The Gospel of Luke

This devotional is written by Laura Hopwood.

LUKE 10: 1-24

Jesus sends out the seventy-two
10 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

5 ‘When you enter a house, first say, "Peace to this house." 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

8 ‘When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal those there who are ill and tell them, "The kingdom of God has come near to you." 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 "Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: the kingdom of God has come near." 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

13 ‘Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades.[b]

Reflection

In this passage I see an uncompromising Jesus; his mission is clear and urgent. Jesus is nearing Jerusalem and knows that Calvary is quickly approaching. He presents 72 followers with a challenging commission, one that shows us a path of bold faith. Jesus asks them to take nothing with them, deny cultural traditions, yield to dangerous life threatening circumstances. But in this Jesus speaks of the peace they will have and the provision of God through the hospitality of believers. It's an exciting and confronting criteria for the workers of the harvest field.


My question in response to this is: are we these workers?

Was this supposed to be a picture of walking as a follower of Jesus in the Kingdom of God?

And if we are these workers, I had to ask myself, what does that look like today? Is my job, the work I do day to day, supposed to look the same as this radical life of faith?

The 72 returned rejoicing.

After Jesus had laid out such clear-cut instructions, and they had followed them and seen miraculous signs, they thought they had fulfilled the call and done God's work. But again Jesus challenges their value system and celebrates how God has "hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children." These followers lived in the time of Jesus and were even commissioned by Him but they seemed to have still missed some of the core message.

Whether or not we are the workers, or this is specifically for those called by God to work in the church, the boldness of the faith required to live a life following Jesus is clear. Take nothing with us, sometimes sit outside the cultural norms, yield to the unknown, and then hopefully find peace and rejoice.

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