Luke 2:49; John 20:21
My father is a missionary. My older brother is a missionary. I was raised a missionary kid. A lot of people probably think that's why I became a missionary. The idea of that used to annoy me. I wanted people to know that I was genuinely called by God to missions and not just someone who was carrying on "the family business."
Now that I've grown older, I've come to realize that missions is indeed "the family business." No, not the Quinlan family business - God's family business! To "do missions" is not to follow in the footsteps of any earthly father, rather it is to follow in the footsteps of our heavenly Father!
This truth is seen in the person and work of Jesus Christ Himself. Though often viewed by His community as the son of Joseph the carpenter, Jesus never identified Himself as such. In Luke 2:48-49, after being found in the temple at the end of a three day search, Jesus is asked by Mary, "... Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing." Jesus responds, "... How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" It is clear from our Lord's response that He did not identify His Father as being Joseph, the one of whom Mary spoke, nor did He identify His Father's business as being that of carpentry.
There's nothing wrong with being a carpenter. It's a good and honest job. It's even likely that Jesus worked as a carpenter, assisting Joseph, until He began His ministry. But Jesus never identified Himself with that work. He knew He had come for a greater purpose. He had come to do the work of His heavenly Father (John 5:17; 9:4 et al). Jesus didn't come to be a carpenter; He came to be the Saviour! That was His mission. That was why the Father sent Him. That was the family business!
So how does this relate to you and me? Jesus began His ministry by telling Mary, "... wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" He ended it by telling His disciples, "... as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." (John 20:21).
We all have earthly fathers and we all have earthly jobs. Our jobs are important. They pay the bills and put food on the table. But we must never forget that we are here for a greater purpose. As the Father sent the Son "... to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10) so the Son has sent us to seek the lost and bring them to the Saviour!
Seeking the lost is the Father's business. It began in the Garden when God sought out fallen man. It is also the Son's business. The Father sent the Son "... to seek and to save that which was lost." And now it is our business. The Son has sent us as the Father sent Him. It's why we're here. It's missions. It's the family business!
Written by Larry Quinlan