Sunday, 7 February 2016

Step Out - Luke 9 & 10

What was the greatest action Jesus ever did (apart from the whole cross/resurrection thing)? Perhaps it was no single miracle or sermon, but the fact that he sent people: first the 12, the 72, and later commissioning all disciples. For this sending had a multiplication effect, spreading from the single person of Jesus.

How did you learn to drive? By reading a book, by sitting in a class? Probably by being put into the driving seat. Remember that general estimates put learning by doing at 70%, by watching at 30% and by listening at just 10%. So in Luke 9 and 10 Jesus says 'go and do', sending to proclaim the Kingdom, heal, drive out demons etc. Thats putting the disciples in the driving seat.

It seems a big ask, but remember they receive God's empowerment - it is His abilty, our availability. Jesus has taught, he has demonstrated, now he says 'go and do' with his commission resting on them.

It is a risk - what if the disciples don't speak so well, mess their words, fluff praying for healing and so on? Yet Jesus takes that risk ... their comes a time when the driving instructor is no longer sitting at a second set of controls. Yet God does go with us and will pick us up when we trip.

The disciples return full of stories, and importantly Jesus withdraws with them to a quiet place - space to reflect. So having taught and demonstrated, having sent for them to go and do, he now creates the environment for sharing, for questions, for thinking it through. This is the kind of cycle we should emulate with others, gradually giving more and more responsibility.

Both Luke 9 and 10 have the commissioning & sending, both involve travelling light, both instruct the disciples to be hosted by others (incarnational mission), both had a simple proclaim and show Kingdom signs mandate, and both had a return & reflect episode.

Both chapters imply there were positive consequences for the Kingdom - Kingdom Life sprang up across the region. This is because the disciples were sent and had to put their faith into action. James 2 reminds us to show our faith by our actions ... faith solely in the classroom (or Sunday service) will have little effect on others, but when applied to our everyday decisions, our encounters with others, then Kingdom life in others becomes possible.

In His ability are we ready and available to be sent, to go and do? Do we build in times for reflection, learning from the mission experiences we have encountered in that doing? Or do we never leave the classroom?

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