Summary: Discipleship in the church
Intro: When you think of buying friend chicken, what’s the first name you think of? Now maybe for you it’s Kroger Deli or Lee’s, but for me and most of America, we think of the name of Colonel Sanders and his Secret Recipe. One of the most closely guarded secrets in America is that special blend of 16 herbs and spices.
Think with me about Coca-Cola. A unique flavored soda that is imitated, but never matched. Now, I know there are some die-hard Pepsi drinkers, and that’s okay, but I’ll stick with a regular Coke Classic. A secret formula that the general public has no knowledge of.
Now, what would you think of someone who worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken who stumbled across the recipe in Colonel Sanders diary, and published it for the world to follow. There would be a lot of short-order cooks in restaurants across the country who would be grateful. Yet, we would think, what a failure, what a tragedy for the company. Someone would carelessly give out a secret recipe that had been carefully guarded for years.
So, what does all that have to do with our faith? We’ve been talking about times when the world sees failure, but God sees a success. Think with me a little bit about Jesus. Here is a man who is God come in the flesh. He is a man on a mission. He is a master planner. He is the one who has the answers to any difficult question. Whenever people came and tried to trick him to give a problem answer, he always gave just the answer that silenced them.
Jesus came to do the work of the Father. He had a plan. And his plan succeeded. Yet, one of the most exciting things we see in scripture is that Jesus didn’t keep his plan a secret; he revealed it to all who followed him. This was the genius of Jesus’ life and ministry. Where others might have tried to hold control and power for themselves, Jesus gave it away. Jesus’ plan for ministry was to give his ministry away.
I want us this morning to think about what this means for each one of us here today.
Shall We Pray.
I. Jesus had a mission in life
And it was not just a mission to die. If Jesus main purpose in life was to come and die, he could have been born in the manger and then executed. Or, maybe you say he had to come to the age where he knew what he was doing. But why wait until he was 33 years old? There was something else that characterized Jesus’ life. That’s what we want to look at today.
Don’t get me wrong. The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ is of extreme importance. It’s the reason we are here today. It’s why we sorrow not as others, who have no hope. And we’ll talk more about that next week. But this morning I want to look not at his death, but at his life.
Jesus had a job to do. Look with me in John 17. READ 17:1-5
In verse 4, Jesus said he had completed the work the Father had sent him to do. Now, he is not crucified yet! So, this work is not the work of redemption that he will accomplish by his death and resurrection. It is something else. Let’s read on to see what it might be. READ 17:6-21a
Jesus states for us here what his mission was. In verse 6 - it is to reveal the Father. In verse 8 it is to pass on the words from the Father. In verse 18, it is to send them out into the world. In verse 20 we see that others will believe because of their witness. Jesus was accomplishing the work of the Father, which was to start an ongoing process of training men to reach others, train others, and send them out to do the same thing all over again. Jesus had a great plan of multiplication.
Adam and Eve, in the garden of Eden were told to be fruitful and multiply. We also, spiritually, are told to be fruitful and multiply. We are to be reaching and training others.
Jesus, coming as God, knew the best way to reach the world. We might say, Oh, it’s too bad Jesus didn’t have email and a website, he could have saved a couple years of travel. If only Jesus had a TV station he could have broadcast his message to everyone.
No, Jesus came at just the time the Father had planned. And he modeled for us the best way to change the world. Through personally reaching people one at a time. Now let’s talk about the exciting part.