We could see what the disciples saw

Published 9:00 am Friday, September 15, 2017

By Al Early

In Luke 10:1-20, Jesus sends 70 disciples to the surrounding towns to preach the Good News he has been teaching them.

He says to them, “See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you” (vs. 4-6).

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Can you imagine what it would have been like to be one of those disciples?

Jesus has confused the disciples so many times even the 12 were often unsure of what was up and what was down. And now, Jesus tells these 70 to preach his message when they weren’t even sure if anyone would listen. They were to take no wallets, suitcases, or even a toothbrush.

Do you think they were scared about this mission? Would you be?

Imagine how they would walk together and begin breaking up into smaller groups, as they split off from one another by pairs.

By the time the last of the 70 found a town to begin preaching in, they would have been a sight, covered with dust and mud and very hungry.

They walk up to a house and greet the person traditionally with, “Peace.” They would surely get a careful look, but as the story proceeds, most were welcomed into homes, allowed to tell their stories, and then the real miracle began.

People believed, people were healed, and demons were cast out.

Do you think they expected people to listen and believe them when they talked about Jesus? Do we expect people to believe us when we talk about Jesus? Do we talk about Jesus?

When the disciples returned, there was great rejoicing as they told Jesus about the miracles they had done in his name.

Jesus says, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this… but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (vs. 18-20)

I read about a modern retelling of this event in Jesus’ ministry.

Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, told of his most memorable occasion to share the gospel.

“I remember as a young believer I felt impressed to call on a man who was a CEO of one of the great fortune 500 companies. As presumptuous as it sounded he was very responsive and agreed to see me. I asked for 15 minutes of his personal time, and when I was ushered into his big beautiful office there was nothing on his desk… He was seated there waiting for me. He asked, “What can I do for you?” I said, “Sir, I’ve come to talk to you about your relationship with Jesus Christ.”

On the surface, one would expect for him to call for a bodyguard and escort me out. He instead began to cry. Then he stopped and told me that at the age of 8 he had become a believer.

He had become so ambitious, however, that he did not have time for God. Even though he had become one of the leading businessmen in the world he had not been to church in 30 years.

He said, “God sent you. He sent you to help me. I’ll be in church Sunday.”

Nothing has changed. As Jesus’ disciples, we have power to do great things in Jesus’ name. People need to know, and they want to know who Jesus is, and how faith in him is the source of our salvation.

If and when we open our eyes, and call on his name as those seventy disciples did, do you know what would happen? We would see what they saw.

Take a few minutes and write down one or two of your most memorable faith experiences. Include some details of what made them most memorable. Have you ever shared these faith experiences with anyone?

Pray about someone new you can share one or both of them with. If you have never shared your faith with anyone start with someone in your family that would be easier to talk to like a child or grandchild.

After you share your faith story with someone pray to God who else He wants you to share it with.

Then you will see what they saw

Al Earley is pastor of LaGrange Presbyterian Church in LaGrange, Kentucky. To learn more about him or read previous columns, visit lagrangepres.org.