Hue –man-i-ty Part 1
Pastor Stephen Hayes
Main Idea – Before ascending back to Heaven, Jesus gave his followers The Great Commission. The Great Commission instructs believers to represent God to all types of people, and to all groups of people.
- Jesus came to abolish the artificial divisions we place among ourselves: divisions according to race, gender, socio economic level, education, job status, etc.
- For example, if we were to limit Jesus to his ethnicity – Jewish – we would entirely miss what He spiritually represented.
- For whatever reasons, in the natural world we tend to look for opportunities to segregate ourselves – to disagree with each other.
- But, in Christ, we have the reason to be united.
- Diversity can turn into division without God’s Word guiding us.
- Each of us must be reconciled to everyone else whom God created in order to be reconciled to Him.
- Our mindset should be on eternal things, rather than physical things the eye identifies.
- 2 Corinthians 5: 16-18 – Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,
The Great Commission
- Immediately before He ascended back to Heaven, Jesus gave final instructions to His followers. These instructions are known at The Great Commission. The Gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) each recorded portions of that conversation.
- Matthew 28: 18-20 – And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “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 of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
- Mark 16: 15-18 – And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name will they cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
- The word gospel means “good news.”
- Matthew’s recording of The Great Commission uses the word “nations.” The original Greek word is “ethnos.”
- Ethnos refers to groups according to races, colors, or creeds. Ethnos – “a multitude of individuals of the same tribe, nation, or people group living together.”
- We do not need to travel to another part of the country, or the world, to engage different ethnos. People from these diverse groups are all around us in our jobs, neighborhoods, school systems, stores, and government institutions.
- Mark’s recording of The Great Commission uses the word “world.” The original Greek word is “kosmos.”
- Kosmos refers to where we organize ourselves into institutional groups. Kosmos – “an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government”
- Most of us move in and out of numerous groups of kosmos in the events of our daily and weekly lives.
- Mark also uses the word “preach” in his recording of The Great Commission. This is misunderstood by many English-speaking people.
- The original Greek word is “kerysso.” A Kerysso was a representative of the king, who proclaimed the king’s messages to the public. Kerysso – “to officiate, to openly proclaim, as a herald (an official messenger representing a monarch.)”
- The kerysso was the primary contact between the king and the public.
- Not only was the kerysso to speak the king’s words exactly, but also to demonstrate - through personal actions and countenance - the king’s heart and emotions about the topic.
- In the same way, through The Great Commission, Jesus told us to correctly represent Him to the people we engage in life. We are to reflect Jesus in what we say and how we act. It is our responsibility to make sure we are accurately communicating His heart and the content of His message. Matthew 18:6 – “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
- You are a representative of Jesus. Dress, speak, and conduct yourself in a way that brings honor to Jesus.
- Everything said should be true, but not necessarily everything true should be said.
- Just because we know something to be true, does not mean that we should share it. In order to share something, we first need to receive authority or permission.
- The Holy Spirit will help you navigate this process.
- Speak boldly the things of which you have authority or permission.
- Spend time with the King. Personal, private, one-on-one time with God is essential to properly represent Him.
- Your private life is just as important as your public life. Do in private what you are claiming in public.
- Only say what He has said. Don’t add to, or take away from, what you have received. Galatians 1:9 – As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
Accept The Great Commission
- Each believer should thankfully accept the responsibility to act on The Great Commission.
- It is a wonderful opportunity to spend private time with God, and then to accurately reflect Jesus as we interact with the world around us.
Reflective Questions for Hue – man – i - ty
- The Great Commission instructs us to move across artificial boundaries that society places among people. Why, do you suppose, Jesus had to instruct us to specifically move across boundaries of ethnos and kosmos?
- What new thing did you learn about “preaching” from the original Greek definition of kerysso? How does the English definition of “preach” limit Jesus’ original instruction?
- What are some things you are currently doing that make you a good representative of Jesus? Is there anything you might improve to better reflect His heart and His Word?