COME AND SEE; GO AND TELL
There is this sensitive and odd feeling that runs through my body when anyone speaks about or asks about my opinion about the missions. The first thought that pops up in my mind when I hear the word ‘mission’ is going to a foreign land, learning a foreign language, adapting to a foreign culture and my mind gets so filled with these thoughts that the primary aim and purpose of the missionary call slips out of my mind. When anyone speaks of the missions, many questions that fill my mind may be similar to yours. Why do we need to be missionaries? , why do we need to go? ,why can’t we remain here itself and do similar work? and many more. All these questions of yours and mine are answered in the Holy Scripture. This missionary call does not originate in Jesus’ time. It has its origination way back in the beginning of time. In the Old Testament we see that God called Noah, Abraham, Moses and continues in the present times to the people of today.
This is also what Jesus did in his time. When Jesus saw two young men following him, he turned around and asked them, ‘what are you looking for?’ to which one of them replied, ‘where do you live?’ Jesus’ reply was simple and clear- COME AND SEE.
Before sending the disciples into the world, the Lord always calls us; firstly to come and see. He calls us to have a personal experience of His love. This experience strengthens us and fills us with faith and gives us a renewed hope to carry out our task well. After we are strengthened in God’s love, we are ready to go and proclaim. There is always a hesitation within us when it is time for us to leave and go. Often times we are so stuck to our small worlds that we do not like to go. We are so relaxed in our comfort-zones that we do not like to leave. Someone once said that “if it were possible, men would go back into their mother’s womb to enjoy the comfort.” But when we look at Jesus, everything he did and said was counter-cultural. He wants us to go because for us to receive a huge reward, a huge sacrifice must be made.
When we are told to go, many-a-time we give excuses. This is completely traditional. This is beautifully portrayed by the author Mitch Albom, in his book ‘Have a little faith,’ when he says, ‘man likes to run away from God and his call.’ There are also various examples in the Bible of the same. Jonah, when he is commanded by God to go, at once flees from the presence of God. Jeremiah’s excuse to God’s command is, ‘I am only a youth and I do not know what to say.’ Moses at God’s call wanted to substitute his brother for himself. It is by human nature that we are afraid to go. But these men, mentioned above, after obeying God’s command lived transformed lives. There are various examples in the bible itself contradicting the above mentioned. For example, Hosea at once goes as the Lord commands. There is also the example of Jesus calling his disciples. At the call of Jesus, Simon Peter and Andrew –both fishermen, drop their nets there itself and follow Jesus. Matthew the tax collector leaves his tax booth and follows the master, likewise the other disciples. Once they had a personal experience with Jesus and when He found that they were ready to go, Jesus sent his disciples out to carry his legacy- the spreading of the Good news.
As Christians our primary call is to be missionaries and witnesses of God’s love. We are called to be sent, to go out of our selves, to spread the Good news. Let us encounter Jesus who long awaits us and after having a deep and personal encounter with Him let us obey his command and GO!
Cl. Ashely Noronha