For those who like thriller tv shows, “The Designated Survivor” is about the U.S. president’s replacement when the president dies as a result of a terrorist attack in a State of the Union presentation (although this can apply to any country). This substitute has a position in the legislature that he didn’t really look for nor is it of great importance. In the attack, all of the legislative branch die and in a matter of minutes, this character is named by the secret service, president of the United States. With all the chaos that is occurring as a result of the attack, it is up to him to make extremely difficult decisions for the country that will impact the constituents and the rest of the world.
In Matthew chapter 10 we see that Jesus has already chosen his 12 disciples (after they have seen many signs of his authority and power.) They have heard his preaching in the synagogues of the towns and cities (Matthew 9: 35-38).
We have been watching, listening since we accepted Christ in our heart (we are like that designated survivor). We have marveled at the changes in our way of thinking or reacting, at our financial miracles, at the increase of our spiritual sensitivity, we have seen husbands change harmful habits, we have seen our children released from strongholds of drug or gangs.
Then Jesus (like that agent of the secret service) summons them to a meeting, after making an exhaustive evaluation of the spiritual situation of the people in cities and towns, both of the connoisseurs of the word of God and the hearers. And he gave them these instructions (paraphrasing):
This is the mission: to evangelize since “the kingdom of the heaven has come near” because Jesus was among them, (He is also in us and among us); what better way than with our testimony. In doing so, go home first, to those who do not know about Him (lost sheep) and then go to unbelievers and to those who are contaminated with other beliefs without imposing or pushing, because our job is to sow, and let God do the rest. As believers, we are called to “heal the sick, to raise the dead, to cast out demons”; give grace, mercy, forgiveness because we have received grace and forgiveness. Jesus has given us authority! As kingdom workers, we’ll receive a reward for the work assigned, but it is important to do it with patience, wisdom and humility. When we are invited to share our testimony, find out if it is worthy of the Lord, go to that house and there your peace will come to those in the house. If they refuse to receive you or hear your words, leave them.
There are consequences due to the mission: You may be attacked like wolves to sheep, but Jesus says for us to be wise, stealthy and simple, humble. When you are accused in front of people in positions of authority (husband, boss at work, father, relative, stranger) is not to humiliate you, it is for testimony to them and to those who don’t know Jesus. When you are persecuted for exposing the truth of Jesus in one place, flee to another because we will not finish going to all the cities before Jesus returns. Do not worry about the words you are going to say at that moment because it is not you who will speak but “the Spirit of your Father speaking through you”.
However, Jesus demands some important and vital things. We are NOT worthy of Him: (1) if you love your parents MORE and your children MORE, (2) if you do not take your cross and follow Jesus, (3) if you would rather save your life, your soul is in danger, if you lose your life because of Christ, you will have eternal life. We must challenge our thoughts and listen and act on what God tells us.
The mission and its consequences seem so difficult, but the best is yet to come! Although there is an enemy (you will be surprised who are the enemy), we have an All-powerful defender and a great reward waits for us (again you’ll be surprised).
Pray, rejoice and prepare for Part 2, because this gets better!