Touchstones Markers for Measuring Discipleship
Mission is the Kingdom Stone
Approaching Jerusalem just day before His crucifixion, Jesus made an unusual request of His disciples. They were to go into the village and bring back a donkey colt that had never been ridden. As Jesus approached the city riding on the colt, the crowd began to praise God in a loud voice. People spread coats and branches on the road. People formed a procession in front of and behind Jesus shouting “Hosanna!” and “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord” (Luke 19:38, NIV).
Jesus riding on a humble donkey would have brought to mind the prophecy of the coming King for Zechariah 9:9-10. The word hosanna means God save us. The reference to the King indicates that people were declaring Jesus to be the Messiah who came to bring redemption.
The Pharisees, offended by the overt Messianic references, told Jesus to silence His disciples. Jesus responded. “… if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (v. 40). Jesus had openly entered the city as Messiah and would be greeted by exaltation, even if it came from stones.
Our third touchstone is missional response. Persons who encounter the one true King seek way to declare His message to the nations. Isaiah realizing He had seen the King, cried out in repentance and was forgiven and cleansed of sin. In response to God’s missional invitation, he cried out, “Here and I send me!” (Isaiah 6:8).
Missional stewardship is marked by sacrificial and cooperative support of God’s mission to reach the nations through congregational ministry and collaborative global strategies as illustrated by the Cooperative Program. Paul challenged the churches of Achaia and Macedonia to join together to support the believers in Jerusalem who were suffering because of a severe famine (see 2 Corinthians 8). Cooperative giving is kingdom focused because it requires us to give to people we may never see in a manner where only Jesus can receive the glory.