What distracts us from the mission Jesus shared?
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 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. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades.
16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
Jesus was born with a mission. He was mission focused. Yet we as participants in this world get so easily caught up in our own world and at times it can be hard to see clearly to our mission through the work, the family, and the simple everydayness of life. Because we are so “this world focused”, this passage and the preceding one can come as quite a shock to us. Jesus is telling 72 people to leave their family, not taking any money or possessions, and go on mission. It is radical stuff.
What struck me today is that we don’t need to leave the country to do this type of “Jesus-focused mission”; we just need to take the courage to pop next door and to visit our neighbour. But when we do visit our neighbour or meet someone for coffee or travel the lift with someone we are to leave our own agenda behind and take Jesus’ mission with us. It is a sobering wake up call for us to consider whether our mission in this life is Jesus driven or ‘me’ driven.
This passage is our reminder to be mission focused, mission ready and mission aware. Be encouraged that just like in the times we read about in these verses, the same mission is still all around us today. But too often I find I have my own mission, my own agenda which is not Jesus mission.
I wonder what it would look like if, for today, I went out in God’s strength and not my own.
Head: What is it that consumes our thinking and our own personal world today? Is there some way Jesus can help us to refocus that vision even in the all-consuming activities of our everyday?
Heart: Share with Jesus what it is that consumes you and ask for his strength to be less consumed by this world and more consumed by his vision and mission.
Hands: Be prepared for mission. It may be just going next door, it maybe even closer within your own home or alternatively it could be a call to go to the ends of the earth.
Prayer: LORD, help me to see clearly when I am consumed with my own vision and purpose and not with yours. Help me to give my own will to you and to trust that you will direct my path in all things. Lord make me bold in your strength only. AMEN.
A song to listen to: Hear the call of the Kingdom
Emma-Jane McNicol – Living Church Creek Road