In Luke chapter 10, when Jesus picks out 72 disciples, two by two, for a special mission. His instructions began with a purpose statement - a reason for this mission, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” He then told them to pray this, “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” The very next word he says is “Go!” …and yes, there is an exclamation mark in the scripture itself (at least the English translation).
I find it interesting that he told the people he was sending out to the harvest to pray for workers to send out to the harvest. When you continue to read his instructions to these newly minted missionaries, you begin to understand. They were to look for a person of peace (“PoP”) and, once found, were to stay with them and reach the community through them. Typically, if you want to reach a community, it seems logical that you should go from house to house or, at the very least, set up a large event so that a lot of people could come. This was not the Jesus style. He sent them into a village and, when they encountered someone with an open heart to them, a PoP, they were to stay with them and work through them to reach the PoP’s community. In other words, they would pray for workers for the harvest; they would go to the harvest; and they would find workers for the harvest! (not to mention empower and release them immediately into the harvest, as opposed to extracting them from their communities, sending them to seminary, etc.) This is the amazing multiplying ministry of Christ. 36 pairs of “harvest workers” go and, when they find their person of peace, you soon have 36 more workers for the harvest!
At 10:02 in the morning each day, my phone alarm rings me and, when I look at it to see what the buzzing is all about, I read this on the screen, “Pray for workers for the harvest.” (Luke 10:2, thus 10:02) It is a good reminder that, one, the harvest is plentiful and, two, we are to pray for workers for the harvest. That’s not all though, remember Jesus’ very next word, “Go!” We are to BE a worker for the harvest. Wherever God sends us, we get to be a person of peace for those around us, sharing the good news of Jesus!
One other important note: when you read the rest of the gospel of Luke, you clearly understand that these disciples being sent did not have it all figured out. In fact, they were quite clueless to deeper truths and implications of Jesus’ presence and mission. They’re understanding of this upside-down Kingdom Jesus spoke about was elementary at best. But Jesus sent them anyway! He know that they knew enough. They knew Jesus, they knew that he brought good news of the Kingdom of God here, now, on the earth. They knew he came with God’s very authority over the earth, and even over the spiritual realm. They had a chance to represent the Messiah to the world!
“Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.” - Luke 10:16
What was the result of their mission?
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” [Jesus] replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” - Luke 10:17-20
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