"I Have No Other Plan" (The Great Commission)

"I Have No Other Plan" (The Great Commission)

There is an old legend that takes us back in time and recounts the time when Jesus slips back into heaven after He had died on the cross and rose from the dead. According to the legend, the angel Gabriel met him. Gabriel frowned when he saw the marks of Jesus’ scars of His tortuous years on earth, especially the scars of His crucifixion.

Gabriel said: “Master, you suffered terribly for those down on earth.”

“Yes, I did,” was Jesus’ reply.

Gabriel continued: “Do they all know now about your live and your forgiveness? Have they all heard about your death and resurrection?”

“No, not yet.” Said Jesus. “Right now only a handful knows. Only a handful of people in Palestine know about my death and resurrection.”

Gabriel looked perplexed. “Then,” he asked, “Euh… How will everyone find out about your wonderful life and your sacrificial death and triumphant resurrection?”

“I have asked Peter, James, John and a handful of friends and followers to tell other people about it. And when other people hear and believe, they in turn will tell others. And Gabriel, by and by, the planet earth will hear the message.”

Still frowning, the angel responded: “But, hmmm, you know how people are on earth. What if they… What if Peter, James and John get tired? What is they tell the story and then the next generation gets all involved in other pursuits? What if way down in the 18th or 21st century, people aren’t committed any longer to your commission? Have you made other plans?”

The Lamb of God looked directly at the angel of God and said: “I have no other plan. I am counting on them.”

As heard from Chuck Swindoll

  • Michael Herrmann

    Brother Neal,

    I expect that my comment may start a 'rasslin' match (Gen 32:24-25). I'm probably going to sound as though I'm beating you up over this simple thing you've posted. That is not my intention. Please take what I write as a comment on the text of the post and not a judgement of you.

    [commense beating]
    This "legend" is offensive to me and I believe it is offensive to the nature of God. I realize that you did not write it. I also know that you have a heart for proclaiming the Gospel and you see this tale as useful to prod the faithful to take the good news to all the earth. For, if we don't do it, who will? Perhaps it will prod some to obedience, and for that I rejoice!

    My problem is not the intent of the tale but the characterization of Christ it portrays. In this characterization of Jesus He is a sort of helpless/hopeful savior. He "asks" Peter, James and John…He "counts" on humanity…He has no other plan (implying that He should consider a backup plan because His first plan could fail). It even protrays Gabriel as one who is not trusting in the Lord's plan. Gabriel's distrust of humanity is wise but his lack of faith in Jesus' "plan" is not.

    Jesus is not "counting" on us to spread the good news. He is determining that we will spread it (prov 21:1). He has given us the amazing honor to exalt Him and bring His good news to all the earth. If I, personally, don't obey His command, I suffer loss, but the cause of Christ continues through others and will continue until He returns. Man cannot thwart the plans of God. God does all that He pleases (ps 135:6).

    I would re-write the last few sentences in this way:

    Rejoicing, the angel responded: "What a blessing it is to man that you redeem him and show your greatness by using him for your glory. You do not only save the soul, but you change the heart of sinful man and he glorifies you by proclaiming your truth to his brother."

    The Lamb of God looked directly at the angel of God and smiled.

    Ok, that's pretty lame as far as prose goes but it expresses my point. We see so much untrusting behavior and speech in Christianity today, whether it's the pramatic ways of the seeker sensitive movement, the positive self image folks like Schuler, or a great deal of what's going on in the Emergent movement. Ok, most of that is off the topic but like the tale above, it sets off my pragmatism radar. boing!

    [desist beating]

    Thank you for posting this and allowing me to get my back all up.


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