Scripture Text: John 20:21
1. There are four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) and each gives a unique take on Jesus’ life and teachings.
a. Three play off each other to give a more or less chronological account. They are called the ‘synoptic’ gospels because of how they similarly tell the story of Jesus’ movements, miracles, and actions.
i. The Gospel of John stands apart. In this gospel, there’s no chronology and not much action.
ii. Jesus talks more, mostly about himself. He uses the word “I” 177 times compared to 34 in all 3 combined.
b. 85 times Jesus combines the words “I am” or Ego Eimi in the Greek.
i. Seven of those “I ams” are linked with a predicate object- “I am the…” followed by a vivid metaphor.
ii. I am the bread, the light, the gate, the shepherd, the resurrection, the way, the vine.
iii. These 7 “I Ams” are spread throughout John’s Gospel and they are the glue which holds it together.
iv. We’ve spent the season of Lent looking at each one in order, and you can listen to those messages on our website.
c. After the crucifixion and resurrection, when Jesus appears again to his disciples, he has one more “I Am” to say.
i. Read John 20:21.
2. From early in the Old Testament God is described as a Sending God
a. In the story of Moses meeting God through the Burning Bush, God gives Moses his name: I AM WHO I AM. These four vowels became the word Yahweh, Israel’s personal name for God.
i. But right away, God adds that I AM is sending Moses.
b. What kind of person does God like to send? A holy person? A devoted person? A righteous person? An awesome leader-person?
i. In this case, none of the above.
ii. Moses is a humble shepherd with a shameful backstory: disgraced ex-prince of Egypt, murderer, reject, exile.
c. Then there’s what God is sending Moses to do.
i. Rescue. To help God deliver the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt into deliverance and freedom, and their guide Slide16 into a Promised Land of
ii. Moses isn’t the only one God sends to bring rescue and help: Jonah, David, Esther, Daniel and Isaiah all are given the same mission.
3. The New Testament has God sending again. This time: Jesus.
a. In this post-resurrections story, Jesus says, “the Father has sent me.”
b. It’s clear Jesus is different from Moses and the other sent ones in one key way – he’s God. He uses the same name – I AM – the name God gives Moses for himself.
i. But like Moses, he’s an unlikely savior.
ii. Penniless, homeless rabbi with ragtag band of followers made up of fishermen and a tax collector, destined to be completely rejected by religious authorities and die a criminal’s death on a cross.
c. Also, like Moses, he’s sent to perform a rescue.
i. Read John 3:16 and 17
ii. This time it would be a rescue from the slavery of guilt, shame, regret and all sorts of bondage seen and unseen. And it will be a
complete rescue through self-sacrifice and perfect love.
iii. Jesus didn’t flinch from the cross because he knew he had been sent, and that his sending would save.
4. But even though God sent his own Son, an ultimate savior, God’s still not done sending.
a. Jesus says ‘Just As’ God sent him, He is sending his disciples. The same sending, the same mission.
i. And those disciples have passed that sending down over 2000 years to you and me.
b. God still chooses imperfect people.
i. Just speaking for myself: I’m insecure, prideful, and fearful. I’m good at standing up in front of people and speaking, but I don’t have a great jumpshot, investment portfolio or wardrobe.
c. I’m not a Savior, and I don’t know how to save myself much less anyone else, but I am really close to someone who is and who can.
i. I know this because he has saved me. All those flaws I mentioned earlier enslaved me and got real close to destroying me and my relationships.
ii. But God sent Jesus to me at just the right moment. He invited me to follow him into a new land of forgiveness and freedom, and nothing has been the same since.
d. And now, God is sending me to share this Good News with you – because Jesus wasn’t just sent to save me.
5. Where and to whom are you being sent?
a. Are you married? Then it’s a good bet God has sent you to your husband or wife.
i. Do you have kids? Then it’s a good bet God has sent you to your children.
ii. Do you go to school? Then it’s a good bet God has sent you to your classmates, fellow students, and teachers.
iii. Do you have a job? Then it’s a good bet God has sent you to your co-workers, customers, boss.
iv. Do you have friends? Then it’s a good bet God has sent you them whenever you get together to watch a game, work out, go shopping, or have a bite to eat.
v. Do you eat out, or frequent a coffee shop? Then it’s a good bet God has sent you to your server, barista, host.
b. Sent to do what, you ask?
i. It’s simple: be good news. And there’s no better news for anyone than to know and see they’re loved. And there’s no greater love than the love of God you’ve been shown by Jesus Christ.
ii. Sent to make a change – that’s Easter!
6. Something about this ever-present light is like a 100-degree sunny day for a block of ice. It has the power to unfreeze your faith.
a. For the last time I’m going to give you three ‘thaw levels’ for Jesus to unfreeze you now and over coming week – if you’re willing to go there.
b. Warm: Define your sending. Why are you here, and for whom? What’s your mission?
c. Medium: Sharpen the story of how Jesus was specifically sent for you. From what has he rescued you or is rescuing you? How has that changed you?
d. Hot: Pray and prepare for opportunities this week to be sent by God into situations where He will show His love through you. Ask him to remove any obstacle and open doors.