As developing Christians, how can we nurture ourselves and others? With God’s help we can be witnesses in our world like the seventy-two that even the demons will submit to others in Jesus’ name. The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of Him to every town and places where He was going to recruit converts. The seventy-two came back full of joy because even the demons obeyed when the name of Jesus was used! Some ancient manuscripts say seventy; some say seventy-two on a road trip to further spread the ministry of Jesus.
Can we use our most vivid imagination to see that extraordinarily successful mission? It was reported that even those by demons were cured when they were healed in Jesus’ name. Were they surprised? They had seen Jesus perform all kinds of miracles in various places. Their obvious amazement came because Jesus used them! He can use any of us at any given time to fulfill His mission.
He sent them out two together to every city and place where he would be going later. Through their imperfect lives, Jesus healed many more people than He could have personally ministered. Why not just forget about past performances, activities and involvements and begin to serve the Lord in meaningful ways in His name? Can we serve Him with limited resources? Remember how joyful the seventy-two must have been! They never forgot the power of the name of Jesus even to the demons. They prepared the way for Jesus. If a town accepted them, they were told to heal the sick there, if not they were simply to leave. Jesus can multiply our resources in unsearchable ways that are unknown to us!
Are we so busy following human rules that we miss out on understanding Jesus? Do we take scripture at its word and follow closely in the footsteps of Jesus? If He has breathed His Spirit upon us, we are ready for mission assignments! We will probably do well not to let doubt delay us for we have no good reason to wait!
Like the seventy-two, we are sinful humans to whom God has entrusted ministry through His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. His works are accomplished sometimes through our hands. Should we engage in ministry fully aware of our own failures? Are we humbled that Jesus lets us work in His name? Our work is only blessed because we do ministry in His name. As people are healed, let us rejoice with those who have been blessed. If it is our own healing or that of others, we can do thankfully recognize the Great Physician’s work in response to faithful prayers!
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.