I thought I’d share my time with God with you this morning. It’s on a passage we all know, but I keep seeing new things in it every time I read it:
Luke 10 [NASB]
1 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. 2 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. 3 Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no money belt, no bag, no shoes; and greet no one on the way. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, Peace be to this house. 6 If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house. 8 Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat what is set before you; 9 and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near to you. 10 But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11 Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near. 12 I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city.
13 Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will be brought down to Hades!
16 The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.
Jesus sends out 70 ‘others’ – these obviously do not include the 12 disciples. Jesus is preparing the way for everyone to serve Him, not just a select few. He reinforces that by asking them all to seek God about adding more labourers so that more people can be reached – there are many many more that have not been reached. Although this holds true for all time there was no doubt the immediate goal that the 70 themselves would gather together more labourers to continue the work that they were starting at this time, and that it would continually increase in size like a snowball.
This task is not to be taken lightly, anywhere we go there are people used by the devil to drag us down, to attack us in any way. We do however have an invincible weapon against any and all attacks from the devil – that weapon is speaking peace over every situation, every person, every place that we encounter. We must speak peace into every situation, every place, every person. If that peace is received then the door is open to us, if it is not then the door is closed to us. When the peace is received then we can spend time in that place, with those people, getting to know them, sharing in their lives with them, thereby showing them they are valuable to us. We should never quit, no matter how long it takes. Don’t be tempted to give up early and move onto someone, some place else, sometimes it takes a lifetime to fulfil the ultimate goal. Honour them by accepting whatever food and care they give us. As we do so we will have opportunity to find out what is bothering them, what is getting them down, what they need to move forward. This will give us opportunities to meet those needs in any appropriate way. As we meet those needs they will see God working through us, even though they may not yet recognise Him. As they do they will create opportunities for us to tell them about the love of Jesus for them, and to bring them ultimately into the Kingdom of God when they are touched by the truth of His love for them demonstrated by us through our love for them. Actions always speak louder than words.
If we are rejected then the guilt of that is on their heads, not ours, and we are free to move on and find someone else to bless. There will be rejections, and that is for God to deal with. Those who listen to us listen to God, those our reject us reject God who sent us. It is not for us to cast judgement on them, this is for God alone.
We have a foolproof method for spreading the Kingdom of God throughout our communities, our cities, our nations. It doesn’t matter if some reject because many more will accept. In any harvest of wheat there will always be some poorly grown plants, and weeds, but the bulk of the land will contain a fruitful crop of wheat. The quantity of produce compared to the quantity of waste is much, compared to small. God will not quit until the bountiful harvest has been reaped, and neither should we.