The church I attend has started a new sermon series, “Road Trip.” It is vacation time and many of us will soon take our own road trip. Gas may be high, with food prices going up every day but Americans are creatures of habit. There were many road trips taken by Jesus and the disciples and in the early days of the church the apostles, most notable Saul…Remember the road to Damascus and after that road trip experience we came to know him as Paul. There were two others who met Jesus on a road… Emmaus was a small town not far from Jerusalem and it was on that road that two men met the resurrected Jesus. People normally walked everywhere. Some did have a beast of burden to ease their journey and that me reminds of another road trip of note. Joseph traveled to Jerusalem from Nazareth with Mary the soon to be mother of Jesus riding on a donkey. Today I fall back on a phrase I have heard often…it is not so much about the journey, it is what happens Along The Way. There are three such episodes in the NT that come to my mind; the first being in Matthew Chapter 10: 1-15. I encourage you to read these verses, but for our purposes today…
Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness.
Mark 3:13-15 is the next scriptural note of a road trip…
Mark 3:13-15 He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, 15 and to have authority to cast out demons.
The third one would be from Luke Chapter 6:12-13…
Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles….
The situation here is a bit different in interpretation, the other two callings are followed in scripture by a mission statement… We find in these verses in Luke a broader picture of what is taking place. From the writings of Jeremy Myers we find this interesting note… Jesus is praying for the choices he must make but also for the healing of the people and the teaching of the people that must be done. Consider this as written by Jeremy Myers in his article of A Few Good Men. NOTE I am inserting it here as written:
In Luke 6, Jesus is faced with this sort of decision. He has come to earth to show and teach people what God is like and have an everlasting relationship with God. He only has three years of ministry, and by Luke 6, almost half of that is gone. He knows and realizes that one of the things he must do is pass on the essential truths of why He came to a few people who then in turn pass it on to others after He is gone. For over a year, He has been gaining hundreds of followers, but He knows that most of them haven’t a clue about who He really is, or why He truly came. So He must choose out a few to teach and train so that they might continue to minister to others when He goes back to heaven. The eternal weight of the world is on His shoulders, and He must choose a few good men to pass that heavy weight to their shoulders.
So it is that we read in Matthew and Mark, in both instances for the mission Jesus gave the twelve disciples authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. In Luke the opinion is that this was the initial election of the Twelve Apostles, a different meaning can be assigned to these verses in Luke. We must not be misled from the context of these verses…the intent of our Lord in calling these disciples forward was to prepare them to go forth, tell the story, heal the sick and toss out demons in the name of God. But there is still another road trip that has a huge role to fill in this study and it is also, in Luke Chapter 10 verses 1-12.
The Mission of the Seventy
10 After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 2 He said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.
One point to be made here. In Matthew 10:1-42 and Luke 9:1-6 there is a difference in the instructions given to the Twelve and the Seventy. The main difference is that Jesus had told the Twelve that they were to preach in Galilee, avoiding Gentiles areas and Samaria, but the 70 were given no such restriction. Do you foresee a time when you might be sent out on a mission of service? Is there a road trip of such in your future? The church today is being attacked from many directions and is in need of the faithful to go forth and tell the story, prepare the way for His return. Keep these 10 points in mind. I am sharing with you from one of my favorite sites…gotquestions.com .
The first thing you have got to do is…
- Go (Luke 10:3). This is foundational.
- Be wary (Luke 10:3). you will be surrounded by danger.
3) Live by faith (Luke 10:4)
4) Be focused (Luke 10:4)
5) Extend your blessing (Luke 10:5–6). Bless those that give you comfort.
6) Be content (Luke 10:7). The 70 were told not to seek better accommodations; they were to stay in the home that first received them.
7) Receive your due (Luke 10:7). The laborer is worthy of his wages (cf. 1 Timothy 5:17–18). Doing evangelistic work is indeed work and is worthy of compensation.
8) Be flexible (Luke 10:7–8).
9) Heal the sick (Luke 10:9)
10) Proclaim the kingdom (Luke 10:9).
We do not know the names of the Seventy, but the fact is that their names were written in heaven (Luke 10:20). Let’s be realistic about today’s church world. We don’t knock on doors anymore, the digital world gives us the ability to reach many but… there is nothing more meaningful than a personal touch accompanied by a kind word. Imagine the miles they walked and the dangers these early Saints faced and as the Lord said to them…the harvest is great. Consider this, we will harvest what we sow. So, spread the word. Is there a road trip in you future? Consider this, Along The Way, share the story of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Life is Good