Episode 125: Pause
June 23, 2020
We recorded these devotions to help you breathe in the life-giving Spirit of God. This is the fourth in a series on Matthew 28:16-20.
Listen to the previous episodes here:
You’ll find the context for all of these episodes on the page for Episode 122. As a reminder, the Gospel is a life-giving balm for the soul. Here’s a simple reminder of how to live every day as a follower of Jesus
May this episode empower you to pause, reflect on who Jesus is inviting you to be, and then go, in the power and presence of Christ, to experience transformation.
With this in mind, let’s turn to Matthew’s Gospel using the pattern read, reflect, respond, and return.
This devotion considers the phrase, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations”
Those early followers of Jesus were sent to all nations. The word for nations is the word “ethnos” which means people. When you hear the English word “ethnic” comes from “ethnos.” It is an all-inclusive word. The word Gentiles is the same Greek word. Those early followers were being sent to all people, including the Gentiles, who up to this point had been excluded from their group.
For your reflection, there are two things to consider. As Jesus followers:
- We are sent to all people
- We are sent to people outside our ethnicity, age, gender, nationality, etc.
In other words, we are sent to all people, even those outside of our group or the acceptance of our group.
Earlier in Matthew’s gospel, the followers of Jesus were sent only to the people of Israel. Matthew writes, “These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (10:5-6). But now, every person, whether from Israel or not, including the Gentiles, is included in becoming a disciple, a follower, of Jesus.
In the church, what would happen if you began to pray, “O God, send us the people who no one else wants?” and “Help us receive the people you send to us?”
You might think of this way, what would happen if you began paying attention to the people you have excluded? Who are they? And, what would happen if you began to invite them into your life? Paul wrote to the church in Rome, “So, welcome each other, in the same way that Christ also welcomed you, for God’s glory” (Romans 15:7).
Today, how will you reach out and receive all the people around you?
Reflect upon the scripture and your interactions of the day.
- Who did you intentionally befriend today, either by smiling, speaking, assisting, including, etc.?
O God, thank you for all the people you put into my life today. And thank you for giving me the eyes to see you in their eyes, hearts, and smiles. I am especially grateful that you are helping me become more who you created me to be in and through each of them. Help me focus my eyes more upon Jesus, so I may recognize you more often in the people I meet along the way. Amen.