Holy Week | Tuesday
Week 6: What Can We Expect as Followers of Jesus?
Jesus Sends out the Seventy-Two: A Mission
by Janet Nygren
Read: Luke 10: 1-12
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 the sick who are there 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.
- Who is on this “mission team”? Notice the numbers, the strategy, the expectations for growth.
- How will each person who is sent out be challenged to live in faith?
- What indications does Jesus give that this task will not be easy?
- It’s significant that Jesus is not just sending out his twelve chosen disciples here, but a large number of followers. How might these same questions apply to you? Do you have a place/people you think of as your mission field that you are preparing ahead of Jesus’ arrival? Do you have a partner to share your vision with? Are you praying for others to help you expand the vision? Is there an urgency to your mission?
- How might Jesus be challenging you to live in faith in whatever mission he has for you?
- Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.” Can you make this your prayer today as well?
- What/who do you consider to be your mission field? This could be people in your immediate context, or someone/somewhere you feel called to go in the future. If this is not the way you are currently thinking, perhaps you could pray that God would put something like this on your heart. Either way, share with us–perhaps you will find a like-minded partner in our midst!
We just watched a powerful episode of “The Chosen”- season 3 episode 2. Jesus is preparing to send out the 12. They are going out by 2’s, but they feel so inadequate and unsure. I found myself thinking about the very topic we are considering today. I know in contrast to the 72 who are sent out, we do know the “rest of the story”. Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection are not known by the 72, and they have not experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Equipped with the full Gospel and in-filled by the Spirit, we should be ready for the challenge of being sent out. Though this is the case, I feel the same sense of inadequacy that the 12 and later the 72 felt. But still they go! They come back with stories of how God has used them. In like manner, when I have stepped out in faith I have seen God use me. I want to be ready to do whatever He asks me.
I find it reassuring that Jesus knew some people would welcome the disciples and some wouldn’t. Our responsibility is to be faithful and share the message. If people don’t respond, it’s okay to just move on. I think I used to have a more compartmentalized view of my life: i.e., work, family, and ministry. In recent years, I am learning to see every aspect of my life as some kind of ministry to others. But I do think it’s easy to lose the sense of urgency. And it makes a huge difference being in partnership with others.
I tend to think of my gifts more suited to strengthening and encouraging the "family," whether biological or faith-related. But sending out followers two by two doesn't allow for that sort of differentiation, so I think there are certainly times when we are called to be stretched beyond where our strengths lie. I am surrounded by a whole mission field in my own building, but I'm still trying to figure out what that looks like as someone who tends to keep to herself in my little "sanctuary." Meanwhile 3 neighbors have already come and gone immediately next door since we've lived here.
This passage is very timely for my husband and me. We retired in late 2021 and our great ambition right now is to be “sent out.” We have applied to serve up in Alaska with Samaritan’s Purse at their veteran lodge. In December we did something very different for us. In a strange way it reminded me of this passage again. We went ahead of a big Mike Silva Evangelistic festival in the Dominican Republic. We “prepared the way” before the festival. It was a very interesting experience and a different type of mission. This is so exciting for me to be able to be in this position. I have to pinch myself to remind myself that it’s really happening! God has been so good to give me a husband who is now, so on board with this. That is another amazing story. . . .
Yes it was eye opening to see how the apostles felt unprepared during the Chosen episode. Our Palm Sunday walk through Cohoes gave me a sense of mission.