There’s no shortage of movies and television shows depicting grand rescue operations being mounted for people when disaster strikes… a man trapped in a burning building, survivors of a plane crash, or a child threatened by a nefarious abductor. Though scripted and largely lacking an anchor in reality, anyone can easily see the danger in those circumstances. But what about a person calmly working at a desk, or a child casually playing hopscotch? No fiction writer would choose to portray people in fairly mundane situations as needing immediate rescue, but from a spiritual and very real perspective, they are. God has made it clear that without forgiveness and restoration, everyone is in danger of a sure eternity of real suffering and torment. This is why the last instruction Jesus gave his followers was a command for them to do their part in his world-wide rescue operation.
A typical translation of the verses commonly known as “The Great Commission” usually begins like this “Go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:18) However, a closer look at the original Greek sentence construction gives a slightly more nuanced understanding. This very familiar passage more accurately says:
“As you go, make disciples of all nations…”
That takes away the common internal angst over committing to a lifetime of foreign missions (though that certainly is a legitimate and honorable way to take the Gospel to others) and instead puts the emphasis on incorporating our faith into everyday situations.
I like to think about it much like… zucchini.
Out of my four kids, one of them in particular was a picky eater which meant he was often reluctant to try new foods… especially anything green. So, I had to get pretty creative to get him to eat his veggies. Along with the old standard vegetable soup and the occasional casserole, I took to shredding zucchini and stirring it into lasagna sauce, finely grating and adding it to meatballs, concealing it in blueberry waffle batter and even offered him the occasional zucchini brownie. I discovered that with a little effort and imagination, he actually learned to enjoy zucchini!
The point is, I didn’t just wait for him to ask for zucchini, I was diligent in presenting it to him in all kinds of ways by making it a frequent part of his daily diet.
The same approach can be applied to how we go about delivering the Gospel to those around us. We don’t have to be rely on rigid (and sometimes tired) formulas, practiced scripts, or complicated methods. Instead, “as we go” along in life (and as guided by the Holy Spirit), we should present our testimony of Jesus to people continually in whatever form makes sense… all the time trusting that the same Spirit will create in others a hunger that only He can satisfy.