The Sent One Becomes the Sender

The Sent One Becomes the Sender

Mar 26, 2015

The Sent One Becomes the Sender

Pastor Steve Osborn

Boulder SDB Church, CO

There they were, a huddled, frightened mass cowering behind locked doors, just waiting to be discovered by the Jews and imagining what would become of them when they did. Were these really the same men Jesus had invested three years of His life training, shaping, and mentoring? Yet we can grant them a little grace when we acknowledge what they had been through. A week earlier they had been on top of the world, leading Jesus in a celebratory parade into Jerusalem where the throngs seemed to be finally coming to grips with who Jesus was. Three days earlier it had all come crashing down as they watched their mentor being arrested, put on trial, beaten, mocked, and murdered. Hours earlier, Peter and John had found His tomb empty while Mary Magdalene and Cleopas claimed they had seen Him alive.

Appearing among them in that room, Jesus not only banished their fears and restored their hopes, but He also uttered a phrase that would revolutionize the rest of their lives. He said, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” (John 20:21, ESV) Inherent in those words was a foundational principle of which Jesus had spoken dozens of times: Jesus had been sent by His Father into the world — sent to make God’s glory known (John 1:14); sent to bring a message of hope (Luke 4:18-19); sent to save the world (John 3:17). Also inherent in those words was the revelation that Jesus was not planning to stick around on earth. He would soon leave them again, but not all alone. Jesus would bestow upon them His Holy Spirit, who would equip and empower them to do what He was asking them to do. What exactly was He asking? He was sending them into the world to complete His mission. They would carry His message to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the whole earth (Acts 1:8). The message of the gospel would be entrusted into their hands.

A free flying white dove isolated on a black

Jesus had been preparing them for this very task. After all, they were God’s plan to reach the world — not an emergency backup plan. Christ’s followers were always Plan A and there was no Plan B. So Jesus taught them, showed them, and equipped them. He had sent them out previously (as recorded in Luke 9 and 10) to give them some experience in being sent — an essential part of the mentoring process. He had sent them with His own power and authority (Luke 9:1-2). He had sent them as His representatives (Luke 10:1). And now, He was sending them out with His presence (Matthew 28:20). They would invest, and sometimes sacrifice, their lives pursuing this mission. Being sent would become the core principle which would link the mission of the Church these disciples would establish to the very mission of God.

That link remains today. The message of the gospel was never intended solely for the benefit of ourselves as individuals. If we would be followers of Jesus Christ, we must share in His mission. His words echo down through the centuries—He is sending you in the same way that He was sent. Where is He sending you? How is He

sending you? To whom is He sending you? Finding the answers to these questions is the wonderful challenge of following Christ—learning the art of being sensitive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It will look different for each one of us. Your mission field may be on the other side of the world or right in your back yard. But the

purpose is set in stone and will never change. It is the same purpose for which our Lord was sent: to extend God’s glory and His Kingdom to the ends of the earth.

Clip to Evernote