“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” All followers of Jesus are invited to bring more of heaven to earth!
We don’t need to try to convert anyone that’s not interested, but instead look for “persons of peace” – those who are searching, and they are all around us.
We need to focus on God rather than the evil all around us. We need to be more like the good Samaritan, who offered mercy to his neighbor, in spite of the ethnic and religious differences, and more like Mary, who sat at the feet of Jesus, wanting to learn to be a teacher.
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This passage means a lot to me! When I was in high school, I was at a summer camp when the speaker quoted from Luke 10:2 “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” I told the pastor with us on that trip that I had sensed at that moment that maybe I was supposed to be one of the workers. Maybe God was calling me to be a pastor. That Sunday night he had me share the message. It was only 7 minutes long and he had to get up and fill in the rest of the 30 minutes he had given me.
I’ve been serving as a pastor in some capacity for the past 32 years!
When you look at this passage though in its context. Anyone who follows Jesus is called to be a messenger, a worker in this new Kingdom!
Jesus sends out 72 more disciples in pairs. They are to stay with those who are persons of peace – those who are interested.
We should never feel the need to convert anyone who is not interested. We need to look for those who are open and searching, and by the way, they are all around us.
The disciples are so excited that even the demons do as they are commanded in the name of Jesus. Jesus mentions how he was there when Satan was expelled from heaven and then reorients their focus. Followers of Jesus need to focus on God the Father and His Son Jesus rather than focus on the evil around us even though we have authority over that evil.
Jesus then tells a remarkable story of the Good Samaritan. In a land where the Jews and Samaritans hated each other due to their ethnic and religious differences, Jesus made the hero of the story the person who was seen as less than the others. That is significant. Jesus was making a point that we should not judge others by their ethnicity and anyone from any background can be in His New Kingdom.
We bring more of this New Kingdom to earth when we are a good neighbor and show mercy to our neighbors, especially when they are in need.
Another paradigm shifting moment takes place when Martha is upset that Mary is not helping her but is instead learning to be a teacher along with the men. Jesus affirms Mary and gently redirects Martha.