Summary: Christ instructs the seventy to have correct priorities as Christians and in so doing takes a stand against Christian pride and arrogance
In Luke 10:1-16 instructions are given by Jesus to his seventy followers as he prepares them for ministry. Verses 17-20 describe the debriefing that took place following their return. In this debriefing, Christ instructs the seventy to have correct priorities as Christians and in so doing takes a stand against Christian pride and arrogance.
I. The Privilege of the Seventy (verse 1-16)
A. The Privilege of Prayer– verses 2-3
1. Psalms 34:15 "The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry."
2. For Laborers – the want of laborers –
a. There are too many semi-Christians.
b. Ezekiel 22:30 "And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none."
3. Be willing to be the answer to your prayer – If you are praying for a harvest be willing to work for the harvest.
a. Brother Andrew in The Calling wrote “At the spiritual level, planning means taking the initiative. It’s not about sitting around until you are absolutely certain God is calling you to a particular task, direction, country, or ministry. Nor is it waiting for the doors to open so you can go there easily. Planning is an act of faith. Jesus never told his disciples to wait for an invitation. He told them to go.
b. Mark 13:34 "For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch."
B. The Privilege of Christian service.
1. God has chosen to use very ordinary people like you and me to minister to the world, to bind up hurts, to tell the truth to those who are in darkness.
2. Many Christians spend much of their lives as spectators on the sidelines. They don’t really believe that the work of ministry is a privilege, that to use the gifts God has given them is an honor.
3. But consider the difference in the early church. We read in Acts 5:40-42 "... when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ."
4. The reason there are so few workers is that too many see serving Christ in the world as being too hard or too dangerous.
a. The work of the ministry is often hard, with a great deal of strain and long hours.
1) I don’t want to commit to do anything -
2) Been there, done that, been burned or burned out, not going to do it anymore. Let someone else do it.
3) It is better to wear out for Christ than to rust out.
4) Luke 19:13 "And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come."
5) Occupy – give diligent action, work, commit to diligent walk and labor, never letting up.
6) There is a little Mexican folk song whose chorus repeats the line, "No me gusta trabajar," which being interpreted is, "I don’t like work."
7) 1 Corinthians 15:58 "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
b. It can also be dangerous. Notice Jesus’ words in Luke 10:3: "I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves." Following the Lord and taking up the challenges, he lays before you can put you in hot water. - 2 Timothy 3:12 "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
C. The Privilege of Protection and Provision – verses 3-4
1. Trust God for protection – sheep among wolves
a. Matthew 10:16 "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."
b. Psalms 34:7 "The angel of the LORD encamps round about them that fear him, and delivers them."
2. Trust God for provision - neither purse (moneybag), nor script (traveler’s bag), nor sandals (an extra pair of shoes).
a. Philippians 4:19 "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
D. The Privilege of Ambassadorship – verse 16
1. George Shultz, when Secretary of State during the Reagan administration, kept a large globe in his office. When newly appointed ambassadors had an interview with him and when ambassadors returning from their posts for their first visit with him were leaving his office, Shultz would test them. He would say, "You have to go over the globe and prove to me that you can identify your country." They would go over, spin the globe, and put their finger on the country to which sent--unerringly. When Shultz’s old friend and former Senate majority leader Mike Mansfield was appointed ambassador to Japan, even he was put to the test. This time, however, Ambassador Mansfield spun the globe and put his hand on the United States. He said: "That’s my country." On June 27, 1993, Shultz related this to Brian Lamb on C-Span’s "Book notes." Said the secretary: "I’ve told that story, subsequently, to all the ambassadors going out. ‘Never forget you’re over there in that country, but your country is the United States. You’re there to represent us. Take care of our interests and never forget it and you’re representing the best country in the world.’"