Who is commanded?
The other day a campus minister asked us to be careful when talking to his students about missions because, "At NYU, these students are special and they take their careers very seriously." At first I didn't know what to say, but I have been thinking of this comment constantly because of the implications that it left in my mind. I have been given this little speech more than once now at several of the more prestigious schools we have visited and it finally got under my skin today. What is that person really trying to communicate? That students at a certain school or because of the price of tuition are somehow exempted from the call of Christ seems to be the real underlying thought. Is that how we are to make decisions? Is the task of world missions only fit for students at a community college that have average ability or intellect?
I think that the gauge for our calling is found in the worthiness of the person that is inviting us to join them. When Andy Card received a phone call from George W. Bush, asking him to become his Chief of Staff - It is unlikely that Andy Card had to check his calendar and make a prolonged decision about what to do, even though at the time he was the president of a large corporation. When the president of the most powerful nation of the earth asks you to become his right hand man and office out of the white house, working directly for him as he leads the country and the world - You naturally follow the call because of the worthiness of the person asking you to follow him. How much more important is it for us to consider the invitation of the Lord of the Universe, the King of Kings, to join Him in His world wide mission with its eternal implications.
If anything there is a greater responsibility on the students that have had an opportunity for better education because of the investment of their parents and their intellect and ambition. God has consistently used students in history that "took their careers very seriously" to radically change the world after abandoning their hopeful careers in medicine, law, agriculture, science and politics. It is reasonable that the greatest minds, the greatest talents, and the greatest innovators of the church will be accountable for a greater not lesser responsibility in God's cause. To whom much is given, much is required.
Consider for a second the repeated emphasis on the impartiality of the Lord.
And they sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any." - Matt 22:16
But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. - James 2:9
Opening his mouth, Peter said: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality. - Acts 10:34
For there is no partiality with God. - Rom 2:11
But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)--well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me. - Gal 2:6
And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. - Eph 6:9
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality. - 1 Tim 5:21
If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; - 1 Pet 1:17
I am simple enough to believe that the disciples followed Jesus, not because they didn't have anything better to do, but because of the greatness of the one inviting them. God shows no partiality. His invitation does not consider the career potential, IQ, the family name, or tuition price of your university. The decisive factor is the worthiness of the person that is inviting us to follow Him in reaching the world. The Great Commission has always been a command for all believers and I cannot bring myself to make exemptions that the Lord never makes.