Luke 10:1-24 (NIV)
Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-two
1After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others
This reminds us that there was a larger group of interested followers of Jesus beyond the Twelve He chose as disciples and apostles.
and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2He 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.
Jesus commanded them to pray; the work before them was great and could not be accomplished without much prayer. Specifically, they were to ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. This speaks powerfully to:
· The need for prayer in the work of evangelism (therefore pray)
· The maker of the harvest (the Lord of the harvest)
· The need for workers in the work of evangelism (laborers)
· The calling of God for the work of the harvest (to send out)
· The nature of harvest participation, work (laborers)
· The need to recognize Whom the harvest belongs to (His harvest)
3Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
1 Chronicles 22:16 (NRSV)
Now begin the work, and the Lord be with you.
“So Send I You” has been called the greatest missionary hymn of the 20th century. It was first published in 1954 after having been written sixteen years earlier by a Canadian school teacher, Margaret Clarkson.
Margaret Clarkson, born in 1915, was a teacher in a gold-mining camp in northern Ontario, Canada, far from her home. It was a lonely life for her, but she also knew that this is where God wanted her to serve Him. She had a great desire to be a missionary on a foreign field but because of her health was unable to go. One day she was considering the loneliness of her situation and read again the verse John 20:21, “Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” While meditating on this verse she wrote the words to a hymn that has become a favorite, “So Send I You.”
HERE it is, sung by Dick Anthony’s 16 Singing Men. Lyrics follow.
So send I you to labor unrewarded,
To serve unpaid, unloved, unsought, unknown,
To bear rebuke, to suffer scorn and scoffing-
So send I you to toil for Me alone.
So send I you to bind the bruised and broken,
O’er wand’ring souls to work, to weep, to wake,
To bear the burdens of a world aweary-
So send I you to suffer for My sake.
So send I you to loneliness and longing,
With heart ahung’ring for the loved and known,
Forsaking home and kindred, friend and dear one-
So send I you to know My love alone.
So send I you to leave your life’s ambition,
To die to dear desire, self-will resign,
To labor long, and love where men revile you-
So send I you to lose your life in Mine.
So send I you to hearts made hard by hatred,
To eyes made blind because they will not see,
To spend, tho’ it be blood, to spend and spare not-
So send I you to taste of Calvary.
4Do 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.’ 6If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you.
7Stay in that house, 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 set before you. 9Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’ 10But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.’ 12I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
13“Woe to you, Korazin! 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. 14But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.
16“He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
Zechariah 2:8 (NRSV)
One who touches you touches the apple of my eye.
The Seventy-two Return
17The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
18He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
Satan’s fall was God’s immediate judgment upon that rebellious spirit (though not complete judgment, which still awaits). Every time the kingdom of Jesus is presented in truth and power, it is like another judgment upon Satan and all who share his rebellious spirit. “So, where the gospel is preached with divine power, Satan comes down from his throne, in human hearts and human minds, as rapidly as the lightning-flash falls from heaven; and when we see his kingdom shaken, then, like Jesus, we rejoice in spirit.” (Spurgeon)
19I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
from My Utmost for His Highest,
by Oswald Chambers
“Nothwithstanding in this rejoice not . . . , but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
–Luke x. 19, 20.
Jesus Christ says, in effect, Don’t rejoice in successful service, but rejoice because you are rightly related to Me. The snare in Christian work is to rejoice in successful service, to rejoice in the fact that God has used you. You never can measure what God will do through you if you are rightly related to Jesus Christ. Keep your relationship right with Him, then whatever circumstances you are in, and whoever you meet day by day, He is pouring rivers of living water through you, and it is of His mercy that He does not let you know it.
The tendency today is to put the emphasis on service. Beware of the people who make usefulness their ground of appeal. If you make usefulness the test, then Jesus Christ was the greatest failure that ever lived. The lodestar of the saint is God Himself, not estimated usefulness. It is the work that God does through us that counts, not what we do for Him. All that Our Lord heeds in a person’s life is the relationship of worth to His Father. Jesus is bringing many sons and daughters to glory.
21At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
22“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
23Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 24For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
1 Peter 1:10-12 (NLT)
This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward.
They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.
How blessed we are to see Jesus in the Scriptures, full of grace and truth!
HERE is “Open my eyes that I might see . . . ” Written by Clara H. Scott in 1895. I remember this song from my childhood.
1 Open my eyes that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.
(Ref) Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready, my God, Thy will to see;
Open my eyes, illumine me,
2 Open my ears that I may hear
Voices of truth Thou sendest clear;
And while the wave notes fall on my ear,
Everything false will disappear.
3 Open my mouth and let me bear
Tidings of mercy everywhere;
Open my heart and let me prepare
Love with Thy children thus to share.
4 Open my mind that I may read
More of Thy love in word and deed;
What shall I fear while yet Thou dost lead?
Only for light from Thee I plead.