Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 18:3 & 46
Read the “1030 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. 2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. 3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. 4 Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. 5 And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. 6 And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. 7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. 8 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: 9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.” (Luke 10:1 – 9)
Here in the first part of chapter ten, Jesus is sending out seventy of His disciples to represent him in the many towns and villages in Judaea, Galillee, and even outside of the borders of Israel.
Note – Between Luke 9:62 and Luke 10:1, there are several events that take place that are not discussed by Luke. They are, however, given to us by John:
- Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:11 – 53)
- Woman Caught in Adultery (John 8:1 – 11)
- Light of the World Discourse Ending with a Debate with the Pharisees (John 8:12 – 59)
- Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind (John 9:1 – 41)
- Good Shepherd Discourse (John 10:1 – 21)
Though these are all very important events, to expedite our study in Luke, we will not discuss them now. In Luke’s account, we see:
The Commissioning of the Seventy (vs. 1 – 3)
- Jesus chooses seventy disciples (v. 1).
An important point to make here is that Jesus had more disciples than just the twelve apostles. He obviously had spent a great deal of time with these men and had trained them sufficiently enough to send them out.
- Jesus calls them to pray for labourers (v. 2; also Matthew 9:37 – 38)
Matthew records the same words used by Jesus in a slightly context:
“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:35-38)
There are many people that need to be reached, but very few that are willing and able to reach them.
“Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours. And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.” (John 4:34-39)
We need to pray that the Lord will help us to be better labourers. We need to pray that God helps us to reach and train more laborers. The Lord seems to be telling us that the problem is not that people are not listening to His message of the gospel, it is that there are not enough laborers sharing that message. John’s Gospel tells us that the fields are already white and ready to be harvested. We need to be more faithful in sharing the message of Christ, and we need to do more in our churches to train, motivate, and provide opportunities for our members to do the same.
- Jesus Cautions Them (v. 3)
Though there will be many people who will rejoice and receive the message of the disciples, there will also be many that will reject the message and will rile up others to reject the messengers.
The Conditions for Submission in a City (vs. 4 – 9)
- The Care of Their Needs (vs. 4 – 8)
Here we see an urgency in the need for delivering the message. The disciples were not to worry about preparing for their journey. The underlying promise is that their needs will be met by the Lord through the people they minister to. They were not to get distracted by people along the way.
Practical Point – Oftentimes we get distracted from delivering the Lord’s message by well-meaning people along the way.
They were instructed to find someone within the city who would receive them, and remain there ministering to the city through the house that opened its doors to them.
- The Disciples Commitment to the Places That Receive Them (v. 9)
They were to heal the people physically, as well as help the people eternally through the message of the kingdom of God. While the Lord may not use His ambassadors in exactly the same way today, we can still be used of God to share the message of Christ with the people in our communities.
Posted in Devotions, Thoughts from Luke by Phil Erickson with 1 comment.