After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
“When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
“Woe to you, Chorazin! 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 to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades.
“Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
In this long passage, Jesus encouraged his disciples to be courageous, to go out into the world to spread his word, and to participate in the mighty work of God. During this Advent season, we can remember the many times we have seen God’s magnificent hand in our own day-to-day lives. How many times has the Lord calledyouto check on a friend who is ailing, or reach out to a relative we haven’t spoken with for a while? How many times has God come to you during a time of darkness or stress and alleviated the problem or given you peace and the strength to endure?
As we look ahead to Christmas, it’s helpful in our spiritual walk with Jesus to reflect back on those times in our lives when God’s mighty hand descended from heaven and either turned a bad situation around or gave us the graceto manage it. How many times have we faced health or financial crisis, and after diligent prayer a miraculous event occured? This is no mistake, or coincidence; it’s the power of God taking us where He chooses for us to go.
What a blessing it is to know we have a powerful Father who looks out for us at all times, who only wishes for us to commune with him and enjoy his presence in our lives! The Most High sent his Son for us to be absolved of our sins through grace – that is the most powerful element of all to reflect on this Advent.
Westminster Presbyterian Church 32111 Watergate Road Westlake Village, CA 91361 p: 818-889-1491 f: 818-889-7132 firstname.lastname@example.org