Jesus knew how to connect with people. His teaching was never meant to impress his audience, but to intrigue, interest, and inspire. He used common things to illustrate uncommon truth, so that we could understand and remember what is important. One example of that is in this week’s reading. In Luke 10, we see Jesus sending out 36 teams to the villages and towns He planned to visit so they could make preparations:
“The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit.” Luke 10:1 (NLT)
Here we see several things that are interesting: 1. Jesus had more than just the 12 disciples that were devoted to Him 2. He entrusted these followers with managing details of His work 3. He had a strategy to His ministry that included advanced planning. The fact that is most important though, is His comment about the nature of the work He has assigned, 2 These were his instructions to them:
“The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” Luke 10:2 (NLT)
This simple two-sentence statement by Jesus changed the course of my life. When I accepted Jesus as my savior and leader my attitudes, values, beliefs and behavior began a radical transformation however, one area of my life was quite resistant. Before I became a follower, I was very much a loner, and my desire was to eventually live alone in the mountains far away from crowds of people. When I became a follower, I still held onto this dream and began trying to persuade God, through prayer, to let me live it out. I had visions of a retreat center where people could come on weekends, allowing me to live in solitude during the week. It was all about what I wanted.
Then one day I read this simple statement from Jesus and I began to realize that my motivation was primarily about meeting my wants and desires, not pleasing the Lord. God began challenging my mind and heart to adopt His priorities in place of my own. Instead of looking for opportunities involving the fewest people, I should volunteer wherever the greatest need is – even if that means being huge crowds. There is nothing wrong with retreat centers in the mountains, IF that is where God leads you… that is not where He was leading me. . Putting His interests in place of mine, led to me and Becky moving to the DC metro area and starting New Hope. It is the complete opposite of where I would have gone if I followed my own desires, but a field in desperate need of workers, and one I have come to absolutely love.