We have had the privilege of spending time with the leaders of several church planting movements over the years. (A church planting movement occurs when there is rapid and spontaneous multiplication of churches, comprised mainly of new believers). We always ask them what principles are behind the growth that they see. They usually point to Luke 10 (or Matthew 10). So the next few posts will look at this passage in greater detail.
Luke 10 is the passage where Jesus sends out the 70 (or 72,depending on your version of the Bible) disciples. The passage follows Jesus' teaching on the cost of discipleship.
Verse 1: The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit.
A few points on verse 1:
- These are "other" disciples–presumably other to the 12. This means he sent at least 82 disciples (41 pairs) out.
- He sent them in pairs–not in teams and not individually. It's interesting to note that when the disciples are listed, in at least one location they are listed in pairs (Luke 6:13-16)
- Jesus sent them ahead of him to all the places he planned to visit. If Jesus sends you somewhere, it's because He plans to go there too. Your job changes, then Jesus plans to meet the new people you work with. You move house, Jesus plans to touch your neighborhood through you.
- Jesus not only planned to visit towns, he planned to visit places too. Maybe Jesus said to them, "You two are to visit such and such a town, and you two go the tavern on the road to Capernaum."
Jesus had a strategy for the area. He has a strategy for your area too. The disciples job was to listen to him and to obey when he told them where to go. We have the same responsibility–to listen to Jesus and do what he tells us. That is why knowing how to recognize his voice is so important.