As we reflect on missions in this month’s edition of Chronicles, I want to remind you what missionaries and mission is all about. As background, the word “mission” is derived from the Latin missionem, meaning “act of sending” or mittere, meaning “to send”. The Greek word we translate as “apostle” was translated as “missionary” in the Latin translation of the Bible, and basically means “sent one”. So in effect, all those men and women who have been sent to a mission field somewhere, are in fact “apostles”. We can take this even further, and know that we have all been sent in a sense, and thus all qualify as “apostles”. After all, Jesus is the chief apostle and we are his disciples! This is certainly a far cry from the hype with titles we see in the church today. The fancier a preacher becomes, the more likely he is to be called, “apostle”. Though in fact, the person who labours in the field, often unknown, mostly unrecognized, and probably under supported, is the actual biblical missionary or apostle.
Jesus’ commission to His disciples in Matthew 28:19 to “…go and make disciples of all nations…” means that whoever you are, and wherever you go, you represent the King, you go in His name, and as such are His “sent one” to wherever you find yourself. Whether we like it or not, God sends each one of us to go to our families, our friends, our social circles, our work places, our play places and anywhere else we find ourselves, with a message and a mission. God sent His Son to die in our place to reconcile us again to Himself. He did this because He longs for all mankind to know Him, to love Him, and to fellowship with Him. Our sin condition separated us from Him, but He sent the solution, the Missionary, Jesus Christ. Now he sends us who have come to know Him to do and to be likewise.
My prayer is that each one of us will respond as Isaiah did as we read in Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”