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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

The Pattern of Kingdom Increase

Are we in it? Luke 10.1-12

Luke 10 (1)

Pray Psalm 72.7-11.
In His days the righteous shall flourish,
And abundance of peace,
Until the moon is no more.
He shall have dominion also from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.
Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him,
And His enemies will lick the dust.
The kings of Tarshish and of the isles
Will bring presents;
The kings of Sheba and Seba
Will offer gifts.
Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him;
All nations shall serve Him.

Sing Psalm 72.7-11.
(Martyrdom: Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed)
Let righteousness abundant be where Jesus’ reign endures.
Let peace increase from sea to sea ‘til moonlight shall be no more.

And let the Righteous rule the earth, and let His foes bow low.
Let nations praise His matchless worth, and all His bidding do.

Read and meditate on Luke 10.1-12.

1. What does the episode recorded in these verses recall?

2. How does this assignment differ from the previous one?

The mission appointed in these verses mirrors Jesus’ first sending (Lk. 9.1-6) and expands on it in some ways. We can think of this like a ripple in a pool of water. Jesus is the Drop, sent from heaven to refresh and renew the stagnant world. His coming cleanses and stirs things up, creating a thing of beauty in the world. The sending of the disciples was the first ripple. The mission of the seventy expands on that, following and further clarifying and enlarging the nature and scope of the blessings of refreshment to the world. Let’s look more closely.

Unlike the sending of the apostles, Jesus sends this next mission in pairs, for mutual encouragement, support, assistance, and accountability (v. 1). The instructions given them are, according to Matthew 10.5-26, nearly identical to those given the apostles, in truncated version, in Luke 9.1-6. But they differ in some important ways. Seventy are sent, not twelve, and none of them are apostles. Next, the seventy are instructed to pray as they go that the Lord would raise up even more laborers like themselves. Following our trope, they were to imagine and pray for increasing rings of Kingdom refreshment extending beyond themselves.

Further, their mission was not limited to the Jewish people only (cf. Matt. 10.5, 6); rather, they were to go “into every city and place” where Jesus was about to go. That might well have brought them to Samaritans and Gentiles alike.

Like the apostles, they were to trust the Lord for their provision (vv. 4-7, and they were warned to expect opposition (vv. 3, 10). They were to do good works of healing and restoration and announce the coming of the Kingdom and peace (v. 9).

There is a pattern here, and it calls us to consider our own calling: Are we part of those continuing ripples? Are we an answer to the prayers of the seventy? Are we contributing to the pattern of Kingdom increase Jesus has established?

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162.
“Masterpiece Mystery” features a father-figure detective named Thursday, in the show Endeavor, who says, “Mind how you go”, to those setting off into precarious situations. In our passage, Jesus is saying the same to the seventy being sent out: “Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road” (Lk. 10.3, 4).

His instruction would make them less appealing to robbers because without money, clothes, shoes and other paraphernalia, who would bother with them in their travels? And Jesus included another nefarious type with the warning: Don’t talk to strangers along the way. Just get to where you are going in one piece. Your physical needs will be provided for when you get there (Matt. 6.8; Phil. 4.19).

How kind of God to set guidelines for those of us who are also doing Kingdom work.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart…” (Prov. 3.5).
“As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him” (Ps. 18.30). “Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust” (Ps. 16.1). “Blessed are all those who put their
trust in Him” (Ps. 2.12). “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD” (Ps. 4.5).

Paul, too, offered helpful counsel about our journey: “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries…” (Phil. 1.27, 28).

The writer of Hebrews added, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” (Heb. 13.5, 6).

And we have these words from Jesus to cherish as we work in His Kingdom: “These words I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16.33).

“Mind how you go.”

For reflection
1. “Mind how you go.” What great advice. Paul said about the same in Ephesians 5.15-17. What does it mean to “walk circumspectly”?

2. How would you explain what it means to be within the “ripples” created by Jesus’ incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension?

3. How can we as believers help one another to fulfill the callings God has given each of us?

Since we do not know who is a son of peace, it is our part to leave no one out, to set no one aside, but to desire that all to whom we preach this peace be saved. We are not to fear that we lose our peace if he to whom we preach it is not a son of peace, and we are ignorant of the fact. Our peace will return to us. That means our preaching will profit us, not him. If the peace we preach rests upon him, it will profit both him and us. Augustine (354-430), Admonition and Grace 15.46

Pray Psalm 72.15-20.
Pray that the Lord will increase the reach and blessings of His Kingdom throughout the earth, using faithful believers like you to live and proclaim the Good News.

Sing Psalm 72.15-20.
(Martyrdom: Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed)
Let Christ be praised and all the gold of Sheba be His right.
Let blessings to His Name be told, and prayers made both day and night.

And let the earth abound with grain, let fields His fame proclaim.
And may our King forever reign and nations bless His great Name.

Now bless the God of Israel Who wondrous works performs.
And bless His Name, His glory tell both now and forever more!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can download all the studies in our Luke series by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available free by 
clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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