1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two 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. Luke 10:1-3 (NIV)
The Twelve were not Jesus’ only disciples, there were others as well. After the Twelve returned Jesus appointed seventy-two more followers to minister. He didn’t send them out alone, he sent them in pairs. Nor did he expect them to work in their own strength. Their first instruction was to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers. As Jesus described their ministry to them, they were being sent as lambs into a pack of wolves.
How many times do we tackle some situation “for the Lord” without ever giving a thought to prayer. We think we already have all the answers–we are so sure of ourselves and our perfect little plan–and we strike out only to fall flat on our faces. When we try to fight the Lord’s battles for him without seeking him first we should expect no more. We can be so sure we are right and still be so wrong.
I believe Jesus was not only describing the toughness of the situation when he described it as lambs going among wolves, I detect he was also giving them the spiritual posture he wanted them to assume. They were not to go with a plan of attack, but in a spirit of love and peace.
My occupation has me sharing with students about the African-American giants like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks during the months of January and February. These people were masters at going out as lambs among the wolves. Their peaceful resistance to the unjust “Jim Crow” laws of segregation serve as examples to all of us. These leaders were master students of the Bible, and their activities sprang from their faith in God.
Are you willing to be a sheep for Jesus? Do you dare to confront the wolves in our society who are trying their best to eradicate the Christian faith from public view and public consciousness? Is Jesus calling you to step out in prayer and in faith?
Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.