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Ten Scripture Texts on God’s Mission

Ten Scripture Texts on God's Mission

On Friday morning I asked this question on Twitter, “What are the key passages or texts that speak of God’s people (OT and NT) being on mission? I’ll publish the top 10 on the blog.” This generated a good response and you offered up passages of Scripture from both the Old and New Testaments.

Here is a screen shot of one of many pages of helpful comments:

Here is a top 10 of the passages cited. Some are explicit, others less so, but the mission of God and our calling to join Him is clear. I will be using these in my forthcoming study bible article on John 20:21.

I believe that John 20:21 ties our mission into Jesus’ mission. In other words, we join him in His mission. There are many verses that relate to that (and I often use Luke 4 and Luke 19:10 as good summary statements), but I was looking for verses that were more clearly connected to the call of God on His people.

Here is the list of 10 verses that indicate God’s people are sent on mission:

GENESIS 12:1-3

The Lord said to Abram:

Go out from your land,

your relatives

and your father’s house

to the land that I will show you.

I will make you into a great nation,

I will bless you,

I will make your name great,

and you will be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you,

I will curse those who treat you with contempt,

and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.

EXODUS 19:5, 6

Now if you will listen to Me and carefully keep My covenant, you will be My own possession out of all the peoples, although all the earth is Mine, and you will be My kingdom of priests and My holy nation.


Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying:

Who should I send?

Who will go for Us?

I said:

Here I am. Send me.


This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations. And then the end will come.

MATTHEW 28:18-20

Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

MARK 16:15

Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.

LUKE 24:46-48

“This is what is written: The Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead the third day, and repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And look, I am sending you what My Father promised. As for you, stay in the city until you are empowered from on high.”

JOHN 20:21

Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

ACTS 1:8

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

1 PETER 2:9-10

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood,

a holy nation, a people for His possession,

so that you may proclaim the praises

of the One who called you out of darkness

into His marvelous light.

Once you were not a people,

but now you are God’s people;

you had not received mercy,

but now you have received mercy.

What is missing? What verses more clearly represent the fact that God’s people are sent for His mission? As I mentioned, I do not include the verses that point to how/why Jesus was sent (though that is valid and we join Him in His mission).

Once my little list is done, I will include them as a footnote in the HCSB Study Bible, next to my article on John 20:21.

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Ed Stetzer, Ph.D., is the Dean of Talbot School of Theology at Biola Univeristy and Scholar in Residence & Teaching Pastor at Mariners Church. He has planted, revitalized, and pastored churches; trained pastors and church planters on six continents; earned two master’s degrees and two doctorates; and has written hundreds of articles and a dozen books. He is Regional Director for Lausanne North America, is the Editor-in-Chief of Outreach Magazine, and regularly writes for news outlets such as USA Today and CNN. Dr. Stetzer is the host of "The Stetzer ChurchLeaders Podcast," and his national radio show, "Ed Stetzer Live," airs Saturdays on Moody Radio and affiliates.