Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Sending of the Seventy

"And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name." Luke 10:17 KJV

This is a great verse. Perhaps we happily look at this and say, 'See God gave them authority then and we have that authority now.' It give us a sense of joy and relief even though we are not facing down demons on a day-to-day basis... maybe not at all.

If we look at the verses before we see that that authority didn't start or end with the demonic. It was a certain mindset the seventy were to have with people and provision.

They needed a kind of faith bravado that only a person sent by authority can have.

"Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace be to this house!' And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.' But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, 'Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.' " Luke 10:5-11 ESV

Notice that the message was one of peace. It was the grace message but the messenger was not picky about their provision and the people in the house had to disregard the look of the messenger.

A person that hears the grace message and receives it from whoever God sends is a child of that message.

" 'He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.' Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, 'Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.' " Luke 10:16-17 NKJV

They are hearing a sound that comes because a messenger is present but did not originate in the messenger.

The bravado of faith and victory had made the seventy giddy with joy.

"And he said to them, 'I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.' " Luke 10:18-20 ESV

Jesus lived in finished work victory. To Him Satan was (is) already defeated. It is the gathering of people that gives Him joy. It is seeing the grace message of peace settle into someones inner man and make a home there that is a cause for celebration.

Which names were written in Heaven? Surely it was the seventy he sent but it was also all those whose houses the disciples had eaten in... all those that received the message of peace.

I want to live boasting of the healing power in the message I bring. Some boast in themselves and the clean look they present to the world but that has no value... and no power.

I want to eat at the first house that opens it's door and lets me in. There may seem to be more comfortable accommodation down the street but the house that receives the message has a child of the message in it. That child has their name written in a book in Heaven.

Lastly, I want to loudly and dramatically shake off the dust if that is what the situation calls for. Quietness is not meekness it is cowardice in those situations. If grace is not welcome neither are we.

Then we will have joy... not lukewarm comfort. We will have joy with heat and new fellowship.

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