Missional Jesus was fearless; his missioners are exhorted to be fearless as well. Not reckless or foolish, but ones who do not fear what others say, who are not afraid to tell the truth, who are not afraid to live the truth, who are not afraid to confront non-kingdom with kingdom. Notice Matthew 10:26-33.
1. Missional Jesus believes and urges his missioners to live in light of a final judgment.
2. Missional Jesus urges missioners to make public missional Jesus’ kingdom message.
3. Missioners need courage to live out the mission; God is with them — this they need to know.
4. Missioners are urged to make their fellowship with Jesus public — so public that the final judgment is based on whether or not they “fessed up” to a Jesus connection.
Missioners need to hear this. Why? Because it is tough as walking on tacks to live a life of public adherence to and public following of Jesus. I don’t like the public rumor called “separation of church and state.” Jesus doesn’t live the kingdom in secret; he lives it in the public forum. Of course, with shrewdness and not foolishness or brashness. With a proper confidence. A beautiful expression many of us learned from Lesslie Newbigin.
“So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
“Whoever publicly acknowledges me I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever publicly disowns me I will disown before my Father in heaven.