Missions Lesson 3
CALVARY Baptist CHURCH Instructor: J. VandenHurk
SCHOOL of the BIBLE Missions Lesson Three
Missions Quote of the Week –
“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
“God, I pray Thee, light these idle sticks of my life and may I burn for Thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine. I seek not a long life, but a full one, like You Lord Jesus.” – Jim Elliot (Honor student, All-star athlete, Martyred Missionary in Ecuador).
Lesson Three: “CHRIST – THE PERFECT MISSIONARY”
Goal – That our conduct, our service, our attitude, our direction for life be truly
“When the fulness of the time was come, God SENT forth His SON” (Galatians 4:4). Nearly 2000 years ago the Lord Jesus Christ came to earth on a very special mission. In this lesson we want to think about what His mission was.
The Perfect Communicator
The living God wants to COMMUNICATE HIMSELF to man.
In OT times God communicated with man in different ways: (See Hebrews 1:1)
- He appeared briefly to certain men (Gen. 17:1).
- He spoke to men in visions (Gen. 15:1; Ezekiel 1).
- He made Himself known through His mighty acts (Psalm 106:8-9).
- He spoke to men through His prophets (Jeremiah 2:1).
- He spoke to men in dreams (Gen. 37:5-8).
- Of course, He gave His recorded Word (2 Peter 1:21).
- Finally God chose the best possible way to communicate Himself to man:
“(GOD) hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son” (Hebrews 1:2). God Himself made a personal visit to this earth. God came in the Person of His Son so that He could make Himself known in a very special way.
The Lord Jesus referred to this in the parable which He taught in Matthew 21:33-42. The “servants” (v.35) represent the Old Testament prophets whom God sent. Jesus was reminding the people that God first sent the many prophets and finally GOD SENT HIS OWN SON, who was shamefully rejected and EVEN CRUCIFIED.
The Perfect Witness
A witness is one who points clearly to God and who strengthens and confirms the fact that God is THE ONLY GOD and the ONLY SAVIOUR! The Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest and most perfect witness that the world has ever known.
In Revelation 3:14 the Lord Jesus describes Himself as “the Amen, the faithful and true witness.” He perfectly pointed to the one and only true God.
In last week’s notes we learned that during the early part of his kingdom, Solomon was a very fine witness for God. In fact, people from far away lands would come to Jerusalem to see the wisdom and greatness of Solomon and the glory of his kingdom, and thus they also learned of the wisdom and greatness of Solomon’s God, the KING of the universe.
The Queen of Sheba was one such person who came.
Read carefully the words of Jesus in Matthew 12:42. Was there a GREATER WITNESS than Solomon on the earth?
Who was this GREATER PERSON?
Solomon and the Lord Jesus both pointed to the one true God. Which one pointed to God most clearly, Solomon or the Lord Jesus?
The Queen of Sheba looked at Solomon, the lesser witness, and she believed and gave praise to God. The Jews looked at the Lord Jesus, the GREATER WITNESS, and they rejected what they saw and heard. She received the lesser light and they rejected the
* Interesting to note, Christ speaks here of the Judgment. According to Paul in Acts 17:31, who will be the Judge?
Whom will be judged by Him, just Israel, or the whole world?
(Further reading: Psalm 2; John 5:22-29; Mt. 25:31-46; John 3:17-19)
The Perfect Light
God does not want men to be in the dark. The nation Israel was meant to be a lighthouse among the nations of the world. Israel was meant to be a nation that would point out to other nations the true way and the true God.
During the early days of Solomon, Israel, as God’s lighthouse, sent forth light to the ends of the earth, and the wisdom and greatness of the one true God was seen by people everywhere.
Sad to say, the light soon began to flicker and at times it practically went out. The nation fell into great sin and idolatry, and although there were godly individuals who shined for the Lord, the light that came from the nation as a whole was very dim even to the point of being darkness.
Finally the great and perfect Light came into the world:
- “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men… and the light shineth in darkness…” (John 1:4-5).
- “That was the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9).
- The Lord Jesus Himself said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12).
