Why do we struggle so much with heralding the gospel in Jerusalem? Why are we comfortable with hopping on a plane and sharing the good news to a people we’ve never met yet uncomfortable with sharing the good news to our neighbors and co-workers, those we know and see every day? I think we need to understand this question to be faithful ministers of the gospel.
We’re all here because men took seriously the commands of God to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth. For many generations, the Holy Spirit has transformed hearts through the heralding of the good news of Christ. These heralds experienced grace in such a way that it motivated them to preach on, speak on and share the grace, mercy and forgiveness of Christ.
We can look back to Genesis 12 and hear God tell Abram, “I’m going to save from every tribe, tongue and nation on earth. I’m reconciling all things to myself.” We can look at the prophet Isaiah say, “The nations will gather and be glad.”
We can see the coming of Jesus. We can hear him say, “There are sheep that are not of this flock who are going to be a part of my family, of my flock. They’ll hear my voice. They’ll come.” We can watch and see the gospel roll out, through the book of Acts to the known world.
This is what God has accomplished, and it’s our turn to play in the great drama and in the great unfolding of God’s redemptive plan.
The refrain from Acts 1 has echoed from the beginning of creation in God’s redeeming work in Jesus Christ, and it was heralded to us – by parents, friends, co-workers, or even by people we didn’t even know. Now the message has been entrusted to us, and the command hasn’t changed: “To Jerusalem, to Judea, to Samaria, and to the ends of the earth…”
In Acts, everybody heralded and talked about Jesus at home, in Jerusalem, but they didn’t want to get out of there. They didn’t want to leave. They were comfortable at home. Not until Saul began to ravage the Church did they go to Judea and Samaria.