Strengthened and Sent

Strengthened and Sent

Daily Reading: (Colossians 2:6-7):

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

“After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go” (Luke 10:1).

Right away we discover that Jesus was actively working with more than just 12 men. There were 70 others but let’s expand this even further. We know from His relationship with Mary, Martha, Lazarus, and others that Jesus wasn’t secluding Himself to just 12. Jesus influenced and taught men, women, and even children. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).

The seventy’s faith was strengthened before they were sent because they were about to be involved in God’s miracle working power: “Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you” (Luke 10:9). The mission that Jesus gave the 72 is the same mission that He gave the 12 and it is the same mission that He has given to you, “go and make disciples.” Imagine if God healed someone’s cancer through you as you laid your hands on and prayed over them and spoke God’s Word over their life. How joyful would you be to partake in such a life changing miraculous event? Luke writes, “The seventy returned with joy,” — exhilarated God used them in such ministry — “saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name” (Luke 10:17)!  

How will I be able to be a part of God’s miracle working power touching lives?

“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you (Luke 10:18–19).” You already have the authority to do it, you might just need to have your faith initiated by hearing the Word of God. Romans 10:17 (AMP): “So faith comes from hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the [preaching of the] message concerning Christ.”

The Scriptures teach that the hearing of faith and the works of the law are total opposites (Galatians 3:2,5). And since the works of the law are about our self-efforts, this means that there is no self-effort in faith only trust. So, what is our part in believing? Trust the Good Shepherd.

This is why Jesus told the seventy: “Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves” (Luke 10:3). This doesn’t sound like it would instill a lot of confidence in the seventy but it does. Where does the protection of the lambs come from? It doesn’t come from the lambs. Their protection is found with the Shepherd. Your protection while embarking on Kingdom work isn’t from yourself. This is great Gospel news. The One with all authority and all power, the Great Shepherd is watching over and protecting you.

“Do not take a purse or bag or sandals, and do not greet anyone on the road” (Luke 10:4). Go as you are. You have everything you need to successfully fulfill your God-given mission (Luke 10:4). Your mission is not going to be successfully based on what you bring but Who is sending you.

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6-7).

It was the Word of God, Jesus Christ and their time spent with Him that resulted in the success of their mission, and the faith to go and so it is with us. I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Pray For Disciples

Pray for Disciples

Daily Reading: (Luke 10:1-2):

“After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Some manuscripts say seventy others seventy-two. I believe that Jesus sent out seventy and I will explain why that is and what message that conveyed moving forward.

Jesus just sent out seventy other individuals to every place Jesus was about to go. The word “others” here is important because this word derives from (heterous), which means “others of a different kind”. This tells us that the seventy are totally different disciples of Jesus that does not include the original twelve.

“And sent them two by two”. They were sent out in pairs. I cannot stress how powerful and important it is to go and do ministry together with others. Why would Jesus send them out in pairs? It provided the 4 C’s of courage, cover, companionship, and credibility.  

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 13:1 “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” When somebody tells you something it is more likely to be believed when more than one person is saying the same thing. The news the Messiah that has been waited upon for centuries has finally come, and you can see Him if only one person is telling you this at this time it would have been hard to believe. You might share the miracles you have witnesses but who would believe you? Chances of you reacting to a single person telling you this is not great. But with two, there is credibility to what they are sharing.

Also, when you are together with another it gives you courage. You are not alone, you have someone to pray with, someone to encourage you, you are embolden to speak and share the Gospel because you have the support of another with you. There is also the building of companionship through the adventure that ministry brings. Going out on mission can be dangerous when you find yourself in a new area all by yourself. Together you are safer, there is protection and cover as you traveled the highways and the byways. Jesus sent them two by two.

Why did Jesus send seventy? The number sent on this mission had spiritual and symbolic overtones and this is why I believe it was seventy and not seventy-two. The Jews held that the Gentiles were made up of seventy nations; and at their feast of Tabernacles, “seventy bullocks were offered on behalf of the Gentile nations to make atonement for them.” The cities and places to which these seventy were dispatched was in the Trans-Jordan where Gentile population predominated[1] and so Jesus sending seventy was a sign for the Gospel to be for all people, the Gentiles as well as the Jews, and the Samaritans.

Jesus sent out seventy and it seemed like a lot but Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

Jesus gives us the answer when there is so much Kingdom work to be done and there are seemingly not enough people engaged in disciple making.

“Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Luke 10:2).

Praying, “Lord, send out workers to Your harvest” is just the kind of prayer that builds a harvest-interest within the one who prays. If you will pray this prayer, it will change you. When we will pray this way, your heart will become focused on Kingdom work. We are now actively seeking and expecting the Lord of the harvest to send workers. Imagine praying for God our Father to send us more Kingdom laborers and then believing He will, and then being ready when He does, to disciple those He sends us.


[1] Coffman’s Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bcc/luke-10.html

Who is the Good Samaritan?

Daily Reading: Luke 10:25-27

And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

“And behold, a lawyer (nomikos) stood up to put him to the test”. Nomikos means an interpreter and teacher of the Mosaic law, one who is learned in the law.

The expert in the law is asking Jesus a question pertaining to the very thing he already specialized in. Why? To test Jesus. Ekpeirazō to prove, test, thoroughly tempt: his mind and judgment. We see this same word ekpeirazō used three times in one verse in Matthew 4:7: Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ (ekpeirazō).

The expert of the Law had to ask, what is the qualification for everlasting life because the Law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature (Romans 8:3).

What is the answer to that question? We have the benefit of knowing what it is. Jesus is the qualification for eternal life.

And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” I guarantee this answer (Luke 10:27) did not come from the lawyer but came from Jesus earlier. In Matthew’s Gospel the 22nd chapter tells the same story but from a different angle.

So, I fully believe that the first question the lawyer asked was, “which is the greatest commandment in the Law” (Matthew 22:36)? Jesus’ response to his question is parroted by the lawyer when answering Jesus’ own question (Luke 10:27) which came out of “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

The means of salvation is Jesus, He cannot outright say this in this moment, and so Jesus is going to teach the secret of the Kingdom, how He/Jesus is our Good Samaritan.

The key interpretive question is this:  With whom is Jesus asking us to identify? The priest? The Levite? The Samaritan? Who we are in this story is the fallen man left for dead. This Samaritan is the answer to the fallen man. And this man is nothing like the religious. In fact, he would equally have been shunned by the priest and Levite and He was!

This is not a simple morality tale. The point of the parable is not our resolve to be good Samaritans. The point is Christ who is our Good Samaritan. If we miss Him in any part of Scripture we turn gospel into law and blessings into curses.