* Note: Christ wants His followers to be His shining witnesses in this dark and sinful world (Philippians 2:15; Matthew 5:16)
The Perfect Representation
Israel was to represent God in this world, but the nation of Israel failed to do this. Believers today are also responsible to represent the true and living God, but often we fail to picture Him and represent Him.
When the Lord Jesus Christ came to earth He perfectly represented God!
The only real accurate and clear representation of God would be the Lord Jesus Christ Himself! He perfectly pictured the Father and pointed to the Father!
How accurately did the Lord Jesus represent and picture the Father (John 14:9-11; John 12:44-45). To see Christ is to see WHOM?
Whenever people looked at Christ they saw a clear representation of God! God cannot be seen because He is INVISIBLE (John 1:18–”no man hath seen God at any time“). Jesus Christ came to make visible the invisible God. He is the “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15). Just as the image in a good and true mirror represents the person who is standing in front of the mirror, even more so, the Lord Jesus clearly represents the invisible God.
The Perfect Mission
Jesus Christ was sent on a very special mission. Let us learn a few things about His mission and how important it was:
1. Jesus Christ was sent a SAVING MISSION.
Why was Christ not sent into the world (John 3:17)?
Why was He sent (John 3:17)?
Did James and John understand the reason Christ was sent into the world (Lk. 9:51-56)?
The Lord Jesus did not come to judge men, but instead He came to rescue men. He came not to destroy the world but to save the world (John 12:47).
2. Jesus Christ was sent to do the Father’s will.
Why did Jesus come down from heaven (John 6:38)? For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
What is the will of God (John 6:40)?
3. Jesus Christ was sent with the Father’s message. What words did Jesus speak (John 3:34)?
Where did Jesus get His doctrine or teaching from (John 7:16)?
How did Jesus know what to say and what to speak (John 12:49-50)?
Everything He taught and said came from the Father. His message and His words perfectly represented exactly what the Father wanted Him to say.
The same should be true for us when we share with others about spiritual things. They do not need to hear all about our opinions or thoughts or ideas or beliefs. They need to hear exactly what God has said! Therefore, we need to know what God has said and we need to be able to clearly share what God has said. Are you able to clearly share with someone what God has said about the following?
salvation the Saviour eternal life the cross
faith (believing) forgiveness of sins
4. Jesus Christ was sent especially to the nation Israel.
Jesus came on a special mission to His own people, the nation Israel (John 1:11). Jesus once said, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). This was His primary mission to those who were then assigned the responsibility to represent Him, and who were accountable to Him.
Paul said that Jesus Christ was a minister of the Circumcision (Romans 15:8), and by this he meant that the Jesus was a minister to the Jewish people.
5. Jesus Christ had a mission to all.
The Lord Jesus had a heart of concern that reached far beyond the people of Israel. In John chapter 4 we learn how Jesus reached out to the Samaritans, a group of people that were hated by the Jews. Before His death and resurrection Jesus sent His disciples out only to the Jews (Matthew 10:5-7) for the purpose of announcing the kingdom which God had long before promised to the Jews. After the resurrection of Christ, did the Lord send forth the disciples only to the nation Israel or to ALL NATIONS? (Matthew 28:19 All men everywhere need to hear the message of salvation (compare Acts 17:30-31)!
You may not be a Jew, but has God’s message of salvation reached you?
6. Jesus Christ perfectly accomplished His mission.
Jesus said, “I have finished the work which thou gavest Me to do” (John 17:4 and compare John 19:30 (It is finished). The mission of our Saviour Jesus Christ was a perfect success! He failed in nothing. He accomplished everything. He perfectly completed His work. He perfectly carried out His Father’s will.
The Lord Jesus Christ is God’s perfect witness. The Lord Jesus Christ IN YOU is God’s perfect witness. Why is it so necessary to let the Lord Jesus live HIS LIFE IN AND
THROUGH YOU? (Romans 6:13; Galatians 2:20; Acts 1:8)
The Perfect Missionary
Jesus Christ shines forth as the ideal Missionary, the Apostle of God (Hebrews 3:1). An apostle must:
- – Be sent by someone else (He was sent by the Father in heaven.)
