John 13:20 “I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”
This is an absolutely amazing verse because of the level of authority it gives those sent by Christ. However, it isn’t unique, because it fits in perfectly with the Great Commission. “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” (Matthew 28:18-20) It also fits even more closely with what Jesus said in that same upper room after His resurrection: “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20:21) I think sadly few Christians live in the awareness that they they have been sent by God. Society makes a joke of the idea, as in the line from the Blues Brothers movie, “We’re on a mission from God.” We aren’t to get puffed up over it, but remember how people treated Jesus, just as He said. (Matthew 10:24-25) However, we must not put ourselves down, but remember that we are Christ’s ambassadors, and act accordingly. (2 Corinthians 5:20) If every believer did that, the world would be a far better place!
This verse has been a comfort and a frustration to me throughout my ministry in Japan. It makes me wonder about the definition of “accept!” We have made numbers of very good friends, yet few even of those have acknowledged Jesus as Lord. Interestingly, in the past couple of years as we have talked about the idea of building an elder care facility, several non-Christian friends have been more accepting and encouraging than even people in this church! I’ve come to the conclusion that we won’t know the extent of our harvest until we are before the Throne. I have the feeling we will see some people there we never saw in church, but we may not see some people there whom we did see in church. God is the Judge, and I’ve got to be at peace with that. I am to rejoice in God’s gracious calling and live up to it as He enables me, (Philippians 3:16) speaking His truth in His love and participating in His plans for His glory.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Help me not insist on how You are to use me! Help me rather be fully and joyfully submitted to You so that I won’t get in the way, but rather be fully available to You whether the task, or the reward, is great or small. And help me not try to figure that out ahead of time! Thank You. Praise God!