Deep and Wide
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel . . .” Mark 16:15
These words were spoken by Jesus after the anguish of the cross. They were uttered before He ascended to rule and reign. He commanded His disciples to go into all the world. The message of Jesus is as deep as life and as wide as the world. Jesus’ vision of a worldwide mission was not an afterthought. He had planned it from the beginning, from the opening of His public ministry.
Jesus’ final temptation in the desert was an offer from the enemy to immediately seize control of all the kingdoms of the world. It was the temptation to take an easier road, a road of least resistance, to take the quick route instead of the bloodstained road that lead to Calvary. In facing the allurement of accomplishing His dream without struggle, there burned within Him a vision of worldwide dominion.
Jesus’ vision of a full-scale sweep of salvation that would span the earth was set forth in His sermon on the mount, as He declares, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” He then says to those who would embrace His vision, “You are the salt of the earth, you are the light of the world.” Throughout His ministry, Jesus remained unaltered until He said, “Go into all the world.”
Think for a moment of the unparalleled tenacity of Jesus’ range of view. In every land His message would be declared. The heavens and the earth might pass away, but His Word would never pass away. There was no other vision in any other world creed or religion so grand and glorious. In Christ’s vision, no one would ever be known by their race, but by their relationship to Jesus in His Spirit.
Think of the universal timelessness of Jesus’ charge, all His disciples are compelled to make Him known. He is the nexus of unity and community in His kingdom and its marching orders are “go!” Today the burning desire to win others to Christ is as urgent as ever. We go to show others the need of their life. We go to supply the fullness of Christ to others.
Have you disregarded your role in the vision of Jesus, thinking it’s someone else’s job?