The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) is a foundational expression of God’s desire for followers of Christ to live redemptively in our world, but I would also like to unpack why we involve ourselves with a lost world. Our involvement as carriers of the Good News goes beyond something we have to do. It begins with something we are.
God, at the core of His being, is a God of mission. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist together as one God who collaborates in fulfilling the redemptive, reconciling, and restoring work of the Kingdom. Jesus was sent to do the works of His Father. John 4:34; 5:24; 8:16; and 16:5 describe this sending of the Son. What a crazy thought — Jesus — God Himself, was sent. Note that the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, was also sent (John 15:26; 16:7)!
The deep and profound motivation behind our involvement in the Great Commission springs from the fact that it is built into our very identity. As followers of Jesus, those being transformed into His image, a key aspect of our new identity is sent.
We are beloved children of our heavenly Father, and so we are sent people. John 20:21 says, “Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’” Just as Jesus’ identity was tied to the activity of sending, so is ours.
The Great Commission — the advance of the Gospel — is not just something that we do. It is who God has designed us to be. We should not try to relegate our involvement in the advance of the Gospel to a day or night each week, church involvement, or some set of actions that we do, any more than we would separate ourselves from our gender, personality, or fingerprints!
“Sentness” is in our DNA. Therefore, every minute of the day, no matter where I go or what I do, I have the opportunity to reflect the Good News of the Kingdom. And in so doing, not only am I sent as Jesus was, but the fragrance of my sending is the same love that the Father has for the Son, and the Son has for me.
With wonderful metaphor, Paul reveals it is God’s intention to make this happen through our lives. “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him” (2 Corinthians 2:14, emphasis added).
As sent ones, we are carriers of the fragrance of the knowledge of God and are the conduits of His love to a broken world. Let’s join Him to see that fragrance spread to the ends of the Earth.