- – Be sent on a particular mission. (He was sent to be the Savior of the world.) 3 – Be sent with sufficient power to accomplish the mission. (He was sent with all the prerogatives of deity clothed in human flesh.)
MARK reveals Him as a Servant, ever active, accomplishing the will and purpose of God.
- Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
- The urgency of His ministry is seen in the constantly recurring words, “straitway,” “immediately,” and “and.”
- He is seen as a mighty Servant Herald, whose message “must first be published among all nations” (Mk. 13:10)
- In fact, He commands His servants to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mk 16:15)
MATTHEW enlarged on Mark’s view and revealed Christ as the King (“kingdom” used 60x), not only of Israel, but with universal authority, who issued a universal command:
- “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” (Mt. 28:18-19)
- He is the King for all nations, all races, for the entire world. He is King of society, angels, creations, the universe, both now and for all time, forever. He should be your King personally.
LUKE adds the view of Christ as the Son of Man, emphasizing the ideas of His perfect Priesthood and Saviourhood.
- He begins his genealogy with Adam, the ancestor of all, to whom the first promise of Messiah was given (Gen. 3:15).
- He ends his book with a command to tell about His death and resurrection
among all nations: “Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:46-47)
JOHN gives the largest account of Christ as the eternal Son of God, coequal and coeternal with the Father.
- He uses the word, “world” / “kosmos” 79 times, revealing clearly that Christ’s heart and purpose was universal.
The universality of Christ is clearly seen in following examples:
Announced by the angels, Luke 2:10-14
Announced by Simeon, Luke 2:25-32
Announced by John the Baptist, Luke 3:3-6; John 1:29
Revealed by His ministry to the Samaritan woman and the Samaritans, John 4.
Revealed by His healing of the Syrophenician woman’s demon-possessed daughter, Mt 15:21-28
Revealed by His healing of the Roman centurion of Caesarea’s servant, Mt. 8:5-13.
Revealed by His healing of the begging Roman nobleman of Capernaum’s son who was at the point of death, Jn. 4:43-54.
Revealed by His healing of the maniac of Gadara in Decapolis, from whom He cast out a legion of demons, Mark 5:1-20.
Revealed by His healing of the deaf man of Decapolis, Mk. 7:31-37.
Revealed by His cleansing of the Court of the Gentiles in the Temple, John 2:13-17 (Mark 11:17; Isaiah 56:7)
Revealed in His sermons:
- Mt. 5:13-16, “ye are the salt of the earth”; “ye are the light of the world,”
- Mt. 6:10, “Thy will be done in earth”
- Luke 13:28-29, “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God”
- Mark 14:9, “Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.”
Revealed in His parables:
- Luke 10, the Good Samaritan.
- Luke 14, the Great Feast (with a universal invitation)
- Luke 15, the Prodigal Son and the Elder Brother
- Matthew 13, the Wheat and Tares (field is the world)
- Matthew 21, the Husbandman’s two sons (Jews / Gentiles)
Revealed in statements concerning the Father:
- John 3:16, “For God so loved the WORLD…”
- John 3:17, “For God sent not his Son into the WORLD to condemn the WORLD; but that the WORLD through him might be saved.”
- John 3:19, “Light is come into the WORLD…”
Revealed in statements concerning the Son:
- John 1:9, “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the WORLD.”
- John 1:29,“…Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the WORLD.”
- John 4:42, He is “the Saviour of the WORLD.”
- John 6:33,54, “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the WORLD.”
- John 8:12; 9:5; 12:46, “I am the light of the WORLD.” – John 12:47 – He came to save the WORLD.
- John 17:21 – He prayed for the unity of believers, “that the WORLD may believe that thou hast sent me.”
Revealed in statements concerning the Holy Spirit:
- John 12:32, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL men unto me.”
- John 16:8, “And when he is come, he will reprove the WORLD of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:”
Revealed in His many uses of the phrases, “whosoever,” “any man,” “all men,” etc.
*All together, these verses help us to know beyond doubt that when Jesus Christ called Himself the “Son of Man” (84x), He meant the entire race. He is truly the “Saviour of the world.”