Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sending the Seventy

Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. And He was saying to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. (Luke 10:1-2 NASB)

Just as Jesus sent the disciples out in ministry pairs, now we see Him sending seventy other followers. They were to go to all the cities and places where Jesus was headed and preach and heal. Just imagine it! Two followers would go into a village and share the good news of Jesus. "The Messiah has come!" they would tell the people. They probably offered to pray for the sick, knowing that God already planned to heal them. Of course, people would be excited about the healing and the pair of disciples would say, "You think this is good? You haven't seen anything yet! Jesus is coming soon!"

These people were sent to prepare the way and introduce Jesus. Jesus described it as a harvest that was plentiful. He explained that there are many people who will come to Him if they hear the good news about Him, but they can't believe if they don't hear. Jesus understood how hard it is to leave home and go to a foreign place where everyone is a stranger. He understood because He left the best place of all to come to a world that would reject and kill Him. 

There is a big harvest of souls available, Jesus explained, but not enough workers to get the harvest in. More workers are urgently needed. ALL of us are responsible for bringing in the harvest. Every single follower of Christ is responsible for the harvest. It is shameful to leave a harvest of grain in the field. It is even worse to leave a harvest of souls not gathered. 

We fall into one of two areas of responsibility about the harvest. Either we are the one who goes into the field to get the harvest in or we are the one who prays for more workers. We do not have the option to disregard the harvest. A quick "Bless the missionaries" prayer is not what our Lord had in mind here. The one who stays and prays is to approach the harvest with all the fervor and commitment of the one who goes to the field. That's a strong statement, isn't it? Read what Jesus said once more. There are two jobs. Going and praying. Both are vital. Both must be done with enthusiasm, committment, and perseverance.  

There is a harvest of souls waiting to hear the good news of Jesus and God's love. It's our job, mine and yours, to make sure they hear. Are you called to go or to pray? Let's be sure we are doing our part to bring light and hope to a dark and lonely world that will perish without the grace and mercy of God. 
Link to last night's post:
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