Jesus Creed

Now we look a second time at the missional discourse of Jesus, the singularly most important text in the Gospels that clarify how Jesus understood missional activity. We’ll look at Matthew 10:5-8.
1. Missional Jesus has a targeted audience — I’m not quite sure how to say this in other way that old-fashioned church growth terms: he wants his extenders to extend the kingdom to the “lost sheep” of the house of Israe. Who are these? They are Jews; they are either those in need of mercy (9:32-34) or the heretofore neglected lost tribes of Israel hanging out in northern Galilee and beyond. In other words, instead of being “just a Jewish mission” this must be seen as at least cracking holes in the boundary walls between Jews and other groups.
2. Missioners of the missional Jesus have one message: God’s kingdom. So, this is the heart of the missional movement: What does kingdom of God mean? I have defined it in my writings as the society in which God’s will — the Jesus Creed — is both established and transforms all of life. It is more than a religious experience (old-fashioned liberalism and, oddly enough, far too many in the evangelical camp who see it as justification) and more than cultural transformation.
3. Missioners do what Jesus did and extend what Jesus did and say what Jesus said. This the point of the list of things they are to do: compare that list with Matthew 8 and 9 and you draw this conclusion: they are to “be” Jesus in a new place in order to extend Jesus and his kingdom into new places.
4. We’ll look Monday at the last expression, for it sinks the mercenary motive.
These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,a drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

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