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Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

NO CO-DEPENDENT MINISTRY Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

I’m thinking that if I were to preach from this passage, I wouldn’t be preaching to the congregation so much as simply allowing them to eavesdrop on a message I would be preaching to myself. If anyone needs to heed this passage, it’s those of us who are called to the vocation of preaching the good news. This passage is for preachers!

Jesus instruction to the seventy-two (or seventy, depending on the manuscript) is a little longer version of the same instruction He gave to the twelve in the previous chapter (Luke 9:1-6) and in both of these passages, we can discern Jesus’ pastoral care for his preachers. He was protecting them with this instruction and in short, Jesus told his disciples that, while they were to be responsible for the proclamation of the message, and while they were to participate in the inauguration of the kingdom, they were not to assume any credit or blame for its reception or rejection. While they were doing nothing less than ushering in the kingdom of heaven (Luke 10:18), even that was not what they were to celebrate. They were to do the work of the Lord all the while recognizing that it was, after all, His work. This is great counsel for preachers and I don’t know very many who don’t need to hear it.

Consider the kindness of Jesus’ teaching here, regarding who was responsible for the fruit of their labor.

1. The remedy for the need for more workers was to ask God to send them. (Luke 10:2)

2. They could be sure that the message was not going to be received by all, no matter how it was proclaimed. (Luke 10:3)

3. If the people of a community were not receptive to the message, they were to simply walk away. (Luke 10:11)