On the Road