We’re continuing to go through Luke’s Gospel. For the last couple of posts we’ve seen Jesus sending out the 72 disciples. They were to prepare the way as the Lord traveled throughout Israel.
There was more they were called to do than just the logistics. They were to minister as well.
“When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’”
Luke 10:8-9 NIV
They were told to preach the kingdom of God. They were preparing the towns for the message that Christ would bring.
However, there’s something greater that I think we miss here. Jesus commanded them to heal the sick. The Lord didn’t simply say to pray over them. They were to bring healing.
That’s important. This command would have been impossible unless the power and authority to heal were given with it.
I believe that this should be a vital part of our ministry today. The power of God to heal and deliver should be present in God’s people. This is what would drive the Gospel message forward.
Unfortunately, much of today’s evangelism consists of trying to convince people to change their thinking. We hope that our words will cause people to turn to Christ.
We need a revival of the power of God in our witnessing.
But, some people are not even moved when they witness the miraculous.
“But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.”
Luke 10:10-12 NIV
Jesus warns these disciples that not everyone will receive the Good News. There are some that will reject Christ, no matter what they learn about Him. Even miracles will not convince them to follow the Lord.
That’s because the message of Christ involves giving up control. You have to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. There are many who will totally refuse to hand over the reigns of their lives to Christ.
“Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.”
Luke 10:13-15 NIV
Please understand what the Lord is saying here. He’s not telling these cities that their punishment will be greater. Theirs will be less tolerable because they didn’t just reject the words of a prophet.
These cities actually saw the Messiah in person. They heard the very words that he spoke. They saw the miracles done from His hands. Yet, in spite of all that, they rejected the Hope of Israel. This knowledge will continually haunt them throughout eternity.
Then the Lord turns to His disciples. He gives them an important piece of knowledge that we need to hold on to as well.
“He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
Luke 10:16 NIV
No matter what happens through our ministry, don’t take it personally. If someone accepts Christ as their Savior and Lord, it’s not about us, but the Holy Spirit working in them.
If they reject the message of Christ, they’re not rejecting us. They’re rejecting the One who sent us. Ultimately, they’re rejecting the work of God in their lives.
Our goal should be to walk in such a way before God, that the world sees His power and is drawn to Him. Then we can be a faithful witness to what Christ has done in us. However, the final choice is theirs – for or against Christ. We are simply the messengers.
Question: How do you witness for the Lord?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi