TODAY’S READING: Mark 11; John 12
The last half of the Gospel of John is devoted to the “Passion Week,” the last week of Jesus’ life. All four Gospels focus on this week, for it is indeed the purpose of why Jesus came—to die for the sins of world. The world comprised of over 15,000 nations, the world that still has 7,000 nations without a church vibrant enough to reach their own, the world that still needs missionaries from all nations to go with the passion of Jesus to these unreached peoples, never forgetting that passion means suffering. The last half of the Gospel of John details how Jesus suffered that unreached people groups may be saved. Missions has ever included suffering. Jesus will tell us later that we are sent in the same way He was (John 20:21).
In her classic missionary hymn (1954), Margaret Clarkson helps us remember just exactly what the second half of John is all about, what the Bible is all about, and what we should be all about.
So send I you to labor unrewarded, to serve unpaid, unloved, unsought, unknown, to bear rebuke, to suffer scorn and scoffing, so send I you, to toil for Me alone.
So send I you to bind the bruised and broken, over wandering souls to work, to weep, to wake, to bear the burdens of a world a-weary, so send I you, to suffer for My sake.
So send I you to loneliness and longing, with heart a-hungering for the loved and known, forsaking kin and kindred, friend and dear one, so send I you to know My love alone.
So send I you to leave your life’s ambition, to die to dear desire, self-will resign, to labor long, and love where men revile you, so send I you, to lose your life in Mine.
So send I you to hearts made hard by hatred, to eyes made blind because they will not see, to spend, though it be blood to spend and spare not, so send I you to taste of Calvary.
John went on to record that “unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (12:24). As for Jesus, so for His church. We must die to self and lay down our lives if the nations are to be spared and saved. Jesus made this super clear in what theologians call a Markan sandwich: The bread on both sides is Mark intentionally recording the cursing of the fig tree and the meat of the sandwich is the cleansing the temple. Fig trees that do not produce figs are cursed, as are temples (churches, denominations, ministries, agencies, Christians, missionaries) that do not produce disciples from all nations.
 Margaret Clarkson. “So Send I You.” https://propempo.com/story-behind-so-send-i-you-margaret-clarkson/ (accessed September 30, 2019).