“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receives whomever I send receives me; and he that receives me receives Him that sent me.” (John 13:20) If you have received Christ, then you have received God, for Jesus is God. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that is God, three in one, and although it has been discussed for centuries and more no one can truly understand in its totality this statement. Suffice it to say that it is truth and leave it in the capable hands of God to help you to understand it as He best sees fit.
What I would like to look at in this verse are the words “he that receives whomever I send receives me,” specifically “whomever I send.” I cannot say how many people I have witnessed to, I do not try to keep track, God knows, but I do know that if you spend more than just a few minutes with me that I will attempt to direct the conversation towards Christ, usually with just a few words to “test the water,” if you please, of the individual that I am speaking with. Do they know anything at all about the Savior, do they want to, are they professing Christ only in Words, or are they truly obedient servants? It usually does not take more than a few minutes for an answer to all of these questions to become obvious, when a brother or sister in Christ is put in my path, we both find it difficult to continue with the daily chores that we must accomplish, for that would mean that the conversation about our Lord would need to come to an end, and there is no finer way to spend the day than lifting up the name of Jesus.
I firmly believe that many of these times individuals are sent specifically by the Lord to us for our benefit and joy, for usually they occur after I have spoken to many more than I would like to count that have no concern at all about the spiritual aspects of life, much less the One who created them in the first place. It is an interesting statement, “those whom Christ has put in my path,” for in one sense it answers the “whomever I send” statement of Christ. I firmly believe that every single person that you strike up a conversation with should know two things about you almost right from the start, one is that you care about them, and the second would be why you care, because Christ cares. It takes a little practice and a lot of prayer, but please believe me, if the person I was before Christ can be used in this way, anyone can, I was not a nice person. Every opportunity you have to speak to someone should be looked at as a chance to love your neighbor, whether they are lost or saved, but each occasion must be dealt with in wisdom.
You have been sent out into the world to reach the lost for Christ and to assist your brother, but are you sure that you have been sent to the individual who is standing in front of you at that moment? “Hooks in the water to see if they bite” is how I like to put it sometimes, the reason for the hook is obvious, to catch them, if you will, for Christ, the bait is the Word of God, a caring statement, conversation that revolves around them, and responses that let them know that it is Christ that is willing to help them, you are only the instrument that He is using at the moment for their sake. All of this can happen in less than a three or four minute conversation, but most of the time you will be seen as nosey, as butting into their business, and if you do not have your so called pastor of a church identification label on your shirt, you will probably not be heard, much less listened to. “Whomever I send.” You need to make sure you have been sent, unless you are going to try, which I would not recommend, doing what the false religious organizations do and go door-to-door with some brochures and false promises, you need to be as sure as you can that you have indeed been sent by Christ.
Many pulpits are filled with people who may have a certificate or a framed declaration that says they have completed the prescribed hours of attendance and now have the right, so to speak, to preach, but they have not been sent by Christ. They can draw a crowd, but not a soul to Christ, they have not been sent, but they go anyway. These are they that serve only themselves, and many have been deceived by them throughout the ages, they are very good at what they do, but they are not doing it for Christ. Those whom Christ does not send cannot show anyone the way to Christ, they don’t know the way themselves. Our Lord sends whom He will, those He sends He has prepared, and He always prepares them the same way today, faith in His Word. One of the things that Paul asked of those that he wrote to was that they would pray for him to speak boldly, (Eph. 6:19) and I would guess that he probably prayed that for himself on a regular basis. Boldness comes from confidence, confidence comes from the knowledge that Christ is Lord, and those that have this confidence, Christ sends.
Far too many today think that they need to have a certain number of Scripture verses memorized, spend hour after hour studying the Scriptures, even attend a seminary before they can witness to the lost, nothing could be further from the truth. Besides the embarrassment that some who claim Christ as Lord feel when the conversation turns to His name, they do not believe they know enough of the Word of God to go and seek the lost, much less speak of Him to those that they meet. It takes very little to lead a person in a conversation, all they really need to know is that you care, once they understand that, then the reason you care for them is the next natural step. We don’t call anyone to Christ, He does, and whomever He sends is who He has chosen to be His mouthpiece for that person. I cannot recall ever leading someone to the Cross of Christ the first time that I met them, but some have after many conversations, and all those were led by the Holy Spirit, never were my words spoken except in an occasional personal testimony. If you try to go out there on your own, you will fail, if you sit around and wait for them to come to you, you will meet no one, you must know when you have been sent, thus the hooks in the water analogy.
There are certain words that are found in the Christian vocabulary that are not generally in those who are still lost. These are, if you will, the hooks, praise, blessed, God Almighty, you know them and more than likely use them in your day to day conversations with those that you know are your brothers and sisters in Christ, but how about everyone else you meet. When someone tells you that you have done a fine job at something, “The glory goes to God,” when they bring up something special in their life, “Praise God” or “That’s a real blessing,” and more are all good responses, and will inevitably let the hearer know that there is something different about us. There are three reasons I have found why those who profess Christ do not speak this way in the normal conversations that they have each day; they seek the praise of men above the praise of God, they don’t want those in the world to hate them, or they are ashamed, or embarrassed if that seems a little less harsh, of Christ, I have found few other excuses. Have you ever given any thought that the reason He doesn’t send some of His children is because they fit into one of these categories, that they have not been good stewards over the things that He has given them, so He is not going to give them anymore.
Think diligently on this my friends and remember that the one coin that the servant was given, even that was taken away from him. (Matt. 25:28) Christ sends those that are seeking Him, that are applying their hearts and time to Him, He sends obedient servants who have been trained by Him to do the work that He has set before them. He has one instruction manual, and although He has blessed others with words of wisdom, all refer back to the inerrant Word of God. Study to show yourself approved, learn how to rightly divide the Word of Truth by His grace, (2 Tim. 2:15) and He will send you. If you don’t want to be sent, then don’t concern yourself with any of this, I really hope you will get to keep your one coin though.