The Mission of the Twelve
Jesus in today’s gospel calls twelve of His disciples by name to be His apostles. He must have been very intimate with them, so close that He even gave them power and authority to expel demons and to cure every disease and sickness. The word ‘apostle’ is from the Greek word apostolos which means ‘one who is sent.’ And apostolos is from apostello which means ‘send.’ In other words, an apostle is an official representative charged with a commission. The designation emphasizes the authorization of the sender rather than the content of the commission, just like what Jesus has done for these twelve apostles. Jesus, is in fact, an apostle too because He is sent by God Himself (Mk 9:37) and is given the authority to proclaim God’s reign. And now He sends too these apostles to do what He does.
We too, by our baptism and confirmation, are apostles in a broad sense because we are sent by Jesus to proclaim His good news of salvation and God’s Kingdom. But how can we become apostles or the ones being sent by Him? Especially nowadays, according to a survey quoted by Darrell W. Robinson in his, Total Church Life (1997, pp. 174-175), it was estimated that 95 percent of the Christians today never lead a soul to Christ. This is the reversal of Jesus’ strategy of New Testament evangelization. These trends must change if our world is to be reached and evidences are that they are changing.
Therefore as Christians, we should know how to communicate the message of Christ to the different people we encounter in our daily lives. And here are the tips suggested by The Promise Keeper (Nov-Dec., 1998, p. 2) for sharing our faith with others especially with our respective families and neighbors:
- Remember that it is God who changes the hearts and wills of people. Regrettably, we want to see them come to Christ so much that we sometimes push and manipulate.
- Pray urgently and desperately. Have friends pray for your unsaved loved ones.
- Preserve the relationship. If there are relationship problems, be quick to reconcile.
- Develop a loving boldness. You may want to say, “I wouldn’t be fair to you or our relationship if I didn’t share the most important thing in my life.
- Ask thought-provoking questions about life: “Who is God to you?” “Do you ever think about death, and where would you go after you die?” “What brings you happiness in life?” “What does Christmas mean to you?”
- Recount what God is doing in your life. You may not want to share what you learned in your quiet time, but perhaps of God’s hand in your decision-making.
- Check your methods and motives when debating spiritual things. Are you trying to be right or righteous?
- Give nonbelievers a reason to be curious about Christ. How do you view Christ yourself? Do you portray Christianity as a relationship or a lot of rules to follow?
- Love and live well. Love them as God loves them.
OPTION 01, 02, 03,