“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of Him, two by two, into every town and place where He Himself was about to go. And He said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road.'”(Luke 10:1-4 ESV)
Today we have the story of how Jesus sent out 72 of His followers to tell the Good News all over the country. They were supposed to get things ready for Jesus Himself to come.
To tell you the truth, this kind of assignment terrifies me. Even though I’ve worked in missions for more than 30 years, reading this passage makes me want to hide under the bed. I would be the person saying, “I’m not here, Lord. Send that other guy!”
And it doesn’t get better when you look at the details of this assignment. He tells them to pray to the Father for more help, though they haven’t even left yet. Clearly this is going to be a big job. And He tells them not to stop and chat with people in the road. Their job is more urgent than that.
Scariest of all, He says, “I am sending you out as lambs into the midst of wolves.” He tells them flat out that some people are going to resist them and maybe even try to hurt them, and they are not allowed to hurt them back. How scary is that?
Yet there are two things in this that comfort me. The first is the fact that Jesus sent them out two by two. Jesus doesn’t expect us to do it by ourselves. He gives us our fellow Christians, to hold our hands and help us take baby steps in sharing our faith with others.
The second thing I find comforting is that it says, He “sent them on ahead of Him, two by two, into every town and place where He Himself was about to go.” They didn’t need to be nervous. Jesus was coming, and the Holy Spirit was already with them.
I can testify that this is true. Forty years ago, God took a nervous teenager and threw me into the middle of a group of people from my church who went out to share the Good News in our community. I was scared to death, but I soon found out I didn’t need to be. We weren’t doing anything strange or unusual—we were just visiting people who came to our church, and asking them how we could help. As time went on and we became friends, we could answer questions and tell them how Jesus had helped us. If they didn’t know the story already, we could tell them that God had come into the world to live, die, and rise again to set us free from the power of evil and to make us children of God. It wasn’t so scary after all.
We Pray: Lord, You know where I am afraid or having difficulty. Please help me to be able to share Your love with the people You want me to. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on June 30, 2022
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved
1. Have you ever talked about Jesus outside your family or church?
2. Are you nervous or hesitant about sharing your faith?
3. What non-scary baby steps could you take, if so?