A second distinctive of the 1st Century church is that they were engaged in ministry with Jesus. Yes, I know… Jesus ascended to the Father days before Pentecost. But if you consider the ministry of the apostles and the church for that matter, you will quickly conclude that it is very “Christ-like” in its prescription. I wonder if we relegate the ministry of Christ only to the time that He walked on this planet. If we do, we minimize His impact to humanity to a historical event and deny the ongoing work of Christ today.
I propose the invitation to become a disciple as well as the command to go and make disciples, is all about Jesus—then and now. I don’t think we are supposed to make disciples of ourselves; but to make disciples of Jesus. In the same way, I don’t think we are supposed to minister from ourselves, but in Jesus. Recall with me that when Jesus sent out the 12, He gave them what they needed for Christ-like ministry (Matt 10:1). He did the same with the 70 (Luke 10:19). None of them had anything to bring to ministry other than what Jesus gave them. It is no different today. It is not that Jesus was physically present in their ministry, but the kind of ministry that only Jesus could do was; and that, because Jesus enabled them for ministry. Again, it is no different today.
I believe Jesus is still summoning disciples to impart to them abilities to minister in word and deed, just as He did in the 1st Century. What is important for you and me are that we are His disciple and that we respond top His summons and let Him enable us for ministry. Many years ago I became a student and went to seminary—only to learn those things that humans can say and do. But to minister with Jesus, I must be a disciple and be summoned by Him so that I can do “Jesus” ministry. And “Jesus” ministry is those things that you and I can only say and do because they come from Him.
Pastor Ken Ross