All throughout scripture, we see and hear the words of Jesus to His disciples, “follow me”. And follow Him they do. But in other parts of the New Testament, Jesus goes a step further and uses the word “Go”.
Luke 10:3 says, “Go on your way. See, I am sending you like lambs into the midst of wolves.”
This was Jesus, sending the 72 into every town and place he intended to go. He asks them to do a few very specific things:
1. Enter the town. – Along with the word “GO”, God desires to use us outside of where we naturally are. Each of us is created uniquely, and God can use each of us in ways like no other. It’s not always a mysterious location somewhere “out there” in the world that we need to stress and sweat about finding. Start where you are…see where that takes you.
2. Eat what is set before you. – Goes with the words of verse 4, about not bringing supplies and worrying about how you’ll survive. It’s not about you and I, or about us “getting ours”, in return for the good news we bring.
3. Bring healing to the sick. This physical world matters. Bring comfort to the uncomfortable (and not just nicer couches). Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, bandage wounds, and care for the well-being of humanity.
4. Announce the Kingdom of God. The heart of what Jesus calls his disciples to here. Even in places where they are not welcomed, he still tells them to announce the Kingdom of God.
And in each of these things, we are sent as “sheep among wolves”. How often do we lose sight of that? How often, as a church, do we focus more on words like “boldness, courage, strength, might, conquering, etc.”?
Not saying each of these words are inherently bad. But I don’t think those are the themes we need to be reminded of these days.
And not only challenging the “church”, but challenging also those who challenge the church. Movements like home churches, “emergent” church types, etc. We can have a pretty sharp tongue sometimes. We can gather in groups, waiting for the wrong move or word to be spoken, and move in on our prey.
May we GO into our world this week, as Lambs. Not lambs who expect to be surrounded by lambs either; but as lambs who expect to be surrounded by wolves….and yet move forward anyway. In sacrificial love for the other…