Posts Tagged ‘disciples’

In the first post on Luke 10, we talked about the motivational instructions from Jesus to the seventy-two disciples, He was sending out ahead of him.  Following that in verse 4, he gives them very unusual logistical instructions—but why?

“Do not take a purse or bag or sandals,” but why not? Do not provide for yourself, but let God provide. The lesson in faith that you will experience is much greater than the discomfort you feel in the first insecure steps. Many adults who go with Let’s Start Talking are in a financial position where they can  write a check to cover all of their fund-raising obligations; however, it has long been our practice to discourage this, but rather to encourage them to send out letters to churches, family, and friends, just like our students who don’t own anything but their T-shirts.

Just recently, a couple in their forties, not wealthy but comfortable, intended to pay for their own trip, but finally agreed to follow our advice.  They raised all of their funds and more from friends who wanted to support them in their short-term mission effort. The couple came to us and thanked us for “forcing” them to do this, saying that what they experienced and learned about faith and generosity was already a big enough blessing if they got nothing else from their mission experience. Christians going out in their own strength are Christians who are departing powerless.

“And do not greet anyone on the road.” Perhaps Jesus was worried about distraction. It is really easy for workers going out to stop and chat with friends or those who are nearer or those who are easily addressed. After all, isn’t this person’s soul of equal value with those who are never confronted because we never arrive?

I’m quite sure Jesus would have conceded the equal value of the souls, but He would have asked us, “but didn’t I send you to . . . ? What about those people?  What distracted you? What kept you from arriving? The distraction may have seemed like something good—and maybe it was, but it was not what I sent YOU to do! That person was the task of another disciple . . . . ”

Jesus had just lost three potential disciples who refused to pay the price to follow Jesus without distraction (Luke 9:57-62). The one needed predictability to be secure; the next could not leave his parents in the hands of God; and the third had too many family responsibilities to think about Jesus. But they all were willing later . . . after they took care of these major distractions. “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”  (Luke 9:62) Not even greeting someone on the road is enough reason to suspend your focus on accomplishing His task.

Next: In the next verses, Jesus tells them how to work and what they will experience.  Sometimes a flashforward can be very discouraging. Was this a strategy for preparing disciples that we should imitate?

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