Not With Wisdom And Eloquence
We all know that as Christians, our mission in life - otherwise known as ‘The Great Commission’ - is to share the good news of Jesus with those who do not know Him and make disciples.
In fact, part of the vision at HT is the “Transformation of lives and communities through the mobilisation and multiplication of disciples.”
Summed up in one tiny sentence there is a mammoth task. How crazy is it that it is actually my responsibility to multiply the amount of disciples there are in this world? Sometimes I find myself shying away from this mammoth truth - it feels too big, I feel too inadequate, it scares me, I don’t have the skills or the gifting, it’s uncomfortable…anyone else?
And yet, Matthew 28:16-20:
“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 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, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Jesus is pretty clear on that one.
We normally translate this as ‘evangelism’ in this day and age, with the definition being of ‘evangelism’ being: “the winning or revival of personal commitments to Christ”.
The weight of the task that Jesus has given to us can seem heavy, especially at times like this. Speaking about Jesus with those who don’t know him doesn’t come naturally to me, especially in the traditional forms that evangelism can take, and sometimes I can find myself wanting to leave the ‘evangelism stuff’ to the professionals…but recently, I’ve found myself realising that this can’t be the case.
Jesus was very clear that we should ALL be going and making disciples of all nations. ALL of us.
I got that message loud and clear, but that doesn’t change the thousand reasons why my head tells me ‘I can’t’…
But, the Bible also offers us some encouragement in this - the biggest of tasks - words that can remove some of the heaviness that we may feel surrounding The Great Commission and hopefully inspire us into action - whatever that may look like in our own lives.
Jesus is very clear about what we should be doing in Matthew 28, and yet, in His all knowing way, He offers some comfort as well - “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
We are never on our own, He is always with us.
Another verse that has been comforting me recently in regards to this is 1 Corinthians 1:17, in which Paul writes: “For Christ did not send me to baptise, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”
Well, thank goodness for that. Paul says that we don’t have to know everything or even speak well to speak to others about Jesus!
And finally, Paul’s writing in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5: “And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”
Even the mighty Paul experienced ‘fear and trembling’. That’s encouraging. But the main thing that stood out to me in this verse was that Paul didn’t speak to others through his own power, but through the power of the Holy Spirit. And that same Spirit resides in each one of us today.
In summary, as Christians we are tasked with The Great Commission. And no matter how we feel about that, it still doesn’t change the task before us - but the Bible can offer us encouragement, wisdom and inspiration no matter how we’re feeling.
And so, my practical encouragement to you today is to reflect on your thoughts on The Great Commission and how much of a part of your life it is. How do you feel about talking to others about Jesus? How often do you make it an intentional practice? What’s one thing you can do this week to bring Jesus into a conversation He wouldn’t normally feature in?