We have to understand that before we can believe that we can indeed fulfill Jesus’ commission, because the same Spirit is available to us. It wasn’t until several days later that the Holy Spirit was manifested to a degree that supernatural things started happening, but Jesus wasn’t about to give a commission without providing the power to fulfill it. We have to realize that since it’s God’s commission to us, it’s God’s power in and through us that will fulfill it.

This is an issue that has really burned in me, to the point that I’ve written a short book on it, though I’ve not yet published it. (At this point it’s just in English, and my burden is for the Japanese.) Many years ago I came to the conviction that if Japanese believers really grasped who they were in Christ, they would change not only the Japanese Church, or even the nation, but the whole world. I stated it that way because I am specifically called to Japan, but that should apply to believers in any country of the world. I cannot force anyone to act as Christ’s representative, but I can keep myself available to do so. I have experienced God acting through me many times, and it’s marvelous! I am to speak the truth in love, praying for others that they may have the courage to accept and surrender to the commission that Christ has for them, so that God’s name may be acknowledged as holy and His kingdom come as His will is done, for His glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Show me what I’m to do with that little book, since it’s been almost a year since I finished writing. If I’m to write more, guide me clearly. If I’m to get it into Japanese, show me how and by whom. If I’m to publish as is, give me peace about that. May I indeed fulfill Your purposes for me, in every way and on every level, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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