Luke 9:57-10:12

Back in Luke, and shortly after Jesus' transifiguration he and his disciples have set out for Jerusalem. As Jesus set off "resolutely" (ESV, "he set his face to go to Jerusalem") he expects those who want to follow him will do the same. The fishermen who dropped their nets and Matthew who left his tent booth unattended probably wouldn't have found these answers of Jesus as hard to swallow as we tend to. Jesus is no longer in just the one physical place so we can follow him wherever we are, but there is a clear challenge: what would I give up if it would serve the Lord? Would I give up material comforts? Would I leave family and friends if that's what I was asked to do? And, as I know is the case, will I take up my cross daily (9:23) and make the small sacrifices that I certainly am being called to make?

Again, when Jesus sends out the 72 the exact details of their evangelism aren't appropriate for us to follow in today's setting. But there are important principles. Firstly, when Jesus sends me (which has already happened at the Great Comission), I need to go (v1). Pray earnestly that God will send workers, and be one of the workers that I'm praying for (v2). Realise that people won't like evangelism and will do all that they can to stop me (v3). Don't trust resources to get the job done (v4). The first assessment of anyone should be that they can accept the good news (v5). Build up relationships that I can use to share the Gospel (v7). Tell people what it's all about (v9). God will deal justly with anyone who persecutes Christians because of the message we bring (v12).

Heavenly Father, I praise you as I see more evidence that you don't call us to anything you wouldn't do, as Jesus left the splendour of Heaven and a perfect relationship with you to be our Saviour. I know that so often I use my possessions and friendships wholly as things for me to enjoy when I could be using them to tell people that your kingdom is very near. Help me to follow Jesus' example in the urgency of evangelism and praying that you will send workers. Please send many more workers who have a real heart for you and for the lost. Let me trust in you for the ability to do it, and that at the last day justice will be done. Amen.

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