Saturday, July 07, 2007

Lambs Among Wolves

In Luke 10, Jesus sends out 70 disciples into the surrounding community. I have been thinking about this story a lot, and will be preaching on it tonight. Here's where I am right now:

I think we can learn a few things about being disciples today from these 70 disciples of long ago.

First - their message wasn't "Jesus died for you," because Jesus hadn't died yet. There message was "Peace be with you" and "God is here." Maybe we shouldn't minimize the Gospel to "Jesus died for you so now what are you going to do for him" as much as just offer people peace and point out that God is all around us.

Second - they did not condemn the people who didn't listen to them, they left that to God and moved on. In verse 12, Jesus condemns the towns that do not receive the disciples, but the disciples themselves do not. Maybe we, as disciples, ought not to waste our time condemning others for not receiving the message and just move on to someone else who will. We can do so if we hold to a healthy doctrine of prevenient grace, I think.

Third - Jesus told them not to break their arms patting themselves on the back, but to rejoice that their "names are written in heaven." In other words, find joy in God, in doing God's work. Maybe we spend too much time assessing and evaluating and examining ourselves to figure out if we are doing a good job, and not enough time just doing it. (Like I wrote in this post.) Socrates said that an unexamined life is not worth living, but I think that an unlived life is not really worth examining.

An example on that third point:
The "assessment mentality" leads a church to ask questions like, How are we going to have enough money to do all we want to do? A better question might be, How are we going to do what God wants us to do with the resources we have been given?

No purse, no bag, no extra pair of shoes, even. "Like lambs among wolves."


larry b said...

"A better question might be, How are we going to do what God wants us to do with the resources we have been given?"

That's really a great insight! I wish I heard that kind of talk from more of the church leaders.It too often feels like that when you step into a church they want you to help shore up their coffers so that they can get on with something they've been waiting to do. It would be nice to go somewhere that is already doing something with what they have and welcome new resources with the kind of question you just asked.

Along the Narrow Path said...

Your message is so true in this day and age. We should do what we can with what we got instead of worrying what we don't have. We should do what we are supposed to be doing instead of worry. I know I worry about my job as a teacher a lot, but I will try to not worry as much and focus on what I do.

TN Rambler said...

You've given me some extra stuff to chew on as I struggle with the sermon this week. Thanks.

Adam said...

great post Andy. You're third point resounds with something our Pastor says in prayer often: "God, help us to do what you're blessing, not bless what we're doing"

Pastor Amanda said...

I miss you!

This is so you. Authentic. No pretense. I can't wait to be a regular reader.