Luke 10:3 – Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.
I have to admit, it is not one of the most encouraging of statements. It comes as Jesus sends out seventy (or 72, depending on your translation) disciples to go ahead of him into the towns and villages that he himself would go to. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few. Therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.” Some towns would be accepting and some would not, either way, the message to both would be the same – “The kingdom of God has come near to you.”
This, of course, will always be the case until the end of days. For now, we are the labourers; we are the ones being sent out to proclaim the good news. Some will accept what you have to say and receive Jesus as Lord and Saviour, yet others will not want to hear anything you tell them and will reject Jesus as irrelevant to their situation. The Lord said, “The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me” (v16).
We read in verse 17 of the chapter that the 70 returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” These disciples had watched Jesus heal the lame, the blind, the diseased; they had seen him raise the dead and cast out demons. He had a power and authority that knew no bounds and he had given it to them. Can you imagine how they felt the first time they experienced that power working through them? It’s no wonder they returned with such excitement. They had so many stories to tell each other as they reunited together.
Jesus did the work of the Father with humility and he wanted his disciples to appreciate the authority they had been given without gloating in it. He said to them, yes, I have given you power, “nevertheless, do not rejoice in this… but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Jesus wanted them to understand that it was not about what they could do but about who they were – sons of the kingdom, sent out to bring others in. Miracles are secondary to salvation.
Jesus still sends us out today and we are still lambs among wolves but we have no reason to fear for we are sons and daughters of the King and His power always dwells within us.