The lessons in evangelism that Jesus gave His disciples were sprinkled throughout three and a half years with them. Coming from a very “Jewish” tradition, it was a shock to the disciple to see Jesus speaking with a Samaritan, much less a woman, “for Jews have no dealing with Samaritans” (John 4:9). When the disciples came back from “going into the city to buy food” (4:8), “they marveled that He was talking with a woman” (4:27). Was Jesus breaking tradition just for the ‘shock factor’, or was there something far greater He was pointing to?
This act of Jesus was a direct fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham; “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). Later in the Early Church, this lesson is repeated in different ways to demonstrate that God has never, and will never, forget His promise. He wants the church on board with His plan that was from the beginning.
As I go through this series on the “Great Commission”, I ask you to stand back from the few verses in Matthew 28:19-20 and see the “Bigger Picture” of God’s eternal plan. It did not begin when the church was birthed. It was always in the mind and heart of God, and we can trace from the very beginning and see the sign posts He placed along the way that clearly revealed His heart.
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