Did Jesus Have a Job Description?
Without clarity in our jobs, it's impossible to succeed. Though Jesus had clarity about his mission, his followers often disagree about his job description.
Hard Work in the Wrong Direction
Have you ever felt like you have been successful at your job only to find out what you have been crushing is only a small part of the bigger picture of your job? That’s crushing. Honest, hard work in the wrong direction is ineffective at best and detrimental at worst.
A lack of clarity about Jesus' job description has led to distinctions that have become crushing divisions over time.
I have no doubt Jesus had clear eyes and a full heart concerning his purpose, his job description. We're not going to get everyone on the same page in one blog post, but if you haven't taken the time to consider it, now is as good a time as any.
Throughout Church history and in current streams of the American Church, different ideas about Jesus’ mission have drawn sharp lines in theology, ecclesiology, and missiology. Some emphasize Jesus’ Kingship and others emphasize his Kingdom, resulting in different philosophies of ministry and combative attitudes about the mission of Jesus’ followers, the Church. Perhaps, this is most obvious in America between the stereotypes of Evangelical and Mainline churches.
Looking at Scripture, it is right to recognize the potential for confusion when looking at two of the most quoted passages that help us understand Jesus’ mission. In Luke 19:10, Jesus states he has come to “save the lost.” A church deeply committed to the work of evangelism over all else can find biblical support for this philosophy in Luke 19. But, a church deeply committed to the work of justice over all else can find biblical support for this philosophy in Luke 4, where Jesus states that he has been anointed to set the oppressed free.
The emphasis of the work drives the church’s overarching theology, philosophy, and practice. Clarity on the mission, or job description, is essential.
What would a smashing of several passages concerning the reasons Jesus came look like? What kind of job description would Luke 4:18, Luke 19:10, John 10:10, the Great Commission, the Great Commandment, the Great Compassion, and the Cultural Mandate produce? Hopefully, someone is already working on that project, but for today we can trust that Jesus not only included all of these elements in his job description, but he also fulfilled them.
Therefore, the whole Church and the local church can and must keep these as priorities as well.
I want to encourage leaders in local churches (clergy and laity) to seek relationships with leaders in other churches in their city for the purpose of keeping all of Jesus’ priorities in their churches’ job descriptions.
It is through diverse relationships that we see ourselves and the mission of God more clearly.
It is through relationship that we see ourselves and the mission of God more clearly. Emphasizing one part of Jesus’ job description over the over parts in a local church expression is not a cause of division; it is an opportunity to see how a united Church demonstrates a fuller expression of the Triune God’s mission. Yet, each local community must work toward Jesus’ full job description.
In our daily work, we must ask ourselves if we are setting our sights on the horizon of the job description given to us. This includes the one we received from our place of work, but it also includes the one given to each of us from our Father. Let us not fall into the temptation of separating those descriptions. In God’s perfect plan, our daily work moves the needle toward the completion of His eternal work.