The Mustard Seed
Becoming Jesus' Disciple
(Parts 9 & 10)
When Jesus sent 72 of His followers to go 2-by-2 to cities, town, and villages where He planned to visit, He gave them this very strange command: "Do not take a purse or bag or sandals. And don’t greet anyone on the road." (Luke 10:4) We already studied the first part of that command, and we understand that to mean that Believers in this world "travel light;" we should not be weighed down by owning a lot of things. If we take care of God's business, we can trust Him with our basic needs. (See the January 2014 Mustard Seed.)
Now we tackle the last part of that command: "...don't greet anyone on the road." Why not? This looks like rude, unfriendly behavior. And if the disciples obeyed this command, they may have missed opportunities to tell people about Jesus, right?
Jesus sent those 72 people to do a specific job. He did not want them to become distracted and go off track from their goal. Jesus knew from His own experience how the devil tried many times to derail His mission to die on the cross in order to save us. Even while He was on the cross, twice He was challenged, "Save yourself! Come down from the cross! Then we will believe in you."
Now, as Jesus sends us out to do His work, the devil also sends out his followers to do his dirty work. All through the Bible, starting with Adam and Eve, we see God's people mess up badly because they took their eyes off God and His Word, and they believed an attractive lie, or they simply became distracted.
The lesson for us here is simply this: Disciples of Jesus stay focused on the task He gives us to do.
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This story in Luke 10 ends with the 72 disciples returning to Jesus and giving a joyful report: "Lord, even the demons obey us when we speak in your name."
"I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to walk all over snakes and scorpions [i.e. demonic spirits]. You will be able to destroy all the power of the enemy. Nothing will harm you. But do not be glad when the evil spirits obey you. Instead, be glad that your names are written in heaven." (Luke 10:17-20 NIRV)
In our service for Christ, we must never forget who and what we are -- forgiven sinners. People who experience success in ministry often forget this. When God blesses their work, they turn it into an institution that honors themselves, and their goal becomes, "What can we do to make our church or organization bigger?" They push God aside and take control. Old Testament kings of Israel often did that, as do many popular preachers and ministry leaders in our day.
Disciples of Jesus give all credit to Him. We glory in His grace, not in our success. The work we do is all about HIM, not about us. He is responsible for any success that we see in our work.
Reviewing the main points in this study
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You are invited to Christ Lutheran Church of the Deaf in Silver Spring
a couple blocks south of the Metro Red Line Forest Glen Station
Sunday Worship: 9:30AM
in Ely 118.
Drop in and introduce yourself!!
Pastor Ron Friedrich