The Epic Plan of God: Great Commission Sunday
Repetition. The more you repeat something, the greater chance you have of remembering for the long-term.
In the Old Testament, we see God using celebrations that were repeated year after year. Why do you think God put in place celebrations like the Passover?
In the ESV of the Old Testament there are 57 instances of the word “forget.” Most of them are concentrated in Deuteronomy and Psalms.
The name Deuteronomy means “second law.” This doesn’t mean that this is another law different from the first given in earlier books. It is a repetition, and in some places expands on, the law given in Exodus. Why would God have Moses write a repetition of the law?
Deuteronomy 4:9 “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children—
See also Deuteronomy 4:23 & 8:11
The message is clear, we forget. We lose track of things. We forget details. We can forget God’s faithfulness. And, so, we take time to remember the epic plan of God in which we live.
What does it mean to be epic?
Heroic, majestic, impressively great.
When you wake up and face the day, do you consider yourself being a part of something heroic?
When you come to church, do you think that you are coming to participate in something that is majestic?
We usually do not wake up picking up a sword, putting on armor, ready to fight dragons. Why not?
The world has been emptied.
How do we know the world has been emptied? Let’s look briefly at Jesus in relation to the Great Commission.
Did Jesus know that he would be giving the Great Commission to his disciples after his resurrection?
Does it make sense to say that Jesus prepared his disciples for the Great Commission?
Good, I agree. So how did Jesus prepare his disciples for the Great Commission?
Context: In Luke 10 Jesus sends out 72 of his disciples. This is shortly after he sent out the twelve closest disciples, which is recorded at the beginning of chapter 9.
Luke 9:1-2 And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.
Some make the claim that this power and authority was only for the twelve disciples. The only problem is, we see Jesus doing the same thing with the 72. He gave them power and authority.
Read Luke 10:1-9
What was the result?
Satan, demons, healing through a name, authority, these are all things that we are told do not exist or are not possible. Only molecules and matter exist. There is no intent and purpose to the variety of life on this planet. The world has been emptied.
Jesus equipped his followers for a world that was full, not only of the Father’s presence and blessing but also enemies and a battle between two unseen kingdoms that have real effects in the visible world.
If you grew up in church, were you equipped in the same way that Jesus equipped those disciples?
Remember: how we live is very different from what we say we believe.
This is why we have Great Commission Sundays to remind ourselves and wake us up that we are living in an epic story. If we are not awake and alert to this, then the enjoyment that we find in epic stories like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars or Avengers becomes an escape, rather than a pointer to the one true story that is real and true and not science fiction or fantasy.
To be awake in God’s story means that supporting efforts to make the gospel accessible to all nations is part of the battle that we are living in. For those of us who are practical-oriented, it is also a worthy investment with returns and dividends that last for eternity. You can’t beat that.
Reflection Questions for Faith Promise Card
Does the amount reflect fear and safety, or does it reflect the fatherhood of God to provide (Matthew 6:33)?
Does the amount reflect an empty world or God’s world?
Does the amount reflect the epic nature of the Great Commission and one who has given to us?