The Incarnation Was A Missionary Journey -- By: Eric E. Wright

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 08:4 (Fall 1999)
Article: The Incarnation Was A Missionary Journey
Author: Eric E. Wright


The Incarnation Was A Missionary Journey

Eric E. Wright

Wherever we scratch the Bible, it bleeds with the missionary passion of God. And as we meditate on the Gospels, unless our sensibilities are thoroughly blunted, we cannot help but note the connection between the willingness of Christ to face the cross and His missionary heartbeat. Indeed, without missionary insight the incarnation is incomprehensible. For why would Christ have left behind the exquisite communion He enjoyed with the Father and the Spirit for the silence of Mary’s womb, unless He was moved by missionary compassion?

Since Jesus was a missionary, any genuine desire to exalt Him must breathe fresh fire into our missionary passion. Writing before an Auca spear sent him home to Christ, Jim Elliot reflects this link between love for Christ and missionary motivation: “Missionaries are very human folks, just doing what they are asked. Simply a bunch of nobodies trying to exalt Somebody.”1

Devotion to Christ fuels missionary fire because Christology and missiology are inseparably linked. Christmas was a missionary journey. Good Friday and Easter memorialize the basis upon which missions will triumph—the historical events which became the essential content of the missionary message. The ascension and session celebrate Christ’s assumption of His throne. From this position of authority, He directs history irrevocably toward its missionary culmination. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be

preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matt. 24:14). Luke implies that while the Gospels record “what Jesus began to do and teach,” Acts records the start of what Jesus continues to do (Acts 1:1). Missions, then, continues the activity the Son of God began during His incarnation.

Without taking as their lodestar
the principles provided by Christ’s
missionary lifestyle, however, the
strategy devised by missiologists will be
flawed. Christ explicitly stated that all
missionary activity is to be modeled on
the “Sender/Sent One” relationship
that He sustained to the Father
.

Without taking as their lodestar the principles provided by Christ’s missionary lifestyle, however, the strategy devised by missiologists will be flawed. Christ explicitly stated that all missionary activity is to be modeled on the “Sender/Sent One” relationship that He sustained to the Father. “As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you” (<...

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