Whoever, Wherever, Whenever

Our theme this week is “reaching – sharing our hope in Christ with others.”

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)

As Baptists, we are well acquainted with this verse that we have come to know as “The Great Commission.” It is this verse that has been the impetus for a worldwide mission effort. For lay people, we tend to associate this verse with short-term mission work, most often in some other part of the world.

The command to “go and make disciples of all nations” was never meant to be limited to a part-time activity in some other part of the world. The instruction here is to make disciples as we walk with Him daily. We must also remind ourselves that “all nations” includes going across the street, not just going around the world.

There are folks who are strangers to us who need someone to tell them the Good News about Jesus. Traveling on a train from Toyota city to Nagoya, Japan, I observed a multitude of people hurrying about their day and realized that many of them had never heard the Gospel. And it hit me: These people need a Savior!

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

Jesus, speaking to Jewish converts, tells them they will be His witnesses in Samaria. You remember it was a scandal that Jesus would even go to Samaria, let alone talk to a Samaritan woman. You have to imagine for the Jews the fact she was a Samaritan was at least as scandalous as her lifestyle. Jesus says, when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be empowered to witness to these people that you really don’t like.

This reminds me of Jonah, who didn’t want to go to Nineveh because he didn’t want God to be God and be gracious and merciful to those people (Jonah 4:2). It just might be, that God will call you to share His grace with people you really don’t like. A couple of questions to ponder: Whose Jonah are you? Where is your Samaria?

A final question as it relates to sharing our hope: If not me, who? If not here, where? If not now, when?

By Jesse Smith

Jesse and his wife, Melanie, reside in Lexington, along with their son, Zak.

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