Centripetal missionary dimension


‘He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” – Mark 11:17

Centripetal missionary dimension is by no means confined to the OT but it is found also in the NT.  Astrologers came from the East to Jerusalem to look for the Saviour of the world. Simeon refers to the deliverance which God has prepared —

“Which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations,  and he is the glory of your people Israel!” – Luke 2:31-32

The verse heading up this post quoted by Jesus but taken from Isaiah 56:7.  The cleansing of the temple moreover, suggests that restoration of Israel should precede the pilgrimage of the nations to Jerusalem.  The Roman officer coming to Jesus and the Greeks traveling to Jerusalem to see Jesus give expression to the same idea — Salvation is found in Israel and the nations who wish to partake of it should go there.

“You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews.” – John 4:22

The world’s salvation consummated at one place only – in Jerusalem; this explains prominence of this city in all four Gospels, especially that of Luke (the non-Jew!)

The Bible speaks with a disarming candor here.  The disciples are seed and at the same time labourers bringing in the harvest (Matthew 9:37-38); they are members of the flock (Matthew 10:16; Luke 12:32; John 10:1-16) but also shepherds (Matthew 10:6; John 21:15-17); they are in need of absolution )Matthew 18:23-27) but can also give absolution to others (Matthew 16:19; 18:18: John 20:23).  God has revealed to them —

“He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not.”                           – Matthew 13:11

Yet they have to seek the Kingdom (Matthew 5:20; 6:33; Luke 13:24).  They are God’s children (John 1:12), yet have to become that by loving their enemies (Matthew 5:44-45). They have received eternal life (John 3:16-17; 11:25-26) yet still have to go through the gate that leads to life (Matthew 7:14).  Because they have done what Jesus expected of the rich young ruler, they are —

“Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” – Matthew 19:21; cf. Mark 10:28

Yet they have to keep watch and pray so that they will not fall into temptation (Matthew 26: 41).  The believers must work out their salvation in fear and trembling, for it is God who works in them (Philippians 2:12-13).  Therefore Paul can, quite self-unconsciously, call them —

“For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.” – 1 Corinthians 3:9

The key to these apparently complete paradoxes lies in the NT expression – “in Christ.”

” But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.” – I Corinthians 15:10

Impulses to Global Mission in Isaiah

Witness to the World

Indian Megachurches’ Centripetal Mission


Worship is Mission Seeing the Eucharist as the Drama of God’s
Mission to the World




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