As John the Baptist paved the way for Jesus; Jesus was paving the way for His disciples to carry the Gospel to the ends of the Earth.
Acts 1:8 (AMP)
But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.
Jerusalem and all of Judea
As Jesus was giving His disciples instructions, He wanted them to start spreading the Gospel to the people closest to them. Their home and local towns was to be reached; God’s chosen people would hear it first. The Jews would be the first to hear the Gospel. There were those who accepted, but there were, also, many who rejected.
The rejection wasn’t just against Jesus. Anyone who preached the Gospel was against the Pharisees and Sadducees. After they stoned Stephen, we see the Gospel shift gears from the Jews to the Gentiles.
It’s still the same today; we see those on fire for the Lord be scrutinized, criticized, and trampled on for spreading the Good News. Jesus forewarns us on this.
John 15:18-20 (AMP)
18If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world [no longer one with it], but I have chosen (selected) you out of the world, the world hates (detests) you. 20Remember that I told you, A servant is not greater than his master [is not superior to him]. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word and obeyed My teachings, they will also keep and obey yours.
The disciples were not to stop in Jerusalem and Judea; they were to continue the spreading of the Gospel to Samaria.
John 4:9 (AMP)
The Samaritan woman said to Him, How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan [and a] woman, for a drink? For the Jews have nothing to do with the Samaritans.
It was typical for a Jew not to mingle with a Samaritan. But Jesus wasn’t going to allow the man-made boundaries to interrupt His mission. He instructed the disciples to do the same and to carry it out into Samaria.
Just as God told Noah, Jonah, and many others to go and preach the Word, we too will receive instructions to go to places we wouldn’t otherwise go. Speak a Word to someone we otherwise wouldn’t speak to, and touch lives where we otherwise wouldn’t think about touching. Do we obey God’s Words or disobey and go into rebellion for our disobedience?
Jesus says, “AND” not maybe or if you feel like it.
AND – further in the same or similar manner.
We are to continue as far as we can to reach people. How far are we willing to go? From home to work, town to town, city to city, state to state or country to country? God will take you as far as you want to go with Him. He’s unlimited, but we are limited in all our ways. In order to reach the unlimited, we have to come into agreement with Him and allow God to do His Will within us. He has the power, but He needs willing vessels to work and partner with Him.
Do we partner with God and allow Him to move into the depths of the Gospel and reach the unlimited or do we stay in our comfort zone?