“On Your Mark” – Day 148
‘Six Steps to Mission’ (Chapter 16 Verses 9-20)
The final verse of Mark’s gospel tells us of the disciple’s obedience to the given mandate, and the Lord’s working with them (v20). They went everywhere taking the gospel with them, preaching, proclaiming the good news, the gospel about Jesus (v15; Mark 1.1). Matthew tells us of the promised presence of Jesus, while Marks tells us of the manifest present of Jesus with them in their task. He confirmed his word, that is testified to its truth, its reality by the signs that accompanied the preaching, that is the miracles, the conversions of people by the Spirit’s power. That Jesus is the Lord as Mark here designates him, there is no doubt at all, the mighty and powerful risen Lord. That was the Apostolic confession, the Lordship of the risen Jesus, and they proclaimed him everywhere they went, enjoying his presence as they did.
Involvement in missionary enterprise is the business of every Christian, not just those called to full-time service, it is central to Biblical discipleship. You want to be involved? One, lift up your eyes (John 4.3), and see the urgent needs there are around you, locally and overseas, everywhere. Two, look at the fields (John 4.35), examine the missionary needs that exist, improve your geography, get information from the missionary organisations that your Church supports, ask the Lord to give you a real burden for some aspect of mission work. Three, pray for workers to be sent out (Luke 10.2). Four, be faithful in witness yourself, we are called to be fruitful (John 15.16), not just in terms of the fruit of the Spirit (John 4.38; John 15.2), but in leading others to faith also. Five, the local scene is too narrow (Acts 1.8), the ends of the earth is our ultimate goal. Sixthly, in verse fourteen Jesus rebuked his disciples for their unbelief, if we really believe what he says in verses fifteen and sixteen about the lost being condemned, there will be a sense of urgency about our missionary endeavour. In the final analyses preaching and leading people to the Lord Jesus is not the end product, they must become disciples of Jesus themselves (Matthew 28.19-20). They must be built up in their faith, learn and grasp Christian truth, and learn to communicate it themselves to others. That is how the Church is built up, that is how it is carried on from generation to generation (2Timothy 2.2). But it begins in Jerusalem, on the home base, here, in your own country, your own locality wherever that might be.
(© James R Hamilton, written September 1996)