Have you ever wondered what it would be like to receive a substantial inheritance?
Growing up as the child of inner city missionaries, this was not a subject that ever crossed my mind. I knew that when my parents died, all I would inherit from them was what they taught me.
Lately, though, I’ve been thinking about inheritance in wealthy families. In these families, a child’s inheritance often is spelled out even before they are conceived. In the British royal family, there is never any question about who gets what. The more powerful and successful a family is, the tighter the transfer of wealth is controlled. When it comes time to buy a gift for an individual from a wealthy family, it often can be bewildering, and begs the question, “What do you give the man who has everything?”
The Bible spends a lot of time talking about inheritance. There is an amazing verse in the second chapter of Psalms. King David describes a conversation that is taking place between God the Father and His Pre-Incarnate Son. What on Earth would the Creator of the universe give to His Son as an inheritance? The angels stilled their praise momentarily to hear the answer. “You are my son. Today, I have become your Father. Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession.” God tells His Son to ask Him for these things. We have no record that Jesus did ask for the nations, but since He always does the will of the Father, it is safe to surmise that He did.
This theme was confirmed at Jesus’ birth in the second chapter of Luke. The angels announced that this “good news will be for all the people” (a people, a group, tribe, nation). Simeon confirmed that Jesus “is a light for revelation to the gentiles (all the non-Jewish nations).” Jesus was coming to claim His inheritance!
Consider the incident when Jesus cleansed the temple. If a person lived a long way from the temple, the law allowed them to sell their sacrifice in their hometown, and then carry the money to the temple where they could purchase a suitable sacrifice.
God had invited all the nations to come to the Temple and hear about His love for them, but the Jews had decided that the gentile nations were not worthy of hearing about their Jewish God. They turned the court of the gentiles into a market, thus denying Jesus’ inheritance any access to hear about Him.
Jesus wanted all of the nations to be represented in those who would pray to Him and worship Him, and now His own people were denying Him the inheritance promised to Him by the Father!
Jesus commissioned us to finish the task He began. So what do you give the God who has everything? Give Him what He wants. Go everywhere, turning men into disciples and disciple nations until He returns to claim His inheritance — the worship of the nations!
Rayman is co-founder of Coastal Georgia School of Missions and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.