Thursday, November 26, 2009

70. The Nations

This being the 70th post I think it only right to do something about the Nations. As early as Genesis 10, the nations have been on Gods mind. Living in a global village like we are today, it is still astounding that some parts of the world are still insulated form the technological advances that sweep across and entire nation like America but can somehow not make it into the places that need it the most. In his book about poverty, .... says that it is an anomaly that we can get the book "Harry Potter" half way across the world and released on the same day but we can not get mosquito masks to Africa to prevent people from dying from malaria.

Jesus commanded us to penetrate the nations in Matthew 28. In the old testament, the nations would flow into Jerusalem. The holy city was the mecca of the Jews and as such the Jews constructed an ethnocentric view of themselves. Jesus shatters this ethnocentric identity and pointed the church towards a boundary crossing adventure. The disciples were to bring a great reversal and flow into the nations with the good news of the Kingdom. God has always had a heart for the nations.

However, we should not get confused about this word "nations." In the Greek it is ethnos, which is where we get our word ethnicity. There is a difference between culture and ethnicity, but they do share some common space. Jesus was not just referring to geographic boundaries on maps. There are multiple ethnicity's and cultures shoved up against each other in urban centers and the outlying regions of the megalopolis'. Jesus points us towards these ethnic groups, subcultures, races and says "MAKE DISCIPLES"!!!!!.

In order to live into this calling, we need a specific form of leadership. A boundary crossing, multi-cultural, ethnically equipped leadership. Jesus knew it would take a specific category of people to carry out this task of infiltrating the different ethnic centers with the god news. he called the people apostles. Apostolic leadership is at the enter of God's heart for the nations.

70 has always been the representation of the Nations and finds its origins in the table of nations in Genesis 1. It is interesting that the 2nd Temple period was characterized by a form of leadership that had as its characterizing number ...70. The Sanhedrin was a doctrinal and moral council in the matters of the law. How ironic that the group who was formed around the symbolic table of nations had not intentions on being a light to the nations. They morphed into an exclusive style of leadership that narrowed its focus to the concerns of its own people. It is very analogous to the Shepherd-Teacher system of leadership in the church today cant help but have its eyes on the flock.

We need to recapture this vision for the nations and re-activate a missional posture towards the world. There are more ethnic groups than 70 in the world right now, and this is true probably true in Yuri own city!

May apostles flood the nations with the good news!

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