His Mission Should be Our Mission

by Joanna Pierce on September 07, 2017

Introduction

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ (I Corinthians 11:1, KJV).

This week earmarks the start of a new series: The Imitation of Christ. The world is full of imitators—at the introduction of a successful invention or technology, immediately many people try to copy it. They share in the success of the invention if the original inventor didn’t patent it. Unlike the world, Jesus didn’t put a patent on being like Him.

Those who followed Christ in the book of Acts were known as Christians (Acts 11:26). This was a derogatory term, which Paul acknowledges, but goes on to speak the following regardless of what the world thought: Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ (I Corinthians 11:1). Paul wanted the church to imitate him as he imitated Christ. The goal of a Christian was to replicate Jesus (and not the world) until we become completely like Him (Ephesians 4:13).

His Mission Should be Our Mission

His Mission

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10, KJV).

Many of us don’t have a true understanding of what it means to be lost. God has a purpose and plan for every individual, which was in the mind of God long before the foundation of the world. When we don’t live out our spiritual purpose (function), we’re lost in God’s eyes. When God speaks of those who are lost, they are lost to Him.

Jesus aims to teach the church about caring for the lost in the story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1–10). Zacchaeus was a tax collector, and like his kind, took advantage of those from whom he collected a tax—charging extra and pocketing the rest. But, it was in the object-lesson of Zacchaeus when Jesus chose to reveal His mission for being on earth: to seek and save that which was lost.

A Powerful Mission

Jesus’ mission was so great we’re still talking about it some 2,000 years later. There were many great men and women in our history who had great and successful missions. But, years later, there aren’t too many people still trying to mimic him/her and/or carry out their mission. However, there are scores of people all across the globe still trying to carry out Jesus’ mission.

Jesus’ mission was so powerful because it was a transformational mission. It wasn’t just a change in an agenda, it transformed people’s lives. His mission is the only thing that transforms people into something else. If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creature (II Corinthians 5:17). Our new birth (life) experience comes through repentance, baptism in Jesus name, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost (Romans 6:4). All of these aspects literally change us into a new creature: someone who can have a relationship with God.

Fulfilling His Mission

The name Zacchaeus means righteous one. When Zacchaeus encountered Jesus, he was anything but righteous. However, Jesus believed his destiny could be fulfilled that day. This is why He walked into a specific place to save a soul. We need to have the same attitude when we look at the lost world today. Our purpose wasn’t just to be saved and transformed in Him, but to be used by Him to manifest His glory to the world. We must be a witness to him locally, regionally, nationally, and globally (Acts 1:8). He chose us long before the world began to fulfill His mission (Ephesians 1:4), and He’s given us His power to do it (Ephesians 1:13–14).

Seeing His Mission

In order to fulfill His mission, we must understand it. Jesus was teaching us, through His love of Zacchaeus, to value the one. There is more joy in Heaven over one sinner that repents than over 99 people who don’t need to repent (Luke 15:4–7). The mission of Christ is to take the time, and recognize the necessity of going after the one. We must pray God helps to change our mind and our vision to mimic His actions, plans, and priorities in this life. Our heart has to become His heart.

How to Value One Soul

Learn to Love

Love isn’t felt, it’s learned—it’s a decision we make. If we are to fulfill Jesus’ mission, we need to learn to love the lost. To practice love, we need to place ourselves in positions for God to teach us how to love the lost. We love through emulating compassion. We know our God is full of compassion (Psalms 78:38; 86:15; 112:4; 145:8), but are we? Do we have room in our lives to be compassionate toward others? Compassion needs to overtake our thoughts, actions, and priorities.

Today, we are rapidly slipping into a mindset where we are losing our conscious over souls who are lost. God is holding back His return so that no one should perish; His heart is still reaching (II Peter 3:9). God knows the end for people is an eternity away from Him in torment (II Thessalonians 1:7–9). We need to see the end for lost souls and have compassion on them. Our compassion will make a difference in their lives and in their eternal resting place (Jude 1:22–23)! We need to hate sin so badly and understand its effect on the human race. Sin is what separates us from God, and we need to actively help people get away from it. One way Jesus did this is by through love and compassion, and we need to do the same.

Seek Them Out

We need to look to ways to find and reach people—we must pay attention! Many of us are too focused on our own agendas and timetables that we disregard and/or don’t see those who are drowning in sin. Jesus was on His way to Jericho with His disciples when he came to the place where Zacchaeus was (Luke 19:5). The disciples didn’t initially understand the disruption of their journey, but Jesus had a plan. Jesus saw an opportunity and felt an obligation to reach Zacchaeus and save him from his sin. The stop wasn’t a distraction to Jesus. He tried to save a soul. We need to imitate Jesus and love people where they’re at and find them where they’re at in life. Helping a lost soul shouldn’t be a distraction to us, but an obligation as well.

Conclusion

We have no idea how many people will be impacted when we imitate Jesus and understand the value of reaching just one soul. After Zacchaeus’ encounter with Jesus, he promised to repay anyone he had cheated four times over (Luke 19:8–10). We don’t know the details of his next steps, but we can imagine the hundreds and possibly thousands of people he had cheated to whom he reconciled with. They saw a change in him after encountering Jesus. How were their lives changed because of it? We must imitate Christ and imitate His mission. It’s up to us if we’re going to follow.

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on September 06, 2017 with Pastor Nave