In a recent episode of NCIS, Agent Gibbs and Agent Bishop go to Afghanistan to solve a murder. They figure out where the murderer is hiding, but they need someone to go undercover in order to infiltrate his camp. Bishop is picked to go undercover, and she panics. She tells Gibbs, “Don’t put me in a position I’m not trained for.” She begs him to put her somewhere else, but Gibbs refuses. More importantly, however, he says he has her back. He may be sending her in, but he’s not sending her in alone.
In the same way, Jesus has sent us in a mission. In his high priestly prayer, he acknowledges that this mission won’t be easy. “I have given them your word,” Jesus says, “and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John 17:14). But he also doesn’t give us an easy out. We can ask to be moved from our mission and placed somewhere else all day long, but the answer will be no. After all, he has put us in this place on purpose.
More importantly, however, Jesus says this: “As you [the Father] sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world” (verse 18). Jesus and the Father are one. The Father sent Jesus, but he was still with Jesus. Jesus sends us, but he is still with us. To put it into the words of Gibbs, Jesus has our back. At no time are we alone in our mission. At no time are we relying entirely on our own skills or training. Jesus, our Savior and our Redeemer, never abandons us. He hears us even as he sends us out.