Trusting God with His Mission: 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!

During Jesus’ ministry, He wanted to teach His disciples how to travel and do ministry following His return to heaven. While I don’t believe the disciples understood this reason at the time Jesus send them out on a mission trip, I believe they realized this later on.

Within Jesus’ send-off message to His followers, He describes how they should travel and how they should act. Luke tells us that Jesus instructed them to: “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.” (v. 4-7)

As I read this, I wonder if Jesus’ instructions to these disciples carry over to today. If I head out on a mission trip, should I avoid taking any money, any supplies, and not even a change of clothes? Also, if I am welcomed into a home, should I stay there until I’ve worn out my welcome and they kick me out?

Part of me takes this portion of Jesus’ instructions and attributes it to the time period and culture of the first century, but even as I do this, there are several things in this passage that are themes that apply to ministry an every point in history.

First, Jesus told His followers to not waste time talking with people on the road as they traveled. This does not mean that we should avoid God directed encounters with people, but it does mean that we should be extra intentional about what we spend time talking about. When we have a conversation with a stranger, while we might not want to immediately dive into deep theological matters, we should be extra intentional about the focus of our conversation and let God’s love shine through our words.

Next Jesus instructs His followers to bless the places they stay with a message of peace. This is done on the front end, before we really know the hosts, managers, or owners of the places we are staying. This teaches me to first assume love, acceptance, and peace from others instead of approaching a situation with the expectation of hostility or defensiveness. We are able to create the mood of our conversations through the expectations we bring to our interactions with others. God knows that our blessing will return to us if the person we offered it to rejects it, so we are called to freely bless those who are willing to help, because this is what God is like.

Thirdly, Jesus tells His followers to stay in the same house and accept the hospitality we receive. In today’s culture, I believe this means staying in one place as long as possible to give the impression of stability and certainty in those who hear about us. Staying in one place also helps people who hear about our ministry find us when they come looking. A restaurant that is constantly moving from place to place is likely to lose as many customers as it gains, and it is very hard on the managers and staff. A restaurant that has been at a certain place for a really long time implies that it is successful, well managed, and well liked. Our ministries should be consistent, stable, and long-term – and we should make it easy for God to send people our way by having a consistent location.

While some of Jesus’ instructions to His followers is redirected later on in Jesus’ ministry, the thing we should always remember, regardless of the point in history we live, is that we must depend 100% on God for help with the mission He has called us to. While He has challenged us to work and share His message with others, He wants us to depend on Him for help, direction, guidance, and strength to carry through with His work.

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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