John 17.18 “Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world”.
This morning we looked at this verse which is a part of Jesus’ prayer before going to the cross. If you haven’t read it, you must. It demonstrates Jesus anguish, his obedience, his love for his friends and for us.
We looked at three things: who sends, who is sent and why the sending
Jesus said in this prayer that he has ‘revealed’ God. That is, he has made the Father known. Often we hear is said that the God of the New Testament and the Old are different. They are not. Jesus revealed the unseen God. How did that happen? By what we call the ‘incarnation’, that is that Jesus is God yet fully human – can you understand the impact of that?
We looked at a video of the damage caused by the Christchurch earthquake. It revealed a damaged and broken city. God looks upon his creation like that. What was good, very good, has become broken. The whole of creation groans – the natural world, and the human world, are broken, damaged and scarred because of sin (turning away from God).
But God acted – he did it by sending Jesus, and Jesus revealed the heart of God. He was merciful, gentle, kind, compassionate, patient, loving. He sacrificed himself for us – how by dying on the cross – by paying the price for sin, by being judged in our place – that’s the God Jesus revealed. A God who saw the damage and did something about it.
Then Jesus says, I’ve been sent by God to reveal his heart to you, and now I’m sending you to be me in the world.
We are a sent people. We are sent in that we go into the world, we are a part of the world, we are here to be merciful, gentle, kind, compassionate, patient, loving. God trusts us to lead people back to him. It’s a privilege. We are, as Julie reminded us in communion, commissioned by God to work for him. To be his followers.
Why? To show people the heart of God. That’s the heart of a God who longs to see the broken put right. As people couldn’t see God, God sent Jesus. As people cannot see Jesus, Jesus has sent us. By how we live, what we do, what we say we are to reveal Jesus. We are to make him known.
Why? Because the world is broken. We know it, the world knows it. All sorts of solutions are offered, but there is only one true solution, the one who said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life.’
If we care about our families, neighbours, friends and work colleagues. If we know the God who has sent us, we will act as a sent people.
Lets do it.