What's Your Mission?
Go and make disciples of all the nations
You know the scene … Ethan Hunt listening to some sort of recording device which begins with the words, “Your mission, should you choose to accept it …” followed by specific instructions to carry out the operation he’s been given. And as the smoke rises from the device, Hunt embarks without hesitation on his new assignment. From that moment on, he is resolute and focused on successfully completing his mission.
In like manner the church has been give a mission by none other than the Lord Jesus Himself in Matt 28:18
All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
A notable difference to the messages given to Ethan Hunt is that Jesus did not include the words “should you choose to accept it”. Rather He said, “Go and make disciples of all the nations.” That’s a command; that’s a commission; that’s a charge; that‘s a duty given. The last words that Jesus spoke right before He ascended into the clouds were
but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
This is a clear directive to carry on the mission He gave them on the shores of Galilee. And though these words in both Acts 1 and Matthew 28 were originally spoken to the disciples, they were not intended only for them.
- Jesus said, ‘Make disciples of all the nations…’ something that was not possible for the disciples to accomplish in their lifetimes.
- He said, ‘Lo, I am with you even to the end of the age’ but the disciples were all dead within the first century.
- He said, ‘You shall be My witnesses to the remotest part of the earth’ which again the disciples would not be able to achieve themselves.
This tells us that we too have the responsibility to carry out His mission. Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth…you are the light of the world’ (Matt 6:13-14). Paul said, “We are ambassadors for Christ” (2 Cor 5:20). Christ’s mission was not given solely to the disciples or church leaders or evangelists – it was given to all of us.
Do you see yourself on a mission? Are you on Jesus’ mission to make disciples, to be His witnesses, to be salt and light, to be His ambassadors? Do you remind yourself you are part of something bigger?
You see, the goal in life is not just to exist, be a model citizen, do good deeds, raise morally upright children, be a success, or help people. These are all good and important goals, but they are not the core of Christ’s mission. Jesus was very aware that He was on a mission and often spoke of it:
- ‘The Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost’ (Luke 19:10).
- ‘The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many’ (Mark 10:45).
- ‘I must preach the kingdom of God for I was sent for this purpose’ (Luke 4:43).
- ‘I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance (Lk 5:32).
And He has said to us, ‘Make disciples … be My witnesses’.
Are you on Christ’s mission? If so, how would that show itself in your job, in your home, in the community, in your marriage, in your friendships, in your family, as you drive, as you shop, as you interact with people?
Are you centrally focused like Ethan Hunt once he was given a mission? Or have you been distracted? You have been put on this planet and saved and sustained to worship Christ. And that worship is manifested in a consuming love for Him and a passion to carry out what He was sent to do which is to glorify God by making disciples.
And thankfully we are not alone. This is not something we do in our own strength. Take comfort in Jesus’ words, “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”