Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Oct 24, Lk 10

Today's reading is Lk 10. Tomorrow's readings are Lk 12,13. 

In Lk 10, Jesus sends seventy-two of His followers ahead of Him to every town and place He is going to go. He gives them the authority to heal and cast out demons. Their job is to prepare the way for Jesus to arrive. The signs affirm His authority and are  there to point to Jesus. Notice that the healings mentioned in the gospels always are linked to proclamation of the gospel and are never intended for ministry within the church alone (Lk 10:9). 

For those who bemoan the lack of this type of ministry today, it would be wise to pay attention to the conditions under which those disciples were sent. They were to take nothing with them. Instead, they were to rely on the Lord on a daily basis and on the good will of those to whom they ministered. Implicit in this is an understanding that those who follow Jesus will support those who minister in His name. Equally true, however, is that those who minister will not accumulate personal belongings but live in day-to-day reliance on the Lord. 

There is risk involved in this ministry as well. Those who minister are being sent out "as lambs in the midst of wolves". They will look like dinner to those opposed to the gospel. Some of them may become that dinner! 

Lk 10:10-11 makes it clear that those who are sent are not responsible for making people believe. Their job is simply to relate the gospel. Those who reject it are left behind. Believing faith will come by the hand of the Holy Spirit, not by the efforts of the ministers. The consequences of rejecting the gospel are grave (Lk 10:16-20).

When the seventy-two return, Jesus tells them not to get overly excited about the signs and wonders. Instead, they are to be excited about being saved. In other words, they are to be excited about the impact of the gospel on their personal lives. He reveals that they have been touched by the truth in a profound way, not by anyone's efforts or even their own decisions, but by the will of the Father (Lk 10:21-24).

In the Tale of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), we learn that the heart is where the evidence of a godly spirit is, not in birthright or position. An unlikely man, a Samaritan, displays godly compassion and personal sacrifice while the ones most expected to do so pass by. They pass by for good reasons, for religious concerns about touching dead or dirty bodies. But the way they practice their religious beliefs interferes with ministering the gospel and they lose the blessing of God. 

Martha has a similar problem (Lk 10:38-42). Her desire to do good works, a form of personal piety, interferes with the fuller blessing of drawing near to Jesus and His teachings. Mary gets it.

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