Missional Living: The Luke 10 Challenge… Print
Sunday, 08 April 2012 20:16

Luke 10:1-24 is, I suppose, one of the key passages in the whole arena of the missional conversation. It is the story of Jesus sending out the 72 disciples to the towns and villages that He would be visiting in the coming days. I think the reason I am so fascinated by this passage is simply because it breaks the whole idea of mission down into relatively easy to manage chunks. So what are those chunks?

  1. Pray – Whether we see it or not really makes no difference. Jesus clearly states that “…the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask [pray] the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” We can never limit our understanding of the spiritual climate, simply, to the amount of response that we are getting at this point in time. Just because I may see very few people coming to faith, does not mean that the harvest is any less plentiful than Jesus said it would be. I just need to pray that the workers would be sent and that I would also be sent with a wise and discerning heart that enables me to engage in a conversation with God’s harvest.
  2. Peace – It has long since been a challenge to me that, as Christians, we always seem to want to declare the Gospel news too quickly. Even the writer of Ecclesiastes counsels us that there is a time and a season for every activity. Jesus tells these disciples “…when you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’” The first gift that we must give to our communities is the gift of peace and blessing. How many times did Jesus meet the physical need of a person before He then met the spiritual need. When we actively seek to take the gift of peace and blessing into our communities, we will then discover that we are actually cultivating the soil, and creating the space for the conversation to flourish.
  3. The 3-Step Plan – Jesus tells his disciples to eat what is set before them, then to heal the sick who are there, and then to tell them that the Kingdom of God is near to them. There is a strategic and planned progression in these steps. For these steps to yield the fruit of the harvest requires an active participation from the Holy Spirit. There is no other way for success. These steps are also intentionally relational, what could be more relational than sharing a meal, in which, through conversation, we discover the persons or groups needs. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we endeavour to meet those needs – sometimes that will be physical healing, other times it will be practical help, it will always be therapeutic and all of the time it will involve the on-going conversation.What it will also demonstrate is the value we place on the PERSON that we are engaging with. Finally, when the person or the group is in a place to receive the message then with the anointing of the Holy Spirit, we are able to tell them that the Kingdom of God is near to them, and in fact that it is this Kingdom  that they have always been receiving through us.

There is so much more that we could talk about in these verses, but what I have shared above is some of the thinking behind all that we are doing in our community, through The Urban House. In just over a week,  we will be hosting another street breakfast in our home – danish pastries, croissants, and real coffee. This is still the first step in the 3-Step Plan, the sacred meal if you like, for we pray that Jesus will be at the very centre. It is the place of discovery, where we continue to learn what our community needs, what they dream of, their hopes and their fears. It is the place where the Holy Spirit can and does inform our very next steps.

Please pray with us that our neighbors come, that they are open and engaged. Please pray that, though we may not speak directly of the Kingdom of God on that morning, the community will feel the peace and blessing that comes when the Kingdom of God is near to us.

The seventy-two disciples came back to Jesus rejoicing, they pretty much said to the Lord everything we did in Your Name had power, it all worked. Jesus’ reply was that He had seen Satan fall in power, that as the disciples spoke in Jesus’ Name, Satan became weaker and weaker – “…I saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven.” But He also cautioned them to rejoice more that their names were written in heaven. These words of Jesus remain equally true today.

God Bless & Encourage You
Jon Stockley