I was reading John’s Gospel this morning and it dawned on me what we are all – well possibly all – are like John the Baptist. With Jesus’ statement to us “And you shall be my witnesses…” he tells us what we are. But are we like John? “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him” (Jn 1.6-7).
The reason I say ‘possibly’ like John is because of the phrase “that all might believe through him.” I guess I am assuming he means all Jews living in his time – all individuals. Or maybe he means the nation as a whole, though maybe not in all its individuals. I’m really not sure.
In any case, both of these “alls” are said to not have happened when in verses 11 and 12 “He [Jesus] came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,…” So, John’s purpose was not fulfilled. John’s fault or not John’s fault I do not know but it did not happen.
“Make disciples of all nations” has our command and our purpose over these last 2,000 plus years. All races – ethne and yet these races or people groups as we define them today are also disappearing. I heard that Wycliffe Bible Translators or the Ethnologue have recorded that some 200 languages have disappeared over the last 20 years or so. I do not have a specific reference for that but I do have this quote:
Linguists predict that over half of the almost 7,000 languages spoken in the world today will disappear by the end of the century. According to Ethnologue, 473 languages currently are close to extinction. In the Americas alone, 182 are endangered. (From Here)
These are the ethne as we define them today. Were they discipled? Are we like John?