JESUS IS SMARTER THAN US: CONCLUSION
Dallas Willard suggests in The Divine Conspiracy that we need a "green letter" edition of the Gospels to go along with the "red letter" editions. The words in green would be all the behaviors of Jesus. Jesus commands us to not only listen to what he says, but to "follow" him--to live the way he lives.
Each of the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) record Jesus' instructions to the Twelve about spreading his Father's reign of relentless love: "These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions..." and "After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee" (Matthew 10:5 and 11:1).
Do we find these instructions compelling today?
Part of our mission is: "...and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:20).
This series has been a fly-by of Jesus' instructions to the Twelve. I hope these reflections will provoke more and better thought and strategy about how to partner with Jesus in spreading the "good news of the kingdom of God." Of course, on the one hand, I don't think there can be a 1 to 1 correspondence between 1st century Second Temple Judaism culture under Roman empirial rule and our own culture, but I don't think, on the other hand, that we can jettison Jesus' instructions to the Twelve and just make things up as we go.
Niel Cole, in his book Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens, is the first person that I have read who takes Jesus' instructions seriously for church-planting in our time and culture (and world).