My friend Andy made this genius point as we were looking at Luke 10 the other night. In that passage, Jesus was sending out the 70 (or 72, depending on which version you’re reading from) as representatives of the kingdom of God. Here’s the message He gave them to proclaim:
1. “The kingdom of God has come near you.”
But here’s the other instructions about the way they were supposed to go:
1. Pray to the Lord of the Harvest.
2. Don’t carry luggage.
3. Don’t greet anyone along the road.
4. Stop at the first house you come to.
5. Offer a word of peace there.
6. Remain at that house
7. Eat what is set before you.
8. Heal the sick.
9. If you’re not welcome, move on.
Anyone else notice the discrepancy there? There’s 1, simple statement of message but at least 9 specific instructions on the method of delivery or the process of going. That’s so interesting to me because any “evangelism training” I’ve ever been a part of has just the reverse. There’s emphasis on apologetics, or diagrams, or tough questions, or perfecting your testimony, or whatever. And just the one word of “Go.” In short, the message gets all the play and the method of going is pretty much left up for debate.
So why did Jesus give a message so simple but spend so much time on the process in going?
Here’s one thought – perhaps there’s not meant to be any separation in the two. Maybe in Jesus’ mind, He wasn’t saying, “Here’s how you’re supposed to go,” then saying, “And here’s what you’re supposed to say;” maybe Jesus was saying only, “This is what you are supposed to do.”
The way we go, the way we talk, the way we eat, the way we interact with our neighbors – these things are our message. By them we proclaim the kingdom of God.
What do you think?