Getting A Vision For The Mission
Getting A Vision For The Mission
On May 1st, 2003, President Bush announced in a speech for the USS Abraham Lincoln, that the mission was accomplished. This date marked the fall of the Iraqi government, and was thought to be the end of major fighting in Iraq. Later in that same year, the dictator Saddam Hussein was captured and taken into custody. This was in reality only another piece of the total mission being accomplished. Since then the US has sent a surge of troops into Iraq, and we have about 150,000 men and women fighting the war on terror there. I do not know when the troops will come home, nor do I know how many more lives will be lost. One thing I do know is that our nation has to get a vision for the mission, to pray for his leadership, and to get behind the effort our military is putting forth day and night.
This passage in Isaiah 49 speaks of a servant that is given a mission to complete a task ordered by God. We need to understand the Bible from the beginning in order to comprehend where we are at this point in Isaiah. We know that it was in the Garden of Eden that man fell into sin, and it was at that time, that God revealed to mankind His eternal plan of redemption.
Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. This is the first prophecy that speaks of a coming Messiah. But as you continue to read in the book of Genesis, you find that instead of getting brighter the picture gets darker and darker. At the time of the flood the Bible says that mind of man was in a constant state of wickedness.
Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Even after the flood, man in his arrogance began to build a tower that would reach into the heavens. So far we could say that the world had not gained a vision for God’s mission (Abel, Enoch, Noah). Then we come to a great promise in Genesis chapter 12.
Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Here we have the beginning of the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people, and over the process of time they are given what their purpose is.
Exodus 19:5-6 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
They were supposed to proclaim the glory of the LORD to the nations. In Deuteronomy chapter 4, we see that the way this was to be done was by the keeping of God’s commandments. Well, they failed miserably. Much of the OT is the account of Israel’s open rebellion to the Law of God, and please understand the lost paid a hefty price because the people did not get a vision of the mission. As we read our NT, we see that this servant that was raised up was Jesus Christ. Simeon made reference to Isa 49:6 as he held Jesus in his arms.
Luke 2:29-329 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
I would like to take a few minutes and show you some truths concerning this prophetic description of Christ’s mission, and how this passage applies to our lives today in a message I have called, “Getting a Vision for the Mission.”
1. The proclaiming. God says that He made mention of the servant’s name before He was born. Remember the angel came to Joseph and said to call him Jesus. Why? For He shall save the people from their sins. The name Jesus proclaimed to all the world that the mission of God was in full swing. The long awaited Messiah had been born in Bethlehem and His mission was made very clear in His name, and in His work.
Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
2. The preparing. We have a picture of a sharp sword coming out of the mouth. This is symbolic of the words in which Jesus would speak. From the time He was 12 years old an up, the people were amazed at the things they heard from Him.
Luke 2:47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
As Jesus ended the Sermon on the Mount, the people had this to say of His words.
Matthew 7:28-29 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
John 7:46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. Remember that the Jews had access to the OT writings concerning prophecy, the works of Moses, and the wisdom of the Proverbs, yet they had never heard anything like what Jesus had to say.
The words were sometimes sharp, and they had to be in order to refute the false teachers, and the wicked motives of the Pharisees. His words were also like an arrow with a polished shaft. Arrows hit what they are directed at. That polished shaft to me is a picture of the perfection of the Word, and the fact that the truth cannot be resisted.
Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
3. The prospering. I do not want to pass up the point that there was some resistance and disappointment in the mission of Jesus(vain, nought, and vain). From the very beginning:
John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. To the very end:
Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
But look at these words in our text—yet surely (4b). There is the promise of ultimate victory in those words. One man said that faith has to do with the final outcome. We are not promised glory along the way, but glory at the end of the way. In John chapter 12, some Greeks approached the Disciples and had this request: Sirs, we would see Jesus. As Jesus speaks to them He made this prophetic statement.
John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
We see the final outcome of the mission of Christ recorded in the Book of Revelation.
Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Just before Jesus died on the Cross, He said, “It is finished.” God’s redemptive plan was complete in the work of Christ, but the mission continues on. We pick up the story in Acts chapter1.
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Later in the Book of Acts we see a shift in the mission to include all people (light thing).
Acts 13:47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. Just as Paul and Silas had picked up and continued the mission of Christ, it is ours today. We are ambassadors for Christ. Do you have a vision for the mission?
We have been given a perfect message (Gospel).
A perfect Saviour
A perfect plan of redemption.
It is good news for a lost and dying world and we must get the message out.
1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
He has promised us success in the preaching of the Gospel.
Psalms 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.