By John Larkins
This is one of those times when Jesus packed enormous meaning in just a few words that explain His mission on Earth in a profound way, a teaching that becomes essential to comprehending our salvation in The Way He sees it and means to reveal our responsibility to Him.
To be honest, very few preachers have insight into Jesus’s mission since He was sent to convert all people, including the Israelites, to a new religion that He called the “Kingdom of God in the new and eternal covenant” 1,500 years before the first non-Catholic church was established.
Jesus began His Father’s work at about the age of 30 in about the year 30 A.D. When Jesus first went to see His cousin John the Baptist, He announced that “This is the beginning of the Kingdom of God.”
His listeners were anticipating the prophesied “Messiah” but had no consistent idea what this Messiah was going to do, except that He was the Savior promised to bring the righteous into Heaven for their eternal reward and thus restoring the relationship with humans destroyed by the sin of Adam and Eve.
Jesus reassured John the Baptist that the job of paving the way for Jesus by preaching and baptizing would be successful. John had been dedicated entirely to “making the way of the Lord straight.”
So, Jesus was the Holy One and would proceed with the details of recruiting men to be the teachers of His conversion “revival” and the first bishops in His Church. Jesus said to the fishermen, “I shall make you fishers of men.”
Jesus taught His disciples continually, and much of His new religion was conveyed in this way. Jesus was forced to speak in parables that were not always clear.
His meaning and me-ssage were taught in private with His new Church.
The Pharisees (Jews who had the authority given to them by the Romans to operate the temple and maintain order) were afraid that Jesus would reveal Himself as the Son of God and then fire the lot of them. They were prepared to kill Jesus in order to prevent this, but Jesus was careful to avoid His execution until His new and everlasting covenant Church was ready and when the plan for His crucifixion could be done at a time and place chosen by Jesus.
The dangers of Jesus’ conversion ministry are shown clearly in Matthew’s gospel. The detailed job requirements for the apostles and the profound delegation of authority to Jesus’ Church clearly show the great improvement in personal salvation procedures: first, the delegation of power in the apostles, in the eternal company of Christ, to forgive sins throughout a sinner’s life. This, of course, accompanied the power of baptism to forgive the sin inherited from Adam and Eve, but the next time a sinner failed and broke one Christ’s commandments, that sin could be forgiven as well by the delegated power of Jesus Christ.
Paul pointed out correctly that God’s law made us sinners, in the sense that we had a goal and could be measured against that goal. But for the first time since Christ gained power from His Father for His death and resurrection, the sinner could be forgiven so as to be eligible to reach heaven! Some would say that the even greater gift to the Church was the power to bring Jesus to us sinners in the communion sacrifice and thus dispense the grace of Jesus Christ to prepared sinners. Matthew 28, 19 says, “Go ye therefore, I trained you, I empowered you, you are now responsible.”
John Larkins’ formal education includes a BS certified for science teaching, an MBA from the University of Missouri and an MPA from Jacksonville State University in public administration and environmental management. For the past 15 years, John evangelized on the street, door-to-door, in tent revivals and in church situations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.