Summary: This sermon examines the phrase "as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." John 20:21

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Have you ever struggled with a task that stretched your limits? Jesus gave Christians a task that will stretch your faith. However, the task is also inspiring. This task is outlined in John 20:19-22. “Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:19-22 NKJV) Focus on the words, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” You and I have been given the same task as Jesus Christ. We have been sent to represent God in this world. We have been selected to be God’s spokesman in this world. We sometimes use the phrase “big shoes to fill.” Our task gives us “big shoes to fill.” Let’s look at the instruction and dissect this text.

1. This text teaches us the calling of a disciple. Our calling is to be God’s eyes, arms, and legs in this world. We are to do as Jesus did. That can be a challenging task.

Joke: Did you hear about the college student who was taking a course in ornithology, which is a study of birds? This class had the reputation of being the most difficult class in the whole curriculum. The professor was extremely difficult. Everybody feared him. It was a required course and every student had to take it. As the course began, the professor announced there would be a test in 40 days and it would compose a large portion of the grade. So you had to do well on that test. Everybody studied. They took careful notes. They made sure they understood everything the professor said. On the 40th day the students filed into the lecture hall feeling nervous about the test that was to follow. On the stage was a table with 5 cages on it. Each cage had a cover and beneath the cover they could see the feet and spindly legs of a bird. At the sound of the bell, the professor addressed the students, “Here’s the test. You can see there are 5 birds and they’re all covered except for their feet and legs. You must tell me the identity of each of those 5 birds by looking only at their feet and legs.” Everyone had studied long and hard, but no one had anticipated such a test. They were all sweating, trying to remember anything that could help them pass the test. Finally, one student stood up and said, “This is ridiculous. This is the craziest test I have every seen, and you’re the worst professor in this whole school.” He said, “I quit. I‘m out of here. I’m not going to take this test.” He turned and walked toward the door. “Just a minute young man.” said the professor. “Who are you? I demand your name right now.” The young man stopped, took a long look at the professor, and then pulled up both of his pants legs and said, “You tell me." The student was frustrated by what seemed to be an impossible task.

(Contributed to Sermon Central by MELVIN NEWLAND)

What is the call of a disciple?

A. A disciple is someone who has chosen to follow Jesus Christ and submit to His teachings. When Jesus called His first disciples he instructed them to “follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”

B. A disciple is someone who is faithful. Disciples are not perfect. Disciples are not super saints. I like the bumper sticker that says “Christians are not perfect, just forgiven.”

C. A disciple is called to represent God in our world. Jesus said “as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” That is a humbling and challenging thought. All believers are called to represent God. Our church motto states that we are “spreading God’s love to His people through His people.”

Kristen Campbell, the religion editor for the Press Register, wrote about a lady named Ronda Rich in Saturday’s paper. Ronda said she believes everyone has a calling. But, she said: "God doesn’t’ call all of us to go to Kenya. He calls some of us to go to Wal-Mart."”

Kristen said figuring out which turn to take can seem tricky.

"Whatever we’re drawn toward, whatever we love to do, there is a very good chance that it is our calling,” Rich said. “Our God is too gracious to ever call us to do something that we wouldn’t love doing."”

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