Reflections: October 8, 2020
Thursday of the 17th Week after Trinity
by Gaven Mize
These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, "Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of them Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'" (Matthew 10:5-7)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. It seems that every Christian knows of the Great Commission in Matthew 28. We are given the command to "go." We are given the baptismal formula, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." However, there is an often-overlooked Greek word in that sentence. The word ethni is most often translated as "nations," yet in this context, the word "Gentiles" is a better option. Why? It simply puts a bookend on the first commission found in our text in verse 5.
It can sometimes be hard to wrap our minds around the idea that Christ became flesh to first go to the chosen people of Israel. It is from the house of Israel that the Law and prophets came. Even all the prophetic texts about Christ in the Old Testament came from the Jews. So it is good, right, and salutary that Christ would send out His disciples to go to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Perhaps our first reaction is to say, "Hey, that's not fair." Why would Jesus say, "Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans" (Matthew 10:5)? To be honest, that's what makes Matthew 28 and the translation of ethni so unique and important.
The beautiful thing about the Great Commission is that it is on the other side of the Cross and resurrection of Jesus. In His sacrifice, Christ was lifted up and has drawn all men unto Himself. We, who are Gentiles, are not separated from God, but have been ransomed at a price and that price is the blessed blood of Jesus Christ. Christ has washed us, feeds us, and teaches us through the mouths and hands of His pastors. We are the sheep who were not lost, but have been rescued from the sin, death, and the devil. Thanks be to God. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Not all the blood of beasts on Jewish altars slain, could give the guilty conscience peace, or wash away the stain. But Christ, the heav'nly Lamb, takes all our sins away, a sacrifice of nobler name and richer blood than they. ("Not All the Blood of Beasts" LSB 431, st.1, 2)
-Rev. Gaven Mize is the pastor of Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hickory, NC.
Reflections: January 1, 2021This Just In: The Ultimate ResolutionReflections: January 2, 2021Reflections: January 3, 2021Reflections: January 4, 2021Video Short: January 5, 2021Video Short: January 4, 2021Reflections: January 5, 2021Reflections: January 6, 2021Video Short: January 6, 2021Under the Cross: Don't Look at the ListReflections: January 7, 2021Video Short: January 7, 2021Video Short: January 8, 2021Reflections: January 8, 2021Dean's List: The Catechism Really Is for YouReflections: January 9, 2021Reflections: January 10, 2021Reflections: January 11, 2021Video Short: January 11, 2021Helpful Things: Fundraising Essentials FOR YOUReflections: January 13, 2021Video Short: January 12, 2021Reflections: January 12, 2021Video Short: January 13, 2021Reflections: January 14, 2021Video Short: January 14, 2021Under the Cross: You Don't Belong to This WorldReflections: January 15, 2021Video Short: January 15, 2021Reflections: January 16, 2021Reflections: January 17, 2021Reflections: January 18, 2021Video Short: January 18, 2021This Just In: Martin Luther King, Jr.--The Man Who Had a DreamReflections: January 19, 2021Video Short: January 19, 2021Dead Christians You Should Know About: Saint SebastianReflections: January 20, 2021Video Short: January 20, 2021Video Short: January 21, 2021Reflections: January 21, 2021Reflections: January 22, 2021Reflections: January 23, 2021Video Short: January 22, 2021Dean's List: Jesus Hits the Spot!Reflections: January 24, 2021Reflections: January 25, 2021Reflections: January 26, 2021Video Short: The Conversion of St. PaulHelpful Things: Effective Fundraising Through Midweek MealsVideo Short: Suffering Doesn't Mean God Doesn't Love YouReflections: January 27, 2021Video Short: Woke Wednesday: Karma, Karma, KarmaVideo Short: Abortion and the Church's WorkReflections: January 28, 2021Reflections: January 29, 2021Video Short: What Goes On In Your Pastor's Mind About Closed CommunionFoundations: You Need Your Pastor More Than EverReflections: January 30, 2021Reflections: January 31, 2021
Reflections: February 1, 2021Video Short: Stretching Out To RepentVideo Short: Parable of Those Gifted in the VineyardReflections: February 2, 2021Dead Christians You Should Know About: Saint Blaise of SebasteSpeaking of Faith: The Liturgy Is Tried and True EvangelismReflections: February 3, 2021Video Short: Woke Wednesday De-platformingReflections: February 4, 2021Video Short: Hearing Law and GospelVideo Short: The Anti-Catholic ParadoxDean's List: Called to ServeReflections: February 5, 2021Reflections: February 6, 2021Reflections: February 7, 2021Reflections: February 8, 2021Video Short: Ears on the Sower... And the SeedReflections: February 9, 2021Helpful Things: Sex, Sexuality, and BaptismVideo Short: The Simple Definition of Faith That Will Rescue You From Your DoubtsReflections: February 10, 2021Video Short: Woke Wednesday: Wokeism and ChristianityVideo Short: What Your Pastor Thinks When Preaching the LawReflections: February 11, 2021Reflections: February 12, 2021Video Short: Valentines and LoveUnder the Cross: Valentine's Day StinksReflections: February 13, 2021Reflections: February 14, 2021Reflections: February 15, 2021Video Short: Lent is Almost HereVideo Short: Lent For Evangelical ChristiansReflections: February 16, 2021Welcome to Lent - Supplement to the ReflectionsVideo Short: How to Fast in LentReflections: February 17, 2021Reflections: February 18, 2021Video Short: Lutherans Aren't the Cult of LutherReflections: February 19, 2021