Over the weekend I had the privilege of meeting with a large number of students who serve as leaders within our church. I was reminded of this passage in Luke chapter 10:
10 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
One of the things that stood out to me in this passage in my current journey of life was how Jesus says, ““The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.” As I meet with various people and tell them about my job as a campus missionary I realize just how few people are doing what I am doing. Whether that means on a college campus or a country halfway around the world, sharing the gospel isn’t something that is seen as a normal, every-day-life thing to do. The workers are definitely few and the amount of people who need to hear the good news of the gospel of Christ is overwhelmingly large.
Which brings the next point up, we are lambs among wolves. God did not say that this work would be easy. As I watched our students this weekend that image kept coming to mind. They are going out on complete faith as leaders who are constantly on mission to share the gospel to their peers. Think about at for a second. How intimidating and overwhelming is that? That’s what I’m experiencing in this current phase of my life. I am a lamb amongst wolves. Not everyone I encounter is excited to hear what I will be doing when I return to BG and not every friend or classmate will respond to our students in a positive way. But let’s look at the end of this passage.
“But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’
Jesus tells the 72 to wipe the dust off their feet and continue on. He has a plan for these students, myself, and for you. We may not always see it. Sometimes we have to move on to the next thing and let go of the past in the process.
Later in this passage the seventy-two return encouraged by their journeys. Christ tells them to rejoice in the fact that God’s work was done. As we begin a new school year our leaders are preparing for what’s to come. I’m constantly reminded both for them and myself that in the end we will rejoice at all the work God has done in this process. There will be plenty of moments when we need to wipe the dust off our feet, but we press on because God’s work is to be done.