Luke – Doors Wide Open!
When sent by God to do His work for His glory, instructions must be given by the One who has a direct line of communication to God. Jesus is sent by God. God tells Jesus what to do and what to say. Then Jesus tells others what God wants done.
All that God, through His Holy Spirit, invites us to do must be done in the Name of Jesus Christ. Any other way of being and doing is ME-nistry, not ministry.
Jesus sent them out two by two. There is significance here. Perhaps it’s for reasons of holding each other accountable. We go with a buddy. We help each other. Two is better than one for confidence, strength and assurance. We assure each other that we heard Jesus correctly so we can do exactly what He asks us to do.
Jesus never did his ministry of healing, seeking the lost while declaring God’s Kingdom come alone, there were always others with him. There are two things He did alone, however. One was to pray to His Father. When He prayed, He was asking God for his next direction as well as praying for his disciples (which included followers to come like you and me!) The only other task He did alone was to be the perfect sacrifice for our sin on the cross. No one else could have done that. No one on earth is perfect. Only Jesus could have completed the mission to save us by laying down is life for ours. That is why only In Jesus Name, by His power working in us, His Spirit living in us who believe, can anything of significance and value be done for God’s Kingdom and for His glory.
“Thy will be done” takes on a fresh meaning when all that we think, do or say is In Jesus Name.
Luke 10, New Living Translation
Jesus Sends Out His Disciples
The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. 2 These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.
3 Now go, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. 4 Don’t take any money with you, nor a traveler’s bag, nor an extra pair of sandals. And don’t stop to greet anyone on the road.
5 “Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house.’ 6 If those who live there are peaceful, the blessing will stand; if they are not, the blessing will return to you. 7 Don’t move around from home to home. Stay in one place, eating and drinking what they provide. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve their pay.
8 “If you enter a town and it welcomes you, eat whatever is set before you. 9 Heal the sick, and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you now.’ 10 But if a town refuses to welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘We wipe even the dust of your town from our feet to show that we have abandoned you to your fate. And know this—the Kingdom of God is near!’ 12 I assure you, even wicked Sodom will be better off than such a town on judgment day.
13 “What sorrow awaits you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have repented of their sins long ago, clothing themselves in burlap and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse. 14 Yes, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you. 15 And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead.”
16 Then he said to the disciples, “Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me.”
17 When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”
18 “Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! 19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. 20 But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.”
WHAT DO WE LEARN?
(With help from Warren Wiersbe, Commentator)
Whether we are in the harvest field, on the highway, or in the home, our highest privilege and our greatest joy is to do the will of God.
This event should not be confused with the sending out of the Twelve (Matt. 10; Luke 9:1–11). There are similarities in the charges given, but this is to be expected since both groups were sent by the same Master to do the same basic job. The twelve apostles ministered throughout Galilee, but these men were sent into Judea, and the men in this chapter are not called apostles. They were anonymous disciples.
These men were not called “apostles,” but they were still “sent (aposello) with a commission” to represent the Lord. They were therefore truly ambassadors of the King. Not only were they sent by Him, but they were also sent before Him to prepare the way for His coming. Their calling was certainly a dignified one.
Their calling was a dangerous one. As they invaded enemy territory (Luke 10:17), they would be like “lambs among wolves” (Luke 10:3). But as long as they relied on the Lord, they would win the battle. “Any man who takes Jesus Christ seriously becomes the target of the devil,” Vance Havner often told audiences. “Most church members do not give Satan enough trouble to arouse his opposition.”
It would require discipline and faith for them to do the job (Luke 10:4–8). There was an urgency about the work, and the Lord did not want them to be overburdened with extra supplies or be delayed on the road by elaborate Eastern greetings.
They had to trust God to provide homes and food for them, and they were not to be embarrassed to accept hospitality.
They were ambassadors of peace, bringing healing to the sick, deliverance to the possessed, and the good news of salvation to lost sinners. Like Joshua’s army of old, they first proclaimed peace to the cities. If a city rejected the offer of peace, then it chose judgment. It is a serious thing to reject the ambassadors God sends.
It is important to note that the special power that Jesus gave to His apostles (Luke 9:1) and to the Seventy is not ours to claim today. These two preaching missions were very special ministries, and God did not promise to duplicate them in our age. Our Lord’s commission to us emphasizes the proclamation of the message, not the performing of miracles (Matt. 28:19–20; Luke 24:46–49).
To hear Christ’s ambassadors means to hear Him, and to despise His representatives means to despise Him. “As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21; see also 2 Cor. 5:18–21).
We can well understand the joy of the Seventy as they returned to report their victories to Jesus. He had given them power and authority to heal, to cast out demons, and to preach the Word, and they were successful! In the midst of their great joy, they were careful to give God the glory (“in thy name”).
Our highest joy is not found in service or even in our salvation, but in being submitted to the sovereign will of the heavenly Father, for this is the foundation for both service and salvation. Here we see God the Son rejoicing through God the Holy Spirit because of the will of God the Father! “I delight to do thy will, O my God” (Ps. 40:8).
Christ’s ambassadors were indeed privileged people. They were able to see and hear things that the greatest saints in the Old Testament ages yearned to see and hear but could not. The Messiah was at work, and they were a part of His work!
Do you feel sent by God?
Is all you think, do or say done in Jesus Name?
What does “Your will be done” mean to you?
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
There is so much to learn here in this passage! There is much to think about concerning where we stand in your eyes. May all we do be done according to Your will and not our own today. May all we do, as part of your work, be done in Your Name. To You be all glory, honor and praise forevermore.
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.