The Sending – Part 1
“As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” (Joh 17:18)
This post is (hopefully) the first of a three part article on the mind of God concerning “sending”. This is, from my perspective, a very much misunderstood, misapplied, and downright ignored subject. For example, you dear reader, how many messages have you heard or read on the subject of God’s sending? Usually this topic is related to the modern concept of “missions” which literally has very little to do with “the sending” we see happening in the contextual story of the New Testament. Therefore, I believe that this series of blog posts will help to fill the void and (hopefully) will bring some light and understanding to believers who have not had that before.
The Sending of the Eternal Son
Most Christians are familiar with the fact that the eternal Son of God was sent into time and space by His Father.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. (John 1:1-4)
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:12-14)
We call this the incarnation. But there is more to it than just that.
“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”
Here we see two “levels” of sending. First, the Father sent the Son. Then, the Son sent His disciples. It’s very clear in the context that Jesus was here speaking to his disciples. Read the whole chapter and you will see that he is speaking to the twelve.
I don’t think that any sane believer would argue the point that the Son was sent by the Father. The question we need to ask is: what does it mean to be sent by God?
Joh_5:36 “But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish–the very works that I do–testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me.
Joh_5:37 “And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form.
Joh_5:38 “You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent.
Joh_6:29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
Joh_6:38 “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
Joh_6:39 “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.
Joh_6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
Joh_6:57 “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.
Joh_7:16 So Jesus answered them and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.
Joh_7:18 “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
Joh_7:28 Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, “You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.
Joh_7:29 “I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me.”
This is just a very small sampling of the verses about the Son being sent by the Father in the Gospel of John alone! Obviously, Jesus held being sent by the Father in very high regard! We must keep in mind here that Jesus had some major hurdles to jump over pertaining to the Jewish mindset. Here are just a few:
- The Triune God – the nation of Israel did not have the revelation of a God who is revealed as three Persons! They believed that God is one Person, not three who are one. That was some thing totally new as far as the Jewish nation was concerned. Remember that they were not even allowed to mention the sacred name of God let alone to call him Father. The fact that He would have a Son was actually blasphemous to many in the first century.
- The Son of God – by Jesus stating that he has been sent by the Father strongly implied that he was the Son of God and was divine Himself. This was a major problem in the Jewish mind. But yet he kept telling them over and over again that he had been sent by the Father.
- Claiming to be the Messiah – here was another major issue. All of Israel was waiting for the coming of the Messiah, but this poor son of a carpenter just didn’t seem to fit the bill in their list of expectations.
When the Son presented himself as being sent by the Father he was doing so to validate what he said and did to the house of Israel. However, the very concept (reality) of a Father who is divine sending a Son who is divine, blew the minds who were listening to those words. Of course the divine Son did this on purpose so that only those who had eyes to see and ears to hear would understand. Only those who were “poor in spirit” (Matt. 5:3) would see and have the kingdom. It was only those who would empty themselves who could receive. And this brings us to one of the major aspects of The Sending.
The Sent One Must Be Received by Those to whom He is Sent!
This receiving requires an emptying of those to whom he is being sent. If the potential receivers are haughty, puffed up with pride, and full of themselves, then the sent one can never be received. The Sent One is the Son of God Himself! And yet how many rejected He who was sent from God? Why did most of the Jewish nation reject him? Because he did not live up to their expectations! They had major veils (filters) that were hindering them from seeing this One. They were looking for a Messiah who would overthrow the Roman government and take physical, political, and military control to place the nation of Israel into the seat of power. This poor carpenter’s son from a slum just didn’t fill that bill at all!
Many Sent and Many Rejected
Of course, the Lord Jesus was not the first one to be sent to the house of Israel. There were many prophets sent before Him.
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! “For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!'” (Mat 23:37-39)
Wow! What a powerful statement made by our glorious Lord!
“from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’”
Can you apprehend this with me? The majority of Israel was not able to see (receive) Christ because they would not welcome He who came in the name of the Lord. Here, we not only see the sending but we also see the name of the Lord! In the next part of this series we will delve into what it means to be sent in the name of the Lord and many other aspects of The Sending!
Stay tuned for the next part of The Sending to be released soon!