As I look at this passage I see Jesus giving wise counsel to the 70 and to us. People need to feel loved and cared for by us before they will allow us to minister to them. There are things in this passage that we as a missional people need to do in order to minister to a lost world. The four things below that end in "lost" were shared with me a number of years ago; by whom I do not remember and for that I am sorry in that I would like to give them credit but as a preacher once told me when I said I might just "steal" his sermon and not give him credit "Give God the credit; it wasn't mine in the first place!"
- Bless those who are lost. Jesus says to " first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ While we may not always be dealing with people who do not know Jesus this practice would still be a wise one. If the house/person to whom we speak is a brother or sister in Christ then we have blessed a member ofthe family with God's peace and that person may just be in need of that. If not we have begun the process of bringing a BIGGER blessing to this persons life.
- Fellowship with the lost. At this point you are going "WHAT?" Jesus says "remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give." Not only are we to eat and drink what they set before us (O Boy?!?) but we are to live with them!! I wonder; what that would look like? Does that mean; going to the places your co-workers go after work? Going to bars and clubs? I do not know remember this blog is called "Old Man's Wonderings" for a reason!!
- Meet the needs of the lost. Jesus says that NOW we are ready to start what we call ministry (I think Jesus would say we started at point one but again I think a bit out of the box!) Jesus says "heal the sick there [in that city]". I think that feeding the hungry there; clothing the unclothed there; helping the addicted there; would fit here are well
- Proclaim the GOOD NEWS WITH the lost. ". . .say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’". We may simply say that the reason we have done what we have done is because we love Jesus and Jesus loves them and desire to have a relationship [a friendship] with them. We might even get a chance to tell them that Jesus is the one in control of our lives and that they could allow Jesus to be in control of their life as well.
I encourage us to get our sickle sharp and then get out of the barn and go cut the harvest; because as Jesus said "The harvest truly is great . . ."