Lesson 7

Jesus: The Master of Missions

(Matthew 10 & 28, Mark 16)
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Introduction: What does Jesus teach us about sharing the gospel? What "missionary" tips does He share? One interesting tip is about light and mission. Another tip helps us understand better the "Kingdom of God." Let's dig into our study of the Bible and learn more!

  1. The Light


    1. Read Isaiah 7:14 and Isaiah 42:6-7. These are prophecies about coming of Jesus. What missionary activities of Jesus are predicted? (Notice the reference to light. He will be a "light" to the Gentiles. He will "open eyes" he will release those "who sit in darkness.")


      1. What does this suggest is the work of a missionary?


    2. Read Luke 2:8-11. What accompanied this lone angel? ("The glory of the Lord shone around them." Again, this is a reference to great light.)


    3. Read Luke 2:25-32. What does Simeon say is the mission of Jesus? (Jesus is a "light for revelation to the Gentiles." He is "glory to your people Israel.")


      1. Let's say you are looking at something and you are having a hard time seeing it. When you add more light, does it change what you are looking at? (No. It just allows you to see and understand better. You might not even know something is there if you do not have enough light.)


    4. As we consider our opportunities to share, what does the idea of bringing "light" to others suggest? (We do not need to bring new information as much as we need to help people make sense of the information already in front of them.)


  2. The Light and the Kingdom of Heaven


    1. Read Matthew 10:5-6. We previously read the prophecy that said Jesus was to be a light for the Gentiles. How to you explain this focus? (Have you noticed that you need to focus light to make it the brightest? The Foundation for which I work decided years ago to have a narrow focus. By concentrating our energy on a specific issue, we can make a change. Jesus is not excluding the Gentiles, instead He is focusing the mission of disciples at this particular moment.)


    2. Read Matthew 10:7. Jesus gives the disciples a very short message: "The kingdom of heaven is near." What does that mean?


    3. Read Matthew 3:1-3. What message did John the Baptist preach? (He preached the same message: "The kingdom of heaven is near.")


      1. What did John mean by this message? (That Jesus was coming!)


    4. Read Daniel 7:13-14. What did Daniel see in vision? (The same thing! That Jesus' kingdom was coming!)


    5. Jesus is present when He tells the disciples to preach that the kingdom of heaven is near. Why not say that it is here?


    6. Read Romans 14:17-18. What makes up the kingdom of heaven? ("Righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." When John and Jesus spoke of the "kingdom of heaven," they did not mean merely that Jesus was present, they meant that people would accept Him as Savior and Lord. They would follow Jesus and that would bring "righteousness, peace and joy.")


      1. Is the kingdom of heaven in you?


    7. Read Acts 1:6. How clear was the disciples' understanding of the kingdom of heaven? (They were preaching it, but they did not completely understand it. The kingdom of heaven is within us. It comes to you and me right now.)


      1. Since Jesus was leaving at that moment to return to heaven, how did the disciples get this straight in their minds? (Read Acts 1:4-5. It was the pouring out of the Holy Spirit in power that helped them get this right.)


    8. Let's continue with Jesus' missionary instructions to His disciples. Read Matthew 10:8. What have the disciples received? (This is part of the power of the kingdom of heaven - the Holy Spirit. If we have received the power to heal, we should share it. Between this text and the first two chapters of Acts, we see how critical the Holy Spirit is to our missionary activities.)


    9. Read Matthew 10:9-10. Every missionary outreach I've been involved in is free for the audience. Do you value something that is just given to you?


      1. Should we change this approach and impose a charge on those come to our missionary presentations? (Jesus did not charge people for listening to Him, but here He says to pass the cost to the listeners.)


    10. Read Matthew 10:11-13. When Jesus says "let your peace rest on [the person's home]" is this imparting part of the kingdom of heaven? (Yes!)


    11. Read Matthew 10:14-15. What does this suggest about repeated attempts to convert a person? (Christians in the workplace get into trouble because they "harass" (not the word I would use) fellow employees to become believers. This text tells us that we need not make repeated attempts to convert someone who is not interested.)


    12. Read Matthew 10:16. How do you understand this instruction? (Use your common sense! Use wisdom in an honest way in sharing the gospel.)


    13. Read Matthew 10:17-20. We talked about the initial focus of the gospel message. Who is now included in the intended audience? (Governors, kings and Gentiles.)


      1. If you were just going door to door, would you be able to witness to a king or governor? (Unlikely.)


        1. What makes this possible? (Difficult circumstances. The disciples will be charged with crimes.)


      2. When I argue in court, I carefully prepare what I'm going to say. When I preach a sermon, I practice it at least seven times before I present it in church. Why should I be less diligent in my own defense if I'm arrested? (We will be given God's words to say. God's words are superior to my words.)


        1. God is not a God of disorder. Why would He wait until the last minute to share His words with me? (I think the main point is that we should not worry.)


  3. Faith


    1. Read Matthew 28:16-17 and Mark 16:14. We will get to the "Great Commission" in verses that follow each of these texts. How do you explain this lack of faith in Jesus' resurrection?


      1. Critics of the Bible say that the stories of the resurrection are lies. If you were fabricating a story about Jesus being resurrected, would you insert comments like these? (No! You would say "everyone knew He had been resurrected.")


      2. Are you qualified to share the gospel?


    2. Read Mark 16:15-16. What is the "good news?" (The good news is that the Kingdom of Heaven has come, Jesus lived a perfect life, died on our behalf, and was resurrected to eternal life - thus giving us the assurance of eternal life if we believe and are baptized. This give us "righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." Romans 14:17-18.)


    3. Read Mark 16:17-18. Should we incorporate snake handling into our worship service? If you say, "No!" how do you explain this?


      1. Look carefully at each thing Jesus specifically mentions. If you were to head out on a missionary journey to a foreign land, what "tools" would you need? (You would need to communicate with the people, you would need to be protected against animal attacks or drinking or eating something that would make you sick. You would need to resist demons. Performing miracles brings an audience to your message. These are not "entertainment," these are missionary tools.)


    4. Read Matthew 28:18-20. What assignment and what promise does Jesus give us? (To make disciples, to baptize, and to teach them about God's will. God promises to be with us (through His Holy Spirit)to the end.)


    5. Friend, will you accept the assignment Jesus has given to you? Will you follow His tips and use His tools to share with others the Kingdom of Heaven is near?


  4. Next week: Cross-Cultural Missions.

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