It’s Not About Us: Luke 10:1-20

Focus Passage: Luke 10:1-20 (NCV)

After this, the Lord chose seventy-two others and sent them out in pairs ahead of him into every town and place where he planned to go. He said to them, “There are a great many people to harvest, but there are only a few workers. So pray to God, who owns the harvest, that he will send more workers to help gather his harvest. Go now, but listen! I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Don’t carry a purse, a bag, or sandals, and don’t waste time talking with people on the road. Before you go into a house, say, ‘Peace be with this house.’ If peace-loving people live there, your blessing of peace will stay with them, but if not, then your blessing will come back to you. Stay in the same house, eating and drinking what the people there give you. A worker should be given his pay. Don’t move from house to house. If you go into a town and the people welcome you, eat what they give you. Heal the sick who live there, and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’ 10 But if you go into a town, and the people don’t welcome you, then go into the streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dirt from your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. But remember that the kingdom of God is near.’ 12 I tell you, on the Judgment Day it will be better for the people of Sodom than for the people of that town.

13 “How terrible for you, Korazin! How terrible for you, Bethsaida! If the miracles I did in you had happened in Tyre and Sidon, those people would have changed their lives long ago. They would have worn rough cloth and put ashes on themselves to show they had changed. 14 But on the Judgment Day it will be better for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to heaven? No! You will be thrown down to the depths!

16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever refuses to accept you refuses to accept me. And whoever refuses to accept me refuses to accept the One who sent me.”

17 When the seventy-two came back, they were very happy and said, “Lord, even the demons obeyed us when we used your name!”

18 Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Listen, I have given you power to walk on snakes and scorpions, power that is greater than the enemy has. So nothing will hurt you. 20 But you should not be happy because the spirits obey you but because your names are written in heaven.”

Read Luke 10:1-20 in context and/or in other translations on BibleGateway.com!

As Jesus was training His followers to carry on the Christian movement after He returned to heaven, He sent them out on a mission trip to the surrounding countryside. In His mid-ministry commission for His followers, Jesus shares some interesting instructions that are relevant for us living today.

Near the end of this commission, Jesus draws the focus of everyone present onto how Jesus’ disciples could be treated when arriving at a town. Some towns might accept the message Jesus’ disciples brought with them, while other towns might not. Here is how Luke’s gospel shares Jesus’ words: “If you go into a town and the people welcome you, eat what they give you. Heal the sick who live there, and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’ But if you go into a town, and the people don’t welcome you, then go into the streets and say, ‘Even the dirt from your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. But remember that the kingdom of God is near.’ I tell you, on the Judgment Day it will be better for the people of Sodom than for the people of that town.” (v. 8-12)

As I read Jesus’ words, I am impressed that it is not up to us to get other people to listen to God’s message. Because Jesus had to warn the disciples in this way, it might be surprising to think that there were towns in that region that refused to accept God’s message. We might think that it was easier for those back in the first century to share about God than it is for us today, but this is not necessarily true. About the only conclusion we can make between those sharing God’s message in the first century and us living in the 21st century is that we live in two different worlds and in two different cultures.

Sharing Jesus in the first century is simply different than sharing Jesus in the 21st century. They had different methods than we have today, and we have different tools than they had living 2,000 years ago.

But while we might get caught up worrying about how to share Jesus most effectively, the simple truth that I see in this passage is that when we share (regardless of the ‘how’ question), those who are listening in can either accept or reject the message. When they have made their choice, they are not accepting or rejecting us – they are accepting or rejecting Jesus.

While the stakes are incredibly high in this decision and no one should make their choice lightly, when we share Jesus with others, God’s Holy Spirit steps in and helps guide the conversation and the hearts of those listening. Sharing Jesus is not about you and I – it is about Jesus, and everything He has done for us.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus "Reflective Bible Study" package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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