I am almost through with another 8 week term of classes. These two classes have been very interesting. One is an evangelism class and the other is a global missions class. I am glad that I have taken them both at the same time. It has impressed upon me not just the importance of the Great Commission but sometimes how we as Americans don’t understand the fullness of the Great Commission. In the Great Commission Jesus instructs His followers in Matthew 28:19 – 20 to go and
“Make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
Most folks who have been in church are familiar with this verse and typically relate it to evangelism and missions work. Also, it seems that most folks in the church think of evangelism and missions only as going to a foreign country or sending money to missionaries to share the gospel with some other people group in another country or in some area far away from our home. When one thinks in that way one does not understand the Great Commission in the fullness that our Lord intends. Jesus repeated His instruction to His followers about “taking a message going in His power” Acts 1:8. He said, “You shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
It is great to share the gospel with other countries and other areas. That should happen, those are the “Samaria’s and the ends of the earth” the Lord was talking about. It is a good thing to send the word to those places. For me, I guess Samaria is and the ends of the earth is handled the foreign missions involvement through my church. I support the Great Commission in those areas by giving and praying.
As Jesus talked to His followers, He wanted them to know the fullness of the Great Commission also involved their Jerusalem. But what is my “Jerusalem?” For me, I think it is the workplace, the neighborhood and the community where I live and serve. There is a community near my church that I am praying for the Lord to provide wisdom and insight on how to best reach for His glory.
I think that when Jesus instructed His followers to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, He was saying to spread the good news and minister in your backyard too. Don’t forget about those around you. Share your faith and let your light shine! What is your Jerusalem? Who is hurting in your backyard? Who do you walk by who needs to hear the good news of Jesus Christ? Prayerfully seek the Lord’s advice and help. He will show you your Jerusalem…and remember, He is with you, even to the end of the age.