“On Your Mark”
Chosen and Sent (Chapter 3 Verses 13-19)
These men chosen by Jesus are to be with him (v14). The man Christ Jesus was a social creature, he desired and sought the companionship of others, something of this is reflected in the relationship within the Godhead, together in perfect harmonious love and fellowship (John 1.1). It is reflected also in the way God has made man, never to be alone (Genesis 2.18) The person who is a loner is displaying his or her fallen-ness, that was never the way God intended us to be, we were made for God, and for one another. That surely is of even greater importance within the Church? Is there someone among us who is lonely? Who is perhaps not quite so adept at making friends with others? Someone who is being ignored because they are not part of a certain group, not so popular, gifted? There can be many reasons for people being left out, it may even be their own fault. But they must be drawn, ministered to, we need each other in the Christian Church (1Corinthians 12.12-31).
The apostles are commissioned, sent, charged to preach, to be heralding the good news, the gospel message, the means by which God gathers and builds the Church, to save people (Romans 1.16;1Corinthians.1.21). What is the Church’s program for the coming year, and the next one, and the next? Preach the word (2Timothy 4.2), that is what it is! This year and every year till Jesus comes again. Sensible intelligent, and expository preaching of the word of God in the power of God’s Holy Spirit. Tell me why is there this antagonism towards preaching in the Church today? We want the Church to grow they say, and their expert advice to us is, shorten the sermons, keep them super-friendly and superficial, there must be bags of humour too, and definitely not too much theological content. With lashings of music. And all aimed at the felt needs, you know, send them home feeling good, at all costs. A sure and certain recipe forweak preaching, for a weak and superficial Church. But not for genuine Church growth. The disciples were given the power, the authority, to deal with demon possession (v15), and no doubt to perform other powerful ministry as Jesus himself did. This authenticates their Apostolic office, their authoritative preaching, laying down the foundational teaching of the Church (Ephesians 2.20; Hebrews 2.3-4). All confirmed and testified to by the Lord, through those very powers given them. The list of ordinary, simple, but prepared men, fishermen, tax men, but special, chosen and gifted by the Lord himself (vv16-18;1Corinthians 1.26-31). Just like all of the Lord’s people today (Isaiah 54.17). Yes, you too.