How willing are you to leave the safety and security of your home or church or work to go where the Lord leads you? How inclined would you be to go if you were also told, “By the way, there’s this group of people waiting to devour you.” I’m not so sure I would be anxious to follow the Lord’s instruction to, “Go!”
In Luke 10:1, Jesus “appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go (NIV).” Among the things he told them was that they would face opposition. “Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves (10:3). This brings the image to mind of a bunch of lambs safe in a pen and the Lord selecting 72 to leave the security of the farm to go to a bunch of hungry wolves waiting outside the fence.
Yet Jesus instructs then on how to handle opposition. He told them, “If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you ((10:6).”
Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.” To towns that reject them, he instructed them to say, “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 (10:11).”
Jesus wants them to make it clear that if they reject them, they are also rejecting God. He told them, “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.” I am humbled, yet encouraged by this passage. Humbled in contemplating if I am living out my faith in a such a way that others can see Christ. Encouraged in that despite facing opposition, the 72 returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name (10:17).”
We are called to go out into a hostile world to tell others about salvation through Christ Jesus. Indeed, as Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few (10:2).” Yet we should not just run out on our own trying to collect that harvest. Jesus also told them to, “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field (10:2).” We should follow the Lord’s lead in our life and express to others that it is not our own efforts, but Christ in us.
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. – Luke 10:17-20
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. – John 14:12
© 2019 CGThelen