Zechariah 2:11: And many nations shall join themselves to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.
This prophecy found fulfilment in Jesus. Who else brings everyone to God, many nation? Not Moses. Moses was an okay guy, he led the children out of the bondage in Jesus. But compare that with what Jesus did. He is the savior of the world, leading us all from sin to righteousness, those who follow. What could be greater than that?
It is in him that the nations of the world are called into discipleship. In him humanity is called back to the fold of their creator. He flung the gates of heaven wide opened.
Jesus said: I am the door to the sheepfold (John 10) (presence of God). He is our good shepherd, he leads us in paths of righteousness for his name sake. He said there are many people not in his immediate sheepfold i.e. not Jewish, that will still come into the kingdom of God.
Jesus told the Pharisee that God was going to remove them and give his vineyard (the previous picture was about sheepfold) to those who will produce the right fruits (Mark 12:1-9), who will fulfill his desire. He also said that the axe is at the root of any tree that is not bearing fruit, in a direct reference to Judaism (Luke 13:6-9).
At the end of the bible Jesus was writing to seven churches far away from Jerusalem, the center Judaism, the religion introduced to Israel by Moses.
In the book to the Hebrews, the writer took the pain to show that angels are great, but Jesus is greater; Moses was great, but Jesus is greater; the old covenant was great, the new is greater; the blood of bulls and goats helped a bit, the blood of Jesus is greater, giving us the ultimate help; the temple set up by Moses was great, the heavenly one is greater where Jesus applied his blood before God; though the Levitical priesthood was great, the priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek, which a Davidic prophecy connected Jesus to, is better.
The writer needed to do that because as Jesus said: those who have drunk the old wine do not immediately desire the new, saying the old is better (Luke 5:39). Those under Mosaic covenant, may not be so willing to abandon that or the idea of it for the covenant based on the blood of Jesus. Hence the great level of persecution from Jews against the church at its inception.
Now, the church is decidedly non-Jewish in shape as the disciples embarked on a mission given by Jesus to take gospel to all the world and make disciples of all nations (Mark 16:15-18, Matthew 28:18-20).
The Holy Spirit was there then and he is still here today. And after that first generation of Christians died, the Holy Spirit is still here and the mission is still ongoing. The mission was not just for the human original hearers of it, the Holy Spirit was also to endow them, empower them for the task (Acts 1:8).
The Holy Spirit is still here. Still working with men, as you believe in Jesus, the Spirit comes into you and you are enlisted into the task (whether that is realised immediately, or along the line) and there is the impartation of the same old mission on the new disciples. The Holy Spirit causes us to hear the same instruction in our renewed spirit. And we get swept on in the love of Jesus imparted by the Holy Spirit, and we do not hold our life dear to ourselves but we throw everything into the mission.
We continue on the as the army of God, pushing back on the gates of hell, as the army of light against darkness, as the army of truth against lies, as merchants of freedom.
Some asked Jesus: what shall we do that we may work the works of God, Jesus said that they should believe the one he sent, i.e. Jesus himself (John 6:26-28).
As merchants of freedom what help people to realise is that they only need to believe to receive freedom all oppression, bondages, from a life of sin is to believe in Jesus. We are merchants of that gospel, bringing profit of souls into the kingdom of God. We are light-bearers.
When we are joined to the Lord, we are joined to his mission to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). We are joined to him in relationship, in commitment. We are joined to the Lord as his body and therefore members of one another. We work as a team, when Jesus wanted to send people put to villages he himself will still come to, he sent them two by two (Luke 10:1). And the trinity is a team.
Though we are one in Christ in identity, joined together to him, we are different in the specificity of the purpose we are to pursue. This is because unity of purpose does not equate to sameness of purpose. We serve the same master. But do not do the same things as if we are factory worker in the same batch and shift.
Paul wrote that there are diversities of ministries but the same spirit, there are diversities of gifts but the same spirit, differences of administration, but the same Lord, and there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God working all in all (1Corinthians 12:1-7).
So we have layers and layers of diversities in the manifestation of the purposes of God. Even for an individual, there can be a shifting of purpose from time to time. Hence the need for sensitivity. Paul did not presume that because Jesus said we should go into all the world, he can go anywhere he wants even for the purpose of preaching the gospel. He waited to be inspired about where to go. As the Holy Spirit prevented him he yielded, and when be prompted him in a direction he yielded (Acts 16:6-10).
The joining to the Lord is by the Holy Spirit. We have the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit, so we are his (Romans 8:9). The Holy Spirit is mandated to lead you into all truth (John ), one of which is the truth about yourself, your calling, how you are supposed be focused on your unity with the Lord and bear fruit in the area of influence he puts you (John 15:1-8).
Jesus said that he has chosen us that we might bear fruit and that when our fruits abides it will be to the glory of the father. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit for that.
It is by abiding in Jesus having his word dwelling in us that we bear much fruit, and are empowered to do all and be all for God. Nothing can be achieved in our own strength. The bible says that it is not by power nor might but by the Holy Spirit (Zechariah 4:6).
- REPENT OF WORLDLINESS – AND BE BAPTIZED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT by Zac Poonen (sabimson.wordpress.com)
- The Jesus Institute of Discipleship – Luke 14:25-33 (stevesbiblemeditations.com)