4 words that describe Jesus’ strategy for changing the world:
Jesus chose only 12 disciples. He could have chosen more. At times He appeared to discourage others from becoming His disciples, particularly when the crowds grew large, such as in these examples:
c) John 6:56-66
God thins out Gideon’s army from 32,000 to 300 (Judges 7:2-8) so the men will not boast of their strength.
Jesus chose a small group of disciples so that their great accomplishments would reveal God’s power.
2. Slow & Subtle
Jesus explained spiritual growth and change using examples of things that work slowly and in a subtle way, like seeds, yeast, and salt.
Jesus explained the new birth to Nicodemus in John 3:8 by describing the Holy Spirit like the unseen wind.
Unlike most of us God is always at work but never in a hurry.
(God is not always subtle. Sometimes He is very dramatic and demonstrates His power in amazing ways, such as in some conversions like that of the apostle Paul and in healings and other miracles. But even then, God is usually at work quietly behind the scenes before His power is demonstrated.)
The gospels are full of Jesus’ teaching about the importance of small acts of kindness, such as:.
- the parable of the Good Samaritan
- the command to love our neighbor and even our enemies
- commands to care for the poor
- the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46)
Jesus himself demonstrated His commitment to serving others:
a) He washed the feet of His disciples and told them to go and serve others (John 13:1-16).
b) He gave His life on the cross (Mark 10:45).
The vehicle God has chosen for this strategy for changing the world is the church.
We can change the world as individuals working without the help of the local church but our impact is much greater when we work with the church where there are spiritual gifts that we do not have ourselves.
The church is far more important for the transformation of a society than the president of the nation, its legislators, or its business leaders. The principal and most strategic institution God appointed to carry out His big agenda is not found in political or economic spheres. Instead, it is the church.”
( If Jesus Were Mayor, Bob Moffitt with Karla Tesch, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications, 2006), p.94
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DEEPER FAITH. GREATER JOY.