by Dr. Stephen Rummage on March 16, 2021
April 08, 2021
Don’t miss your mission.
A mission is something that you are sent to do. As the Son of God, Jesus was sent by God the Father on a mission to seek and to save the lost. Here we are going to look at a passage in Luke’s Gospel where Jesus clearly shows and reveals the mission that God sent Him to accomplish. I want you to notice four parts of Jesus’ mission and how this encourages us not to miss our mission:
Jesus Came on a Mission to Reveal God’s Word (vv.14-17)
After defeating the power of Satan’s temptations in wilderness, Jesus went back to Galilee near his hometown of Nazareth. Luke’s gospel tells us that He taught in their synagogues, teaching God’s word to those who would listen. Then Jesus goes to Nazareth, the place where He had grown up. And then on the Sabbath day, “as was His custom,” Jesus went to the synagogue in Nazareth. Now Jesus had grown up knowing everybody there, and they all knew Him. He knew who baked the best bread in town, who shortchanged his customers, who bullied his wife, and who helped the poor; Jesus knew them, and they were his friends and family. But the people of Nazareth also knew that Jesus had grown a reputation as a teacher. So, as with any visiting rabbi, Jesus was given the opportunity to read the scriptures and to teach.
Jesus then was handed a scroll and He unrolled it and read aloud. From a human standpoint, Jesus simply “unrolled” the Scripture, but from a divine standpoint, Jesus “unrolled” the scripture as no one else could have done. He revealed God’s truth as it had never been revealed before.
Just like putting on glasses or contacts, Jesus corrects them and helps them see what was really in front of them. In this moment, we see how Jesus came on a mission to reveal the truth about God’s Word; and the thing we see the most is Jesus Himself and our need for Him.
Jesus Came on a Mission to Proclaim God’s Favor (vv. 18-21)
Next we see how Jesus read from Isaiah 61 to show the picture of God’s restoration of His people after their exile and God’s promise of deliverance and hope.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:19-20)
So then, what impoverishes us? What takes us captive? What blinds us? What crushes and oppresses us? The answer is sin. The soul of every person ever born on planet earth has been broken by sin. We are broken, but Jesus changes everything. Jesus came to “proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” in which we have been set free from our sin. He came to those in darkness and said, you can come out of that darkness and be accepted by God. Jesus Christ came to proclaim God’s favor.
Jesus Came on a Mission to Deliver God’s Salvation (vv.22-27)
So, how did the people in Nazareth respond to Jesus’ words? Verse 22 says “All spoke well of Him.” Literally all witnessed to Him, for they recognized His power and “marveled at the gracious words.” Jesus had an attractive way of speaking, but another reaction was building up as some said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” They began to recall and think that this is the village carpenter that we watched grow up… How can He make those claims? The people waited for Jesus to do a miracle as He had done in Capernaum, but Jesus understood the doubt in their hearts.
In verses 23-25, Jesus then retold of how God’s own people rejected the messengers God sent them, followed by two brief examples from the times of Elijah and Elisha. What was Jesus’ meaning? While God’s own people in Israel were unreceptive of the salvation they really needed, God graciously and beautifully delivered His salvation to Gentiles. This then reveals two crucial spiritual mistakes that people can make.
1. “I’m fairly religious and familiar with Jesus. I have a church background, and I even know the plan of salvation. That’s enough to save me.”
2. “I did not grow up in a church nor am I familiar with the stories. I’ve got guilt and a bad background. I can’t be saved.”
Here’s the good news: No matter how close to God you think you are... You still need a saving relationship with Jesus. And No matter how far from God you think you are… You can still have a saving relationship with Jesus. He will welcome you, because Jesus came on a mission to deliver God’s salvation.
Jesus Came on a Mission to Expose Our Hearts (vv. 28-30)
The Bible says that the people responded promptly to Jesus’ message of fulfillment:
“When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath.And they rose up and drove Him out of the town and brought Him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw Him down the cliff.” (Luke 4:28-29)
Miraculously, Jesus passed through their midst. And as far as the Bible tells us, Jesus never again returned to Nazareth. Why? He had exposed their hearts. They rejected Jesus rather than receiving Him. He kept on His mission to set people free and to bring salvation.
I want to encourage you and give four simple questions to ask to keep yourself on mission. First, do you have a consuming love for Jesus? I am not asking you if you know the stories of Jesus, but has Jesus Christ transformed and captured your heart. If you never have had that consuming love, you need to ask if you are even saved. Second, do you love the house of God and the scriptures as Jesus did? Do you love the Church and value the fellowship of believers and the teaching of God’s Word? Third, do you share Jesus’ love for the lost? Here in OKC we are surrounded by lostness. More than 60% of people in our city have no connection to a church and a higher percentage have no relationship with Jesus. These realities ought to bring us to tears. And lastly, do you have a compelling love for Jesus’ mission? He came to seek and to save the lost. But He calls you to know Him, love Him, and join Him. Are you staying on mission?
Jesus never missed His mission. He stayed on mission every day of His life, all the way to Calvary. Don’t miss your mission. If you have any questions on salvation or if you have any prayer needs, you can call (405) 302-3030 or you can text your first name to (405) 256-4701. We would love to connect with you.
Watch the full sermon here.