HOST: Ron House
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
There are many aspects of this event that are important and teach us valuable lessons about our own discipleship. But I want to focus on just one in this thought. Why did Jesus place such rigid restrictions on those He was sending out regarding the things they would carry with them, and how they would approach and interact with people along the way? While many suggestions might be offered, I believe Jesus was essentially trying to accomplish two things: 1) He wanted them to learn a dependence upon God instead of trusting in things. To approach this mission without “necessities” would have been a daunting task, but would teach them the great lesson that, as they put their trust in God, He would provide all that they needed. 2) He wanted them to avoid the distractions that often come with worldly desires and activities. Their purpose was singular: to go out as laborers in the field to prepare the way for Jesus and to bring in a good harvest for the Lord. Jesus wanted them to be totally focused on that purpose. These same lessons are very relevant for us today. As Christians, we are laborers for the Lord. May God help us work diligently for His harvest.
What are some of the things that often distract us from our mission?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!