18th May, 2008

Jesus is the Way and He was Missional

I was asked to be a part of a “synchroblog” in which all of the bloggers would answer the question, “Why I am missional.” At the end of this post I will add links to others who are participating. For me, the answer is simple. Jesus is the Way and He was missional. If I am to be a Jesus follower I must be missional, too.

Missional, for me, simply means to be on a mission. When one is on a mission one doesn’t take breaks from it. One is on point, on mission, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. One eats, sleeps, breathes, and does everything to complete their mission. Another way to think of it is this: Being “Missional” is simply being “related to or connected to God’s mission or purpose.” And given that “[m]any are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails,” Proverbs 19:21, it seems natural to desire to be missional. Moreover, since Christians proclaim that they are followers of the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, we absolutely must be on the same Mission as He was.

Jesus told us: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6. And Paul, writing about Jesus, told us this:

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Philippians 2:5-8.

I just can’t get over that. Jesus left the glories of Heaven, His rightful place, to come to the junkyard we’ve made of this world. He didn’t come in as He could have, a Righteous Judge to condemn us all for our evil ways. Instead, he forsook his godly nature, put on human skin, became a baby, totally dependent on a mother and a father, and then lived His entire life as a gift to any who would receive it. He even went to the cruelest of deaths in order to take God’s justice on Himself and proclaim God’s mercy to all. There’s been no cross-cultural missionary who has crossed a greater cultural gap than Jesus did. He broke nearly all cultural barriers, talking with a woman alone, even one who was a whore and a Samaritan, selecting followers who weren’t from the religious elite, eating with those considered the worst of the worst – the tax collectors and other “sinners,” and allowed women to travel with him and support him. He gave women a voice in His ministry when women in Jewish culture at that time were given no more place than a fundamentalist Muslim woman is given today.

I want to live like Jesus did. As Paul says, “[my] attitude should be that same as that of Christ Jesus.” I want to give my life away. I want to be willing to cross every cultural barrier and be someone who is a friend to the ones society casts out. I must be willing to represent Jesus in places where Jesus isn’t normally talked about. That means I must be willing to be an ambassador for Christ in places other than just in what we call church buildings – I should be willing to go into the homes of people who don’t know Jesus, bars, universities, restaurants, and the like, always ready to give a reason for the hope, joy, and love I have.

So many people love to quote Romans 8:28, about how God works things together for our good, and this is a wonderful truth, but it is for one reason, as we are told in verse 29 – to be conformed into the image of Jesus! Jesus is our Way, and He was and is Missional; so must we be.

Jonathan Brink – Why I am missional
Jeromy Johnson – Why I am missional: Three Reasons
Ben Wheatley – WWSBD – What Would Shepherd Book Do
Bryan Riley – Jesus is the way and he was missional
Alan Knox – Demonstrating the heart of God
Tim Jones – Participation or Observation?
Blake Huggins – Missional Synchroblog: Why am I missional?

Responses

This was a great post, I am 100% with you here! Jesus was the original missionary. He came into this world to be with the lowest of the low… and we are called to do the same. It is the the healthy who need a doctor, it is the sick.

Thank you.

nick’s last blog post..Prayer vs. Missional

Thanks, Nick. I see where you are preparing a sermon and trying to decide on missionality versus prayer. Both are fundamental – listen to God’s direction because He knows exactly what words He is preparing the congregation to hear!

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