Response to Jesus: Joy is found when we take Jesus at his word and multiply our lives.
They went out with a clear calling. Seventy-two men and women with their own set of reasons not to go, to stay put, to stay wrapped up in their individual lives. They all left things behind to follow Jesus. They all had friends and families who expected them to do something different, to stay put, to follow the course everyone else was following. They all had reasons that could have multiplied and discouraged them from going.
But instead of multiply their excuses they decided to multiply their lives.
Upon meeting the maker of the days and seasons, how can you return to a life ruled by your own small calendar, your own small plans? They let the ways He had rescued them multiply into a life that was sent to tell others, and in return their joy was multiplied.
They went with a clear calling. Their purpose was to prepare the path for the son of God. Jesus himself sent them out saying the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
He told them to go with prayerful urgency, go with disarming humility, and go with piercing truth. They didn’t play it safe, they risked it all, and they went.
They returned with powerful joy. God had given them authority in response to their urgency and prayers. Darkness fled when it saw who they came representing. They saw people set free from lies they had believed their whole life, from things that held them captive. Nothing else can bring that kind of joy. Jesus rejoiced in their humble, low status. He told them that God would provide, take only what you need for the next steps. There is no joy like humble dependence on God, trusting him for your needs and seeing him provide as only he can. He uses the faith of the humble to shame earthly wisdom. He blessed them for perceiving the piercing truth of his words and taking it to others. Once you have seen and walked with Jesus you have a responsibility to steward that blessing, for not everyone has experienced the joy that comes from communion with their creator.
These faithful seventy-two men and women have come and gone from this earth, yet Jesus is still sending us to prepare a way for him. Will you stay put, letting your excuses multiply into a small life lived and ended on yourself? Or will you go, taking Jesus at his word and multiplying your joy?
Let us go today with prayerful urgency, disarming humility, and piercing truth.