October 31, 2018
The Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary l have on my desk defines commission as an authorization or command to act in a prescribed manner or to perform prescribed acts.
Two great commissioning events stand out in my mind. One is Elbert Hubbard classic book, “A Book to Garcia.” it’s a story of a young lieutenant in the United Army during the Spanish-American War. President McKinley commissioned him to carry a message to General Garcia, who was in charge of the Cuban revolutionary forces.
Upon being sent to Cuba, Lt. Rowan, who has asked no questions of the President and without knowledge of the specific location of General Garcia, sailed to Cuba and made his way through the interior and delivered his message to Garcia.
A second excellent commissioning event (and the more important one) is Jesus’ commission the twelve found in Mathew chapter 10.
1 Summoning His 12 disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to drive them out and to heal every disease and sickness.
5 Jesus sent out these 12 after giving them instructions: “Don’t take the road leading to other nations and don’t enter any Samaritan town.
6 Instead, go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7 As you go, announce this: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.‘
8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with skin diseases, drive out demons. You have received free of charge; give free of charge.
9 Don’t take along gold, silver, or copper for your money-belts.
10 Don’t take a traveling bag for the road, or an extra shirt, sandals, or a walking stick, for the worker is worthy of his food.
11 ‘When you enter any town or village, find out who is worthy, and stay there until you leave.
12 Greet a household when you enter it,
13 and if the household is worthy, let your peace be on it. But if it‘s unworthy, let your peace return to you.
14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that house or town.
Unlike Lt. Rowan, who received his commission and a letter, and got one instruction: take the message to Garcia, Jesus commissioned His 12 disciples and gave them specific instructions that there were to do.
I recommend both books. They will challenge, inspire, and motivate you to fulfill your commission. “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
P.S. When my son was in the U.S. Army, he gave each of his Lieutenants a copy of “A Message to Garcia.” I hope all under his command had a Bible.