Currently there are 67 countries involved in armed conflict with 761 militias or terrorist groups. (http://www.warsintheworld.com/?page=static1258254223 ) Both domestic and international acts of terrorism have occurred in the United States of America. 150 children were served by the Greene County CASA in the past year. These are Greene County children who are have been abused or are in dangerous situations. (http://www.greenevillesun.com/news/local_news/pinwheels-for-prevention/article_1ee07efe-0c53-5d9d-9b8f-f74d695a18ab.html)
Yes, the field is ripe unto the harvest. With little or no peace in this world, we have a message from God for this world. Yes, there are people who are looking for a way through the junk this world throws at us. There are people who are ready to turn to God.
God is working the lives of the abused children. God is working in the lives of those who have been harmed by terrorism. God is working in the lives of the people living in war zones. At the right time, one of Jesus’ disciples will speak peace to these people. Then these people will start following Jesus. Will we be one of Jesus’ disciples bringing in the sheaves?
A. Jesus confers authority and power to his disciples (10:1-2)
1. Jesus had already sent out the 12 (9:1-6
a. 3 objectives
i. Power & authority over demons
ii. Cure diseases
iii. Proclaim the kingdom
2. Now Jesus sends out 70/2 more!
3. They were to go where Jesus was intending to go
4. Jesus told them: “The harvest is plentiful.”
5. Pray for workers for the harvest – we just might be the workers for whom we are asking God to send!
6. Just as Jesus was sent by God so this world could know God, the 70/2 was sent out by Jesus. The authority and power Jesus gave the 70/2 was to bring in the harvest. There are people ready to believe in Jesus Christ. Before the disciples go, Jesus gives tells them the situation they will be facing.
B. Jesus commissions the disciples for their work (10:3-4)
2. You will lambs among wolves
3. Don’t take anything with you – you will be depending upon God!
4. This work of bringing in the sheaves is about us depending upon God. Jesus sends out his people to bring in the harvest. This work is what makes the Kingdom of God present on earth. This work is what makes the church. We can learn to depend upon God.
C. Jesus gives instructions for their work (10:5-12)
1. “Peace to this house”
2. They share in your peace – stay with them!
3. They don’t share in your peace – leave from them!
4. Once welcomed, eat what is provided
a. Cure the sick
b. Tell them: “The kingdom of God has come near to you”
5. If not welcomed, then say in the streets
a. “We wipe off the dust of your town in protest against you”
b. Tell them: “ The kingdom of God has come near to you”
6. On the day of judgment, Jesus and God will take care of judging those gave peace to
7. The work of Jesus is one of division (12:51). When people accept Jesus, then they have peace. When people don’t accept Jesus, then they won’t have peace. The offer of peace comes before anything else. Like the angels told at Jesus’ birth, there is peace for those who turn to God. Here the disciples are telling people there can be peace! That’s right, God offers peace through Jesus. Whether we accept this offer of peace or not, we will know the kingdom of God has come near to us.
There is a harvest ready to be gathered in the barn. There are sheaves to be brought in to the granary. There are people ready to be brought in to the kingdom of God through the church. The harvest won’t come here unless we go out there.
Greene County ranks in the top 4 of Tennessee Counties for cattle, chickens, sheep, hay, milk, and corn (2012 Census of Agriculture). We know how to harvest from the land. There is another harvest we can know how to bring in, that is people eager to have peace with God.
Will you join me in praying for workers for the harvest? We can bring in the sheaves. We can speak about God’s peace. We can let Greene County know that the kingdom of God has come near. As we pray, let us depend upon God for the harvest.