Wednesday 16 June 2021

Bible Book:

'The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few.' (v. 2)

Luke 10:1-12 Wednesday 16 June 2021

Psalm 145:1-9


In this passage there is a new sense of urgency in Jesus’ words. Jesus is aware that for many of the places he intends to visit it will be a once-and-for-all opportunity for people to respond to his mission. He will not pass this way again.

Luke tells of a mission of 70 people – his is the only gospel that speaks of a mission of the 70. This prompts a question about whether this number is purely random or has a specific symbolic reference. Once more Luke is looking back to the Old Testament, to the example of Moses who chose 70 elders of Israel, who were equipped and sent out to lead their people. (Numbers 11). So here we have a new Exodus with Jesus sending out his helpers.

The helpers are being sent out empty-handed. They are to go from house to house, bringing peace and well-being to the people. Yet these helpers were being sent into a context that was not wanting peace. There were divisions between Jews and Samaritans and all the people of the region wanted to throw off the hated yoke of Roman oppression. The sort of kingdom that people longed for was one in which the oppressors were overthrown by force and God’s might got rid of their enemies once and for all. Jesus vision for the kingdom was totally different, it was a kingdom based on love and grace emanating from the boundless love and grace of God. People were to be faced with an urgent decision – the old ideas of force and the new dispensation of love.

To Ponder:

  • The 19th century missionary movement often quoted the verse from the beginning of this chapter: “The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few.” (Luke 10:2) There was a sense of urgency at that time. Where is the sense of missionary urgency in our time?
  • Today nothing is done without preparation, equipping, policies and procedures. Do we believe that Jesus’ instructions to his disciples are just not applicable to our own times, or will we be missing the point?


Caring Father, inject an urgency, we pray, into our worship and into our mission so that we may faithfully fulfil our mission to the present age. Amen.

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