Focusing on the Mission
Christopher B. Harbin
Why are we here? What are we about? What is the point behind what we do as Christians and as a church? How do the mission and priorities of Christ Jesus change what and how we do what we do? How does it impact who we are?
Six weeks out from Jesus' resurrection, the disciples were doing a lot of soul-searching. They were working on making sense of Jesus' life, death, resurrection, and ministry among them. They were doing the difficult work of piecing their lives back together. They were looking toward how they needed to move ahead in preparation for the ministry, mission, and call set before them.
It was not an easy task. There were many issues through which they had to struggle. There were questions of leadership. There were issues of grief in Jesus' abrupt departure from their midst. There were concerns over how they could or should move forward. Who would call the shots? Who would define what should and should not occur? How would decisions be made? What issues should demand their greatest attention, energy, and investment? How would they refocus their lives individually and corporately in the absence of Jesus? What would they do with Jesus and his ministry in his absence?
Hanging over them was still the issue of Judas, who had died after betraying Jesus. Luke's account of Judas' death is different from that in the gospels, but however it had occurred, Judas' death had an impact of the lives of the others. They were no longer twelve. Were there others to step forward who had also consistently followed Jesus and could serve as witnesses to Jesus' teachings and actions, thus helping point the way for the rest?
There was plenty of turmoil in the ranks of believers after Jesus' death. There were questions over the very meaning and importance of Jesus' ministry. What should they do now? Jesus had not left them an organizational structure. Jesus had not left a written will ...
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