At Sunday’s meeting we introduced Luke 10 as our reference scripture for this month of reflection – action and we talked about the fact that even though only one of many significant scriptures describing the mission of Jesus and his followers, Luke 10 is possibly the clearest version of the pivotal shift in his earthly ministry.
We discussed the reality that the harvest is still plentiful and the workers are still few, highlighted by the idea that if we simply thought about the names of people each and every one of us know right now, who haven’t sought to follow Jesus towards experiencing the favour of Father God in their everyday lives, we would easily think of 5 to 10 names immediately. Add these numbers together and an average church congregation of 50 people has an instant mission field of 250-500.
Luke is an important gospel author for a number of reasons not the least of which is that he was NOT one of the twelve apostles. He was probably Greek but possibly an Hellenic-Jew, either way there is a lot of support for him being from Antioch, Syria. This is really pertinent when you think about his authorship of the Acts where the story of how the gospel exploded beyond the Jews and across the Gentile world is recorded and Antioch figures as the first hub for the spread of the gospel beyond Jerusalem. According to scriptural evidence, Luke was a co-worker or a companion of the apostle Paul and accompanied him on several missionary journeys. He was a ‘beloved physician’ and an historian; both ideas indicating his level of education and as such his writing competency, even gift and because of all of these things, the position and importance of Luke 10 is magnified even more.
That Jesus was sent by God and that he was sending his disciples into the world is probably the primary theme of Luke’s gospel. If we compare Luke 10:1-11 with Luke 9:1-6 we quickly see the consistency in Jesus’ equipping method. Whether a person had a lot of experience observing Jesus’ ministry or not, his purpose was to demonstrate without prejudice that the paramount ingredient for mission and ministry which has measurable impact for advancing the kingdom of God is and can only be indicated by the depth of intimacy in the relationship a disciple has with Jesus and not by their status or experience or duty or practical ability or human knowledge and or effort. The outworking of this intimacy was and is faithful, obedient, even courageous carriage and representation of God’s presence wherever Jesus would send that disciple or wherever a group of followers would gather.
Reflection-Action 1 As you read through Luke 10, what things jump out for you that might make you feel that this passage of scripture is a description of a pivotal time in the journey of Jesus’ mission?
Reflection-Action 2 Does your growing understanding of Luke being a writer of New Testament content, simply as God’s choice for a purpose, inspire you in any way? If so, in what way?
Reflection-Action 3 If there is a revelatory shift from human founded wisdom and knowledge based skill deployment towards operating out of denied self, trusting in the consistent resource and provision of the divine that is identified in the course of Luke 9 and 10, can you identify it? If you can, do you think it’s incidental or pivotal? Support your belief about this with verses from the two chapters if you can. Does this have any impact on your heart’s desire to serve the kingdom of God and the way you serve? Can you find words to describe the impact if any?
Reflection-Action 4 Just as you read through Luke 10 again, take note of anything else God might be encouraging or challenging you about.