Ten Takeaways from the Missional Life of Jesus

Jesus standing with outstretched hand over the water.
When I think of the first and best missionary, I think of Jesus. We can take much away from his missional example.

Many Christians think of the apostle Paul as the first missionary. They look at his rhetoric, who he ministered to, how he contextualized, and his evangelistic methods. His letters, inspired by the Spirit, are the written word of God. But, when I think of the first and best missionary, I think of Jesus.   

As Samuel Escobar says in his book The New Global Mission, “God wants to be known and does not remain hidden…God has revealed himself in and through historical events, and supremely in Jesus Christ, the One he sent as the clearest revelation of his love and saving purpose.” Here are ten takeaways when we base our mission on the life of Jesus.

1. We are all sent. (John 20:21) Whether we serve across the globe or right next door, we have the amazing call to be the hands and feet of Christ to those around us.

2. Holy Spirit leads to missional living. The Spirit came upon Jesus to begin his ministry.  Ultimately, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead also lives in us (Romans 6:10-11) to lead, guide and sustain our mission.

3. Jesus was obedient in his call. (Phil 2) The entire Church has a role in missions, but many aren’t obedient because they think missions is only for a few.

4. Jesus suffered on His mission. Don’t be afraid to suffer, be made fun of, rejected, or persecuted.  If we are doing missions right, this should be expected!

5. We are called to enter into the world just as Jesus entered ours. What areas locally or globally need the hope only Jesus can provide? Check out Joshua Project.  

6. Jesus crossed social, political, and religious barriers to love those far from Him. (John 4). We need to do the same.

7. It’s worth it to give our lives for the Gospel. Jesus was obedient even unto death. When we hold on to an eternal perspective, we can take notice of the urgency of the Gospel and remember that when we decide to follow Jesus, we need to pick up our cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24).

8. Jesus raised up and empowered leaders. We need to make disciples who make disciples. It’s the only formula for us to see world evangelization!

9. Evangelism vs. Social Action: Jesus did both! Examples include His teachings in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), healing a man on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:9-14), and His interactions with the woman at the well (John 4:5-30). 

10. Jesus’ ministry not only focused on preaching to the masses but focused on the “one” and the “least of these.” Jesus loved lepers, prostitutes, and criminals. He led uneducated, unimportant people. If we apply that to our context, who can we love and serve?

Jesus knew his missionary purpose and He changed the world.  When we know our purpose, we can also see the world changed by God’s mighty hand.



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About the author

Paul Beeghly

Paul Beeghly believes that mission is not an extra-curricular activity of the church but the purpose of the church. Paul worked in tech start-ups in California before God called him to the mission field in Southern Thailand, where he and his wife helped start For Freedom International and Justice Semester. Paul seeks to serve North American churches and inspire people for greater mission as TEAM's Director of Mobilization for the US. When not working, he is pursuing a Masters in Global Leadership from Fuller Seminary, enjoys cooking for his wife and two kids, and dreams of "breaking 80" on a golf course.


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  • Shalom
    I am really boosted and inspired to be a passionate missionary by reading the year and month-wise topics in the Archive section. Thank you for sending the updated Blog.

    In this world of Confusion and Compromising (with the wrong thing) attitude of mankind especially we Christians need to be fully committed as we see in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ and the first missionary St. Paul and many others in the Bible.
    Regards with prayer.

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