THEOLOGY OF MISSION
The Bible contains Gods self-revelation. It alone has the authority to guide us through the complex questions that face each new generation. It alone provides the general principles on which a theology of mission must be built and the specific instructions given to the church by God that inform our view of mission today.
WHAT DOES THE MINISTRY OF JESUS LOOK LIKE?
During the three years between His baptism and His death and resurrection, Jesus traveled throughout the land of the Hebrews ministering to the people in various ways. We have identified with seven patterns in Jesus' ministry that we are focusing on as a community at The Point. We see Jesus save people (Matthew 7:21, John 3:1-3), heal the sick (Luke 4:18, Matthew 10:1), set the captives free (John 8:31-33, Romans 6:15), disciple his friends (Matthew 28:19), equip His friends (Ephesians 4:11-12), empower his friends (John 1:12), and sent His friends who received him as the Messiah into powerful world-changing ministries of reconciliation. (Acts 13:3-4).
These seven values of Jesus' ministry fit into two general categories.
The first of these was His teaching ministry and the second was His miracle ministry. He uses eloquent, loving, convicting and powerful teaching to disciple, equip and empower the people in His ministry. And He performs powerful supernatural miracles where people are saved, healed and set free from an array of issues.
As we read about the teaching of Jesus in the Bible, the word authority is used most to describe the reactions of those who heard Jesus teach. Even among those who doubt that Jesus is the promised Deliverer, His teaching is considered remarkable. His “Sermon on the Mount” and numerous parables are viewed to be among the greatest wisdom literature in the world.
The second aspect of Jesus’ ministry had to do with the miracles He performed. HE saved, healed and delivered people. The modern word “miracle” is derived from the Latin word miraculum, which means, “a wonder” or “something wonderful.” In the Bible, there are four words (two Hebrew and two Greek) that are translated as the word “miracle.” In each case, these words describe an intervention by God in which the ordinary course of nature is overruled, suspended, or modified. The Biblical term “miracle” means something much more than its Latin root.
Note that the Biblical use of the word doesn’t simply refer to the involvement of God in the affairs of man. It refers to what C. S. Lewis calls “a divine interference with nature by a supernatural power.” A miracle defies natural explanation because it defies natural law.
The Bible records 35 miracles performed by Jesus during His three years of public ministry. These miracles range from walking on water to raising people from the dead. But keep in mind that these are only the miracles that are recorded. The Bible also says that that there are many other things which Jesus did; so many that if they were written in detail the world could not contain the books!
A primary purpose (if not the primary purpose) of the miracles recorded in the Bible was to serve as signs that confirmed the presence or revelation of God. This is true of the miracles of God in the Old Testament as well as the miracles of Jesus. In the New Testament, Jesus said that His miracles proved who He was and that God the Father sent Him. Jesus performed miracles so that people might believe He was who He said He was.
As we study the Bible we find that the people who encounter and fully receive the ministry of Jesus undergo a radical life change and are sent into a ministry of reconciliation through empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Being sent into missions (whether local, global, marketplace, family, etc...) is the manifestation of what happens because we receive Jesus as messiah and give him the top priority above all else.
Being SENT into local and global missions is a direct response of the radical impact of Jesus’
teachings and miracles on our personal lives.