THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2013
SENT BY GOD
April 7, 2013
After his death and resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples
and said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent
me, so I send you.” (Jn 20:21). This is the commission
given to the disciples. This is the same commission given
to us. This is the work of evangelization.
What did the Father send Jesus
to do? Jesus was sent to win salvation for all people, to
restore their relationship with the Father, and to open up
entry into heaven. The work of evangelization proclaims that
salvation to all, so that when they accept Jesus as Savior
and Lord, they will be saved and can enter into heaven to
be with the Father forever.
The work of salvation is done,
in that no one can add to the saving act of Jesus. However,
this good news needs to be heard, so that those who hear will
believe and accept Jesus. To be heard, there needs to be those
who will proclaim. Those who will proclaim need to be sent.
Thus, before Jesus ascended into heaven, as the Father had
sent him, so too did he send his disciples.
Evangelizers do the very work
of God! Evangelizers continue the process by which people
experience the salvation won by Jesus on the cross! When the
apostles did proclaim the gospel, “more than ever, believers
in the Lord, great numbers of men and women, were added to
them.” (Acts 5:14).
God used Jesus to directly
touch the lives of some thousands during his public ministry.
God then used the disciples to touch the lives of even more
during their public ministry. Through the centuries, God has
used Christ’s disciples to touch millions, such that
today one-third of the population of the world is Christian.
The work goes on.
When Jesus commissioned the apostles, “he breathed on
them and said to them, ‘Receive the holy Spirit.’”
(Jn 20:22). With the Holy Spirit, “many signs and wonders
were done among the people at the hands of the apostles.”
(Acts 5:12a). People were healed even just by the shadow of
Peter falling on them (Acts 5:15). All the sick and disturbed
by unclean spirits brought to them were cured (Acts 5:16).
Those who are commissioned to do God’s work are also
Jesus saves, Jesus empowers
those he commissions, and those he commissions work wonders.
But today there are still those who doubt, even among those
who do the work of evangelization. They have been commissioned,
they have been empowered, but they lack the faith to work
signs and wonders. To them Jesus says, “do not be unbelieving,
but believe.” (Jn 20:27c). When we BE.LI.EV.E, then
our faith will work wonders.
We did not directly witness
Jesus’ resurrection. But in faith we hold on to that
reality. And so we are blessed. “Blessed are those who
have not seen and have believed.” (Jn 20:29b). In fact
we are doubly blessed. For we are instruments by which others
who have not seen will likewise believe.
So we continue with our work
of evangelization. With even greater focus, passion and commitment.
We do this work so “that (others) may come to believe
that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through
this belief (they) may have life in his name.” (Jn 20:31).