Theme of the Week: Following Jesus
Bible Verse: “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.’” John 20:21-22
Scripture Reading: John 20:1-23
The followers of Jesus are on a mission commissioned by Jesus himself: “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” The mission of Jesus is the mission of the Father. And a major theme of the mission of the Father is the verb: bless.
From Genesis to Revelation, God’s purpose was to bless people so that they could be fruitful. The word “bless” in various forms occurs over 300 times in the Old Testament. In the very first chapter of the Bible, we see God’s plan for creation:
God blessed them and said to them,
“Be fruitful and increase in number;
fill the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:28)
When God pressed the reset button by destroying the earth with a flood, leaving only Noah and his family, he repeated the blessing that he had given Adam and Eve (Genesis 9:1). Eventually, God passed on his mission of blessing to a particular person, Abraham, with the promise “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:1-3).
All through the story of the descendants of Abraham, we see this theme of blessing. Moses blessed the people. Joshua blessed the people. The judges and then the kings were supposed to bless the people, although many of them failed.
Then Jesus arrived, sent from the Father. What was his mission? His mission was to bring to fulfillment God’s plan for all of creation. His mission was to be the ultimate blessing for the nations.
And Jesus began to do that very thing. He began to proclaim good news to the poor; he brought recovery of sight to the blind; he went about doing good (Luke 4:16-20). Wherever Jesus went blessing followed.
So, on that evening, after the resurrection of Jesus, when Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father has sent me, so send I you”, they knew exactly what he meant. They had watched Jesus demonstrate for them what it meant to bless others. And they realized the significance of what he had taught them: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
That is why Paul told the Christians in Ephesus: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).
The Father’s mission is to bless. That mission was also the mission of Jesus. And that is our mission too.
So, let’s make this practical. I like the acrostic that has been developed by pastor Dave Ferguson:
B – Begin with Prayer
L – Listen and Look
E – Eat Together
S – Serve
S – Story (tell our story)
I love that. It is so simple and doable. You can follow that outline to bless your family, your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, even strangers.
Followers of Jesus are on the mission of Jesus and, like Jesus, we bless others.
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