Friday, July 6, 2012

What Is a Missionary, Part 1.

Jesus,The Missiona.......Evangelist

This blog has been in the works for a while. We would have an idea, write it down, file it away, wait a while, have an idea, write it down…. you get the idea.  Finally, we said ENOUGH-we need to post it (well, at least that is what Tasha said). We have about 10 more pages of notes, so this will end up being a multi-part post. Here is the first of what will be many rabbit trails. For those of you with A.D.D., you may be able to follow it better than others (Squirrel!!).
Typically at every presentation we do for MAF, we hear comments about great our “faith, courage, devotion (and sometimes insanity)” is as missionaries. Most of the time, these comments makes us squirm where we stand (with the exception of the insanity comment… that one pegs us pretty well). We do understand the Ministry Partnership process does require a certain amount of discussion about ourselves and what we are going to do once we get to the DRC, but this series will be an attempt to re-direct the warm fuzzies to where they need to go and really define what a missionary is or isn’t.
Did you know that in the Greek manuscripts, and at least the NIV, KJV, ESV, and NAS bibles (I have yet to check the billion other translations), the word missionary is never used? Not once?  The closest we see is in 2nd Timothy 4:5 and Acts 21:8 referring to Timothy and Philip as Evangelists. Strong’s Concordance identifies an evangelist as one who brings good tidings. This sounds vaguely familiar to Jesus’ first speech to His Jewish brethren at the beginning of His ministry:
Jesus’ reading from Isaiah 61 said “the Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” Luke 4:18-19  
Certainly Christ came to earth, lived, died and was raised to save us from our sins and ourselves, but His ministry was so much more than just that (although it is awfully hard to say “JUST” to such a powerful statement). He was talking about ultimate reconciliation, bringing a spiritual and physical renewal of life. But look even closer at the beginning.  Twice, Jesus mentioned more specifically why He was there: because “HE has anointed me” and “HE has sent me”.
While Jesus was praying before he was arrested John’s records more or less sum up the entire ministry of Jesus, profound words that are very easy to look over.
17:3…. “This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” 

The first part is slightly unrelated to Jesus as a missionary but is still very cool. Heaven is not our goal of salvation, knowing the only true God is! Jesus also identified who sent Him.”

17:4 “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do”

This, I believe, is the basis for what we do as Christians who are sent (everyone is in some way sent but this is a later post). What can be better than bringing Glory and Honor to the One who through His loving kindness, redeems and re-establishes us in a Holy relationship with Him! “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to YOUR name give glory, because of your loving kindness, because of your truth. Psalm 115:1”

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