Summary: what tools Jesus gives to share the gospel message
Tools Of The Trade
Luke 10:1-24 Aug 20, 2006
As men and tools go, I am extremely lucky. You see, I have a wife who is a scientist and thus works with tools in her job – she uses Bunsen burners, centrifuges, microscopes, and pipettes. A pipette is the scientific equivalent of a turkey baster, you use it to pull solutions up to the desired measurement and then you squirt them into a test tube. In the real old days, scientists used to pipette by mouth; then they attached rubber balls to the end (like the turkey baster), and now they have special tools called pipette aids that go on the end and you push the button. So for me, when it comes time to do a job like sanding my deck, I have a wife who understands that well, yes I could use a sheet of sandpaper and a block of wood – but that would be the equivalent of pipetting by mouth. Or I could use my orbital palm sander, but that would be like the rubber ball method. The best tool is a belt sander, so I have to buy a belt sander, with my wife’s encouragement.
The last two Sundays, we’ve been talking together about the importance and urgency of all of us who are children of God sharing the incredibly good news – that Jesus has taken our place and offers us forgiveness and meaning and hope – with a world that desperately needs to know that there is a God who loves them and wants to have a relationship with them.
Last week we took a brief look at Paul’s logic in Romans 10:13-15: “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them
without being sent?” We followed that up with Jesus’ words right at the end of the Gospel of John (20:21): “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
So we have been sent. What tools are we sent with? This morning I want to study a passage of Scripture together, and see from there what tools Jesus gives to share that message. The passage is from Luke 10.
“1After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.”
There are several things to notice in this one little verse:
• hand-picked by Jesus: “appointed” and “sent”. Today, that is you and me. You have not been randomly or haphazardly put in the situations you are in with people far from God; you have been appointed and sent.
• two by two: we are not sent alone, we are sent with the strength of relationship and companionship and shared labor. Jesus did not intend us to go all by ourselves!
• “ahead of him to every place where he was about to go.” There is great significance here, which applies to us: our job is just to prepare the way, to make the announcement as we’ll see in a moment, that Jesus is near! He’s coming!! His Kingdom is close by!!!
“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.”
• can you imagine, for a moment, if you had gone to all the work in the spring and summer of preparing the soil, planting the seeds, weeding, watering, and staking – and then, once the produce was ready, just leaving it to fall on the ground and rot? I think that is Jesus’ idea here – it’s like He is saying, “the harvest is ready! The people need the love and forgiveness and freedom I’m offering, they are prepared, now all I need are some people who will go and work in the harvest fields.”
• There is a note of urgency in this picture: harvest time does not last forever, one has to get out and get the produce when it is ready, not when it is convenient for you!
“3Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.”
• whoa… that sounds a little dangerous! lambs among wolves? Jesus is taking a pretty big risk here, don’t you think? And with our lives! This kind of verse really makes us stop and think again about our obedience to Jesus. Is Jesus really our Lord? Will we really obey, even though we know we are lambs being sent among wolves?