Wednesday, March 2, 2005

All Else Is Secondary

"The Lord appointed seventy two others and sent them out two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go." Luke 10:1

I find it easy to imagine that these seventy-two felt pretty special! They received the same sort of commission Jesus had given to his entourage of twelve (see Luke 9). Is there any doubt they made a bee line to the towns and hamlets that Christ had assigned to them?

Thirty-six pairs traveling light. No fun money, change of clothes, or even an extra pair of sandals. They were moving fast -- the mission was urgent! Their goal was to get to as many people as possible. Why? A day would soon follow when Jesus would show up. "I am sending you in ahead of where I will soon go." Jesus had written their name in heaven -- his intention was to follow up their witness and see others written down.

They went as told, returned, and reported back. Turns out that they were most impressed by the effect they had on the kingdom of darkness. It seems they simply announced that Jesus had sent them and the demons would go scurrying!

Along the way I believe they forgot the main point of the mission.

What impressed them did not impress Jesus at all. His response to their excitement had all the comfort of a wet blanket. He basically said, "You have authority over everything the devil can throw at you. He manipulates poisonous creatures and sends them as assassins against you -- they are powerless -- just trample them. He wields all kinds of power in the heavenlies, but cannot harm you -- he is like lightening that flashes, but never strikes -- he's no big deal!

Its easy to miss something very important in this story. The greatest joy is to have your name written in heaven -- a relationship to the One who sent us.

All else is secondary!

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