Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away… – John 16:7

What?! There is no way! Our advantage? That YOU, Jesus, the Son of God, the Alpha and the Omega, our Teacher and Rabbi, that God incarnate leaves us? Please no!! Don’t leave!! We need you! There is no way it could ever be better for Jesus to leave us. Right? At least, that’s what I would have thought if I were there. To be honest, that is often what I think . . . “See, Jesus, this is what you get when you leave us to run the place while you’re gone.”

However, this is where I might be a bit mistaken. I could just trust that things are better because Jesus says so, which, I’ll admit, seems like the appropriate thing for a Pastor to do, or I could run the numbers. Let’s run the numbers.

Soon after Jesus spoke those words, he was crucified. Who knows how many of his followers pulled a “Peter” and denied Jesus? After he was resurrected, we don’t know how many believed. We know that Jesus interacted with over 500 people after he was resurrected, but after he ascended into heaven, the book of Acts tells us that there were 120 disciples.

One hundred twenty! That’s it! Can you believe that this guy who is worshiped by literally billions of people around the world, left this planet with only 120 disciples?

But, what happened next proved Jesus’ point. The Holy Spirit came down on those 120 disciples and they became disciples who were empowered to live on Jesus’ mission of making disciples. Wanna know how they did it?

When Jesus left, those 120 disciples had a monumental task ahead of them. The best estimates of the world’s population at that time say that the world had 200 million people in it. That meant that the ratio of believers to non-believers was 1/1.67 Million. That means that every disciple had 1,670,000 people to reach. That’s a lot!

But today, in a world of 7.8 Billion People, there are about 700-900 Million Christians. That means that the ratio of believers to non-believers today is only 1/8-12 people. Which means each disciple only has 8-12 people to reach. Wow! We’ve come a long way. Maybe it was to our advantage after all.

Let’s keep making disciples!

Josh Rose
Discipleship Pastor

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