Our Lord Jesus came into
this world with a clear purpose, which was to save souls. To this end, He
proclaimed the gospel of salvation and died on the cross for our sins. His
mission was set out in the prophetic words of Isaiah which He read in the
temple at the beginning of His ministry:
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Lk 4:18–19;
cf. Isa 61:1–2)
Jesus’ Faithfulness to His Mission
During His time on earth,
the Lord Jesus conducted Himself with purpose and determination. He declared, “My
food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (Jn 4:34);
and “for this purpose I have been sent” (Lk 4:43b). Travelling far and wide, He
reached out to the masses, imploring them with the words: “Repent, for the
kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt 4:17).
Jesus manifested God’s
desire to save souls, admonishing the people to turn away from their evil ways
in order to live (Ezek 33:11). “For God so loved the world that He gave His
only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have
everlasting life” (Jn 3:16). Jesus emphasized that the purpose for His coming
was so that man could not only have life, but an abundant life through Him (Jn
In Romans 10:13–15, it is
written that in order for man to have life, they must call upon the Lord. But
how can they call on Him if they do not believe? And how can they believe if
they have not heard the truth? And how can they hear if no one preaches it?
Taking Up the Mission
The ministry of
reconciliation starts when one resolves to walk the beautiful path of an
evangelist to proclaim the gospel of salvation (2 Cor 5:18–20). When we do
this, we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, taking up the work that He began.
After Jesus completed His
work of salvation on earth, and before He ascended to heaven, He commissioned
His disciples to take up the ministry of the gospel, saying, “As the Father
sent Me, I also send you” (Jn 20:21b). Jesus breathed on them and promised that
they would receive the Holy Spirit and be empowered. His words were duly
fulfilled at Pentecost. From that day, the disciples committed themselves to
witnessing for Jesus, the risen Lord and Savior, in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria,
and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8).
Jesus prophesied that, in
the end days, the “gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a
witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Mt 24:14). This
calling to preach is for those who have received the grace of God and have been
chosen as disciples of Christ. As 2 Timothy 1:9 reminds us, we have been called
according to God’s purpose, which is to take up the mantle of the gospel
ministry. The question is, are we willing to “[g]o into all the world and
preach the gospel to every creature” (Mk 16:15)?
Stewards of the Gospel
After Apostle Paul received
the grace of God and the commission to propagate the gospel (Acts 9:15), he
fully embraced his calling. He wrote:
For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for
necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! For if
I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been
entrusted with a stewardship. (1 Cor 9:16–17)
Paul was able to humbly and
faithfully do his duty, seeing himself as an unprofitable servant (Lk 17:10).
If today, we do not fulfil the stewardship of the gospel, are we not disobeying
the Lord’s calling?
Paul wrote: “For if I do
this willingly, I have a reward” (1 Cor 9:17). If we share the glad tidings
with others with a willing heart, we will be rewarded. Indeed, when others
receive salvation, we will have a part in their joy and blessings, and this is
a reward in itself. A willing heart will also help us when we face trials,
temptations, and persecution—all of which will certainly come our way. We will
be able to work with joy, knowing that our labors are not in vain, and continue
steadfastly in the path of an evangelist.
Ministering with compassion
As we have freely received
the gospel from God, so we should freely share it with others, regardless of
their race, culture or background. We should learn from the compassion of the
Lord Jesus when He saw the multitudes, who “were weary and scattered, like
sheep having no shepherd” (Mt 9:36). Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest
truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the
harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Mt 9:37–38).
Today, when we see that the
people of the world are living without purpose, living for the wrong reasons
and dying without hope, how can we stand by and do nothing? Do we turn a blind
eye, like the priest and the Levite who walked past the wounded man in the
parable of the good Samaritan (Lk 10:25–37)? When will we respond to the Lord’s
calling to preach the gospel of salvation?
We should not be like the
wayward prophet Jonah, who refused to preach to the Ninevites because he judged
them to be unworthy of salvation. For this, God rebuked him and asked,
“[S]hould I not pity Nineveh…?” (Jon 4:11a). We must not judge the people of
the world as being unworthy of God’s salvation. Indeed, Jesus said, “I did not
come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Mt 9:13b). Humankind
is in desperate need of salvation and must be called to repentance.
As Christians, we have
freely received the gospel of salvation, which is the grace of God. We have
also received the commission to share this grace with others. Therefore, let us
take up the mission with the same commitment as Jesus and Paul, walking the
path of an evangelist to bring the mercy of God to the world.