I hope you all enjoyed the Japanese lesson! 🙂
Sorry about that, actually. I have a Japanese version of this blog, and it accidentally got posted here.
At any rate, we see Jesus not only sending out the 12 disciples, but 72 others. And he gives them pretty much the same instructions that he had given the 12 when he first sent them out.
But it’s the first few verses that strike me. First he told them something he had said before. He said,
The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. (2)
Meaning, of course, that there are many people out there that are ready to hear the gospel and would believe if only we had enough workers to go out and reach them. So Jesus said, “Pray. Pray that God would send people out.”
But Jesus doesn’t stop by saying, “Pray.” He immediately tells them, “Go! I am sending you out…” (3)
And he tells us the same. Certainly he wants us to pray for more workers. But he wants to start with you. He wants you to hear his call and go out to reach those around you.
Sometimes, as we go out, we fear rejection. But Jesus reminds us,
He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me. (16)
In other words, remember that if they reject your message, they are not really rejecting you, they are rejecting me. So don’t lose heart. And remember also that there will be those who will listen and be saved.
He then encourages us by saying,
Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For 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. (23-24)
For so long, people like Moses, David, Daniel, and others longed to see the kingdom of God come with power. And now, with Christ’s coming, we have that opportunity to see it come into the lives of the people around us. But we will never see it unless we go out. If we do, however, we will see his kingdom come with power in the lives of those who believe.
So don’t just pray…go!