Doing ministry Jesus’ way

“He replied, ‘As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house, “The Teacher asks: where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?” He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.’ They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.” – Luke‬ ‭22:10-13‬ ‭NIVUK‬‬

This is a beautiful example doing ministry Jesus’ way, i.e. the natural and the supernatural completely interwoven.

  1. Jesus obviously talked to the people who owned the house previously about celebrating the Passover in this location. This shows that there are things we have to do in the natural to prepare for future ministry. However, we need to trust Jesus to help us make the right connections. The disciples meeting the man with the jar is evidence that He is God since only God can orchestrate such “coincidence”.
  2. Jesus is making preparations for us to serve Him in ministry. We need to listen to Him and act in faith. If we do, we will “things just as Jesus tells us”.

Why shortcuts are a bad idea

“When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, ‘If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.’” – Exodus‬ ‭13:17‬ ‭NIVUK‬‬

I often get impatient with God when I think I know there is a shorter way to reach a goal I have set myself in life and I seem to go on a roundabout route instead. As a child of God it is important to realise that when that happens, God is actually preparing me for future challenges I will face. He does this because He really cares about me, He is setting me up for success and because His will is sovereign.

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” – ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭19:21‬ ‭NIVUK‬‬

All authority belongs to Jesus

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” – Matthew 28:18-20 NIVUK

The order of Jesus’s instructions mirrors God’s instructions to Joshua as he was about to the lead the Israelites into the promised land. Jesus says, “All authority in heave and on earth has been given to me“. God tells Joshua, “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. ‘Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’” (Joshua 1:5-9 NIVUK) Oh the confidence we should have as we go out in His Name!

The big difference between these events is that whereas Joshua’s conquest of the promised land was a physical invasion of the land promised to them, Jesus’s disciples conquest will be a spiritual invasion of this world to enlarge God’s Kingdom. However, both were dangerous conquests. I think we often underestimate the battle that is raging around us in the spiritual. May God open our eyes so that we can enter into this battle with a clear understanding of what is happening and a solid confidence in the One who is leading our charge because He has all authority.