1st Sunday of Abib – The Sending of the Seventy Apostles

(jesus_christ)christ_the_teacher-002.jpg“After these things the Lord appointed seventy others”. (Luke 10:1)

Before these appointments, the Lord was calling on a lot of different persons to spread His word. Through these calls He revealed the obstacles which would hinder them and hold the soul from being released into missionary.

1- One told Him, "Lord, I will follow You wherever You go." (Luke 9:57). The Lord told him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay His head."
(Luke 9:58). Those are the ones that want to follow Jesus to capitalize
either from a position, fame, monetary or temporary profits. Those fail
the call, they are not blessed and they have no share in the kingdom. 

2- He told another, "Follow Me." (Luke 9:59). But that person answered, "Lord, suffer me first go and bury my father." (Luke 9:59). So Jesus told him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God."
(Luke 9:60). These are the ones who worry about the dead body, and
prevent it from seeking the salvation of the Spirit. They stop it from
service and paralyze it from moving towards the kingdom.

3- Also, another said, "Lord, I will follow you, but let me first go and bid them farewell, who are at my house." (Luke 9:61). So Jesus told him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
(Luke 9:62). Those are the ones that want to follow the Lord and serve,
but their hearts and feelings could not let go of the past. These also
are not fit for the kingdom’s work. For they would be without fire or
the spiritual activity… All these kinds first asked for something else
other than the kingdom. They prefer what is for the people more than
what’s for God.

He told them, "The
harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray
the Lord of the harvest, to send out laborers into his harvest." (Matt. 9:37, 38). Even if the Lord would have appointed seventy in one day, this will still stand true "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few".
(Matt. 9:37), and will stand, so that they would always remember that
the work is greater than them, greater than their efforts, and to
always keep their hands towards the Lord asking for help… Such that
they would not think, that they alone are fit for the work. He told
them, "Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest, to send out laborers into his harvest." (Matt. 9:38).

"Go your ways: behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. Carry neither money bag, knapsack…"
(Luke 10:3,4). The missionary for Jesus must follow the facts of life.
When preaching about Jesus the savior of the World and the rescuer of
the oppressed, then they are preaching about He who saves the lambs
from among the wolves. When they talk about Jesus, they talk about He
who gives the blessing and the provider of life to the world. For He is
their purse and scrip, their peace and the force that defends them… For
them Jesus is every thing… He is self sufficient… This is how they
preached, "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God." (2 Cor. 3:5). "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matt. 10:7)

These were the words which Jesus told the seventy apostles to preach. The Lord told the Jewish teachers, "For
you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in
yourselves, nor do you allow those that are entering to go in."
(Matt. 23:13). Their lives have been impoverished with their teaching,
placing heavy and cumbersome burden on the people who could not
withstand them. But for Jesus’ Apostles, their lives open the gates of
heaven before mankind. Their behavior declares that they are the sons
of the Kingdom… Their hardship preaches the wealth and generosity of
the Kingdom… Their death from the world carries only one meaning, that
there is a better life from the ordinary one. Their path is a clear
witness for the Kingdom of God. It attracts every soul. It relishes the
desire to enter God’s Kingdom. "But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’" (Luke 10:5). Jesus gave His disciples a special peace, saying, "Peace
I leave with you, My peace I give to you: not as the world gives do I
give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John
14:27). His peace dwelled in them. Therefore, they kept on providing
peace wherever their legs took them… For Jesus’ peace means His
presence in person, because He is our peace. Therefore, when the
disciples give peace, they are actually presenting Jesus, who is
present within them and in them. This is what the Lord told them, "He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejrcts Me rejects Him who sent Me."
(Luke 10:16). The acceptance of Jesus’ word is accepting Him
personally. When accepting the word of peace and the reconciliation, it
directly brings us into the peaceful status with God in our Lord Jesus
Christ. The seventy disciples returned with joy saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us to us in Your name."
(Luke 10:17). The preaching about Jesus destroys Satan’s kingdom and
shakes his thrown and liberates those in bondage like lightning. No
work under heaven is greater than these colossal projects. All great
charitable works are nothing when compared to the salvation of one from
Satan’s kingdom… "Then shall the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father."
(Matt. 13:43). Satan doesn’t worry about charities, he is not defeated
by the power of mankind, but his kingdom is only shaken by the
preaching in the name of Jesus and the entrance into a partnership,
with the power of the Holy Spirit and its work in the church. "Nevertheless
do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rather
rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." (Luke 10:20).

The Reason for the Joy

The disciples rejoiced saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us to us in Your name." (Luke 10:17). So Jesus told them, "Nevertheless
do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rather
rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." (Luke 10:20).
No doubt that casting demons, performing signs and the fruits of
service… etc., makes the soul rejoice and gives hope to those walking
on the road of death. But the true and continuous source of joy, is
that our names are written in heaven. Our baptism, our second birth and
unity in Christ are the reason for the endless joy. We should not
forget this truth, even in our service. Nothing should occupy us away
from the endless divine joy. All earthly joys, even the miracles will
end. But the joy of those names written in heaven will never end.

Practical Applications

far are you from being one of His apostles? Dear beloved one, don’t you
know that we are wanderers, and ambassadors, sent by Jesus, to be
preaching His word to all people? Always be a representative of Jesus
who is in you. Be a reason of peace in every house you enter, as a son
of Jesus. Carry His peace in yourself and transmit His peace
spiritually wherever you are. P Let Jesus be your treasure. Don’t have a purse, scrip or anything to rely on, except Him.

Finally…. Is there any earthly thing that concerns you or makes you
rejoice? Let the reason of your rejoice be that your name is written in
Heaven… This means, always remember your baptism, your second birth,
and this will powerfully lead you to behave like the sons of God in the
midst of this world.

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