It is relatively early in the ministry of Christ, after the selection of the twelve disciples, that Jesus commissioned “seventy-two others” to go into the villages of Galilee to preach the gospel and heal the sick. These were not the close, inner associates like Peter, James, or John. Neither were they the twelve who went with him everywhere and who were sent on a similar mission in Luke 9:1-6. These are seventy-two others, seventy-two who didn’t have the kind of “pulled-aside closeness” that the twelve had.
More likely, they were ones who had jobs and families and were able to hear and see Jesus only periodically. But they were given a task by Jesus who …
“sent them on ahead of him,
two by two, into every town and place
where he himself was about to go.”
You can read the whole episode in Luke 10:1-20.
There is so much in this passage to chew on but I want to look at just one thing. Look how much responsibility Jesus gives to those who only recently had become his followers. (see verses 2-16). Go and read the passage and think it through for yourself.
Three more items before I pose the question for Monday discussion.
- Unlike these first century followers of Jesus, we can hear Jesus speak every day, multiple times a day in his word.
- Unlike these first century followers of Jesus, we have the indwelling, guiding presence of the Holy Spirit.
- Unlike these first century followers of Jesus, many of us have been “following” Jesus for many years.
What is wrong with us that we don’t trust and expect more to happen in a believer’s life than we do?
How do we correct our expectations and behaviors so that “our disciples” (terrible term) are capable of doing what Jesus’ disciples did?