“…In Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
C.T. Studd once said, “The light that shines farthest shines brightest nearest home.” Our LORDS words in Acts 1:8 confirm that Studd was right. After telling His followers they would be His witnesses, Jesus told them where they were to witness…. in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
As Christ’s disciples we are called to the ends of the earth…but Jesus said to start locally. Where was Jesus standing when He spoke the words found in Acts 1:8? He was standing in Jerusalem. The reason why we live where we live, work where we work, do business with who we do business with, and know who we know is because God wants us to see divine opportunities to be His witnesses right where we are.
Next, Jesus broadened the vision. He tells us to go beyond the local borders of where we live and go national. For the early disciples, this meant all of Judea as well as a place they did not want to go – Samaria. Samaria was the “other side of the tracks.” Because they were mixed-race people, Samaritans were looked at as non-Jewish. Perhaps for the first time, Christ’s disciples were getting a hint of the magnitude of their ministry. They were not just to witness to the Jews next door. They were to go to people throughout the country, regardless of whether they were Jews or Gentiles.
Jesus didn’t stop there. He then tells His disciples to go internationally… “to the ends of the earth.” The furthest Jesus had ever been during His ministry was 60 miles and now these disciples were being told to go to a world that they had never seen. They were to go to a people they have never met to share the Good News of salvation. This must have been mind-blowing information for them. They weren’t just commanded to go everywhere geographically; they were to go everywhere ethnically – to both Jew and Gentile. Race no longer mattered. Gender no longer mattered. Black or white, slave or free, male or female… everyone was included. This was a revolutionary mission.
The same is true for us today. We do not just have a mission; we are on a mission and should be missionary in everything we do. Christianity was never meant to have dividing lines. The light of Christianity was meant to be seen everywhere. The Word of the Gospel was meant to be heard everywhere. The fire of the Holy Spirit was meant to be experienced everywhere. As Christ followers, we are doing more than just following orders. We are bearing witness of the greatest love we have ever known, and of the Lord who has changed our lives.
Are you living out your mission as a witness of Christ?