by Philip Layton
Jesus sends out 72 followers and emphasises the priority of salvation
- Is it tempting to imagine just 12 disciples? Do these additional 72 help you to imagine the impact his ministry was having?
- How can verse 20 be applied to your life and ministry today?
- Is it possible to become so busy serving the Lord that you neglect spending time with him (vv 38-42)?
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Going Deeper – from 'Words of Life'
Jericho, where we went today, is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. It’s rich in history as far as the Israelites are concerned. First mentioned in Numbers 22:1, there’s reference to the Israelites having travelled to the Plains of Moab along the Jordan, across from Jericho. Then, of course, it’s the first city Joshua conquered when claiming the Promised Land. After the children of Israel marched around the city for six days in a row, then seven times around it on the seventh day, the walls fell. The city was theirs. Jericho is mentioned in Ezra, noting that 345 men returned to Jericho after the exile in Babylon (2:34).
Nehemiah makes mention of the men from Jericho helping to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem (3:2). But what made an impression upon me today, as we were driving into Jericho, were two incidents recorded in the New Testament.
The first relates to the question: ‘Who is my neighbour?’ (Luke 10:29).
In response, Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan. It was the unexpected person who stopped, helped, cared. Taking time. Showing love. Giving of himself.
Luke also tells us of a blind beggar sitting along the side of the road as Jesus approached Jericho (18:35-43). The man was blind but, in faith, called out to Jesus – begging for mercy. He wanted to see. Because of his faith, his sight was restored.
A stranger stopped to help. A beggar received sight. I pray that I’ll also stop to care; and to receive new sight – new spiritual insight as to how I can be best used and become more effective for God’s Kingdom.
Father in Heaven, help us to take time for the things, the people, the situations that need us most. Help us to also receive fresh insight, renewed faith, so we can be used effectively for your Kingdom.
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