Shane L. Bishop
In Luke’s version of the sending of the 72, we get an unexpected gift. Jesus gives us a direct command to pray for “laborers for the harvest.” It is something I seldom hear prayed. Churches complain about a lack of volunteers all the time but do we pray them in?
Are you willing to pray regularly for laborers for the harvest?
Are you willing to be a laborer for Christ?
Dare we envision ourselves as those who proclaim the nearness of the Kingdom of God?
How might that change our witness?
Our self image?
We visited the cursed city of Chorazin in the summer one year. It was over 100 degrees and the ruins were crawling with huge rodents. Barbed wire was visible from past wars. Cursed indeed. I wrote in my journal, “Never return to Chorazin.” And we have not.
The seventy evangelists return with good news. They are effective! Jesus reminds them to rejoice that God chose them, not that God uses them.
The thoughts on rejoicing about what you have seen strikes me. Christ Church has been a two decade revival in which almost 2,000 people have been saved and over 1,500 baptized. We have grown from 200 to 2500. How many churches desire to see such things? We HAVE seen them! Praise be to God! If God is moving in your life or church, never take it for granted!
The road from Jerusalem to Jericho descended about 3500 feet and was thirteen miles long. It was isolated and dangerous. Thieves stalked victims and not even the Romans could keep it safe. Jesus later travels this same road the opposite direction to enter Jerusalem the week before his resurrection.
The hero of the story is a despised Samaritan. Samaria was a part of the Galilee that as a hybrid of Jew and Gentile. The villains are the religious establishment. No surprise there.
The discourse on prayer is similar to the earlier ones. The promises of the ask, seek and knock segment are most bold until we discover the prayer is about wanting more of God, not more of what can do for us. Drawing us closer to Him is a prayer God always wants to answer!
The Mary/Martha encounter juxtaposes “doing” for Christ and “being” with Christ. The former is Service and the latter is worship. Being with Christ is the greater thing.
Are you more inclined to “be” or to “do” when it comes to your faith?
How often do we rob ourselves of time with Jesus because we are too busy? Martha is distracted by the preparations of tending to her guests and Mary is focused on Jesus. We need to be careful to not let the hustle and bustle of our lives keep us from prayer, worship, and fellowship with Him. We need to prioritize what is most important first.
*Adapted from the Life Application Bible Commentary of Luke