Get Going – The Harvest Is Ripe!
1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
The hardest part of anything is taking the first step. We are being sent out to fulfill The Great Commission! The Church needs to take to heart this command from Jesus so that we can be fruitful in our labors. If we aren’t pursuing this, then what are we doing?
At the time this passage was written, the people were hungry for God. The soil of their hearts had been prepared, and there was a great gathering of souls as Christianity spread throughout the entire known world. Even today, in many places that haven’t heard the message of Christ, there is hunger when the salvation message is given. We are to ask God to send people out to gather the harvest. Let us be like Isaiah who said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Christians are referred to as lambs, and Jesus as our shepherd. These metaphors were used because the world was an agrarian society, and the people would easily relate to the similarities in the stories to their own lives. One of the interesting things about lambs is that they listen only to the voice of their shepherd. If anyone else comes and tries to lead them, the lambs are scared and run away. We need to learn the voice of our shepherd and listen carefully so that we can run from the voice of anyone else.
We are to trust in God. God wanted the early disciples to trust Him completely. He told them that they should take nothing with them – neither a purse (money) nor a bag (supplies) nor sandals (extra shoes). They were to be completely dependent upon the one who supplies all of our needs. And in fasting and prayer, following the Lord’s commands, they performed many miracles and drew close to God the Father.
A Qualifying Question
So let’s ask a question: Are we doing what we know that God wants us to do?
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, You have called us out of darkness and to Yourself. Help me to completely and totally follow You with complete abandon to my former life. Help me to trust You, and not look upon what has been provided to me. You are able to provide for my every need. If you have called me to something, You will provide whatever is required. Your character is perfect, and You will fulfill all that You have set forth to accomplish. Help me to know Your voice so well that I would flee the voice of any other. Help me to take any first steps toward the goals that You have provided to me so that I may be faithful to You. Show me the harvest that is ready, so that those whose hearts You have prepared will the brought into the light. This I ask and pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.