Tuesday in the Sixteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Luke 10:1-12

Jesus Sends Reapers

Even though Jesus has set his face towards Jerusalem, he is still determined to minister in those places he has yet to visit.  Some think that it was the area known as “Trans-Jordan,” that is, across the Jordan River, east. If so, these inhabitants would have been Jews, who had been forgotten by the leadership in Jerusalem, and also gentiles.  But the point is that Jesus will not let anyone be forgotten.  Regardless of the fact that his time is short, and he hardly has time to meet his own physical needs, he will leave no one behind; these must hear the good news of the Kingdom as well.

Then Jesus gives instructions to the seventy (and, –two, depending on translation), first and foremost, to pray that the Lord will send laborers into the harvest.  These disciples might have said to themselves, “In the Trans-Jordan?  Really?”  Won’t it be shameful on Judgment Day if the Lord says to us, “There was indeed a harvest to be had in your place; why did you not labor to bring it in?”  So we must also pray for laborers – and be laborers in the place the Lord has placed us.  And then there is the warning about the reality all Christians live: “I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.”  This is certainly more real in Muslim and Communist countries than it is in ours, but it is becoming more a reality in America.  Then again, it was always supposed to be this way; we are to share in the sufferings of Christ (Philippians 3:10).

As Jesus sent them on an urgent mission, he gave specific instructions to them: take few provisions, stay in one place, eat whatever they offer you (i.e., graciously receive hospitality), do not waste time along the way (as greetings along a road in the ancient East could be lengthy), and preach that the Kingdom has come near to them.  If you are rejected, do not be bothered by it; God will judge when the time comes.  You are to preach the coming of the Kingdom – and be quick about it!

There are legitimate questions as to what of this pertains to us.  We are not all called to leave our jobs and move to Africa; but we are called to be missionaries where we are, and to use our resources more for the Kingdom than for ourselves and our families.  God might not give to us the gift of healing the sick, but he has called us to pray over the sick that He would do so (James 5:14-15), and to pray for our pagan neighbors.  We often complain about our country, and perhaps the church in America is shrinking.  But perhaps the fields are ripe for harvest, and we are too cynical to see it.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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