Lambs Among Wolves

Luke 10:1-9

The next time someone indicates to you that following Jesus is supposed to bring us comfort and riches and lack of conflict with others, have them explain to you Luke 10:3. Jesus is directly sending his closest followers to tell people that God, their true King, is near. In His brief instructions (which go against a number of principles of conventional wisdom), He clearly says they will be vulnerable and defenseless among a group of the vicious and the violent: lambs among wolves. I wonder, did any turn back when they heard this image from Him? Did anyone argue or even discuss the risk, the danger, that this metaphor indicated they were walking into?

But at the end, the seventy(-two) "returned with joy." Jesus didn't lie to them, so there must have been very real risks they were walking into. But because they stepped forward and took that risk, the Shepherd guided them into joy. 

Why were they joyful? They had experienced firsthand the power that God through Christ has over the demons. I can only imagine what a thrill that was to experience.  But Jesus doesn't leave them worshipping or overly valuing this experience of power flowing through them. He points them to what's really valuable: the fact that God knows their own names. They are in the process of being reconciled to God. Union with the Divine is on their horizon. Exorcism, as much of a thrill as it must be, cannot compare with the eternal joy and thrill of being eternally in the presence of Love Almighty.

When we put both of these together, we can then wonder if Jesus also intended them to connect the dots: what these disciples did as God worked His power over demons through their hands, they were also, through that very process, freeing people from spiritual bondage, that the healed ones might also know and be known by God.

Fuller blessings arise for everyone as God works miracles of freedom through us. Ask Him to show you where you are in bondage, where He wants to free you. Ask Him also to show how you can humbly allow His power to work through you to set others free to also find Him.