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Jesus’ missionary heart

Jesus looked out over the crowds and his heart broke with compassion for them.  That’s one of the reasons he moved around so much.  He was the original missionary, leaving the security of his stomping grounds and going to places he’d never seen where he healed and brought hope to people…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Jesus looked out over the crowds and his heart broke with compassion for them.  That’s one of the reasons he moved around so much.  He was the original missionary, leaving the security of his stomping grounds and going to places he’d never seen where he healed and brought hope to people he’d never met.

“Foxes have holes, birds have nests, but the son of man has no place to lay his head.”* He said.  Motivated by compassion, impelled onward by the mental image of people crying out for help, he pressed on to new and foreign lands.

When warned by Pharisees that Herod was going to kill him, Jesus declared, “Go tell that fox, I will drive out demons today and tomorrow and on the third day I will reach my goal.  In any case, I must keep going…”**

Jesus had a missionary heart and he wasted no time in imparting it to his disciples.  At one point he told them “we have to go to the other side of the lake” and thereafter he was repeatedly sending them out to people on the other side. After modeling ministry for them just enough for them to put a toe in the water, he thrust his disciples out as missionaries, saying, “Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town.”***

Jesus initiated his disciples as missionaries before he challenged them to feed his sheep as pastors.  Too many pastors go to seminary uninitiated, never having had their heart broken as Jesus’ was for the needy and hopeless.  Too many disciples have never had a heart transplant and received Jesus’ missionary heart.  The Mormons have got it right – they send their young people out for a standard two years.  The experience changes them, disabusing them of their narcissism, showing them that there is a world that needs them.
 
We need to rediscover Jesus’ missionary heart and then we need a reformation to impart it to a generation. If I could give young people anything, this would be it. We focus on academics, athletics, and extracurricular stuff, but if we never give them Jesus’ missionary heart, we’ve missed the kingdom.

*Luke 9:58
**Luke 13:32
***Luke 9:4

Comments (4)

  • As hard as it is to stop everything and go, as hard as it is to experience constant change, and as hard as it is to see, feel, hear, smell and taste brokenness… every single moment of experiencing Jesus’ missionary heart is worth it! I hope for every person, whether young or old, that they take their opportunity to do just this. You can’t say the opportunity isn’t there, because it certainly is… but its up to you whether you will take the risk of losing “everything” to gain the EVERYTHING that Jesus promises. Thank you Seth for giving us this opportunity!

  • A funny thing. Missions Ministry has always been my uncompromised passsion. I use to think it was my giftedness but now I understand that Missions is my outward passion but my inward passion is compassion. I am still motivated and jump at even the word missions. Just today I was driving down the road and saw a sign that said “TRAN MISSIONS” and I thought to myself wow TRAN MISSIONS I wonder what kind of mission outreach that is. It was a busy highway so I rurned around drove back and entered the parking lot to ask about it. A fellow came out and I said, Hey tell me about TRAN MISSIONS? Where do you’ll work? What do you’ll do? The fellow calmly replied…”We work in that shop over there and we fix transmissions” What a let down…the S had fallen off of their sign years ago and it was TRANSMISSIONS not TRAN MISSIONS. Alas, I guess sometimes we can be a bit too zealous when it comes to missions.

  • Seth,

    Thank you.

    In your own brutally elegant way you call us back to the reality that we cannot be a follower of Jesus without understanding He was a vagabond. No country club memberships. Hardly a following if you think of it. Never had a time share. Scripture is without ambiguity when it screams….”Do you want the glory? Then be ready for the suffering!” That doesn’t preach well or raise much money. I’ve been a part of two many Five Star” mission experiences not to believe that some of what is happening in the church today is great and some other expressions of a “missions heart” is just pious self indulgence. I have been an “uber” marketer and sinned in this regard. That is what gives me the credibility to be prophetic and say that shallow missions motivation can’t last because the “real” Gospel will always face huge assaults and pretenders will fall away.

    I’ve watched you from afar and as a friend for 30 years.

    You are the real deal. So is Karen.

    Keep the confluence of waters pure friend.

    Love you.

    Butch

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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