May 08, 2019

The Same Mission as Always

Luke 2:41-52

“Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”

—  Luke 2:49

Not long ago, a pastor friend retired after a long and fruitful ministry. And as he retired, he told people, “I am not going to stop serving the Lord; I’m just being reassigned!”

In a similar way, the ascension of Jesus was like a reassignment in his mission. It simply reflected where Jesus’ focus had always been. Before he entered human history as Jesus the Savior, the eternal Son of God had always been in the Father’s presence and doing the Father’s will. During his time on earth, that priority did not change.

Though Jesus, as a young boy, spoke of the temple as his “Father’s house,” his focus was not on a building but on a life that would seek God’s presence in all things.

Our service to the Father may take us places in this world where God’s work is not immediately obvious. But our longing for the Father’s presence will always be a priority.

In many ways, Jesus’ ascension reflected the same God-ward focus his earthly mission had always had. The ascension was less a radical break in Jesus’ ministry and more of a reassignment in his continuing mission.

When we live for the Father in this world, our longing for heaven will be a natural extension of our life on earth. Do others see that God-ward focus in you today?

Father, give me a desire to be near you today. Increase my longing for heaven, for your glory. And may others see this desire in the way I live here on earth. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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