READ : Acts 1:1-11
How important was the Great Commission to Jesus? Crucial enough to be the last thing He said to His followers in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke as well as in the book of Acts: “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (v. 8).
This verse is simple, yet profound. The sequence from Jerusalem to Judea, Samaria, and “the ends of the earth” proceeds from the nearest to the farthest places from the spot where Jesus stood when He spoke these words (the Mount of Olives, overlooking Jerusalem). Note that Jesus uses the conjunction “and,” not “or” in linking these three places. He commands us to proclaim His saving gospel in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth-all those places, not just some. Everywhere!
Such a task is too big for us to accomplish on our own. That’s why Jesus instructed His followers to wait until Pentecost when the Holy Spirit would come to empower them for such a mission.
Petition the Spirit to speak clearly and powerfully today to the Tuareg (of Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso), the Shuwa Arabs (of Chad, Sudan, Nigeria, and Niger), the Southern Shilha Berbers (of Algeria and Morocco), and Algeria’s Saharan Berbers. Although most of these Muslim peoples are hard to reach, Jesus sends us to share His Good News with them.
Lord, bring streams of living water to these peoples. Amen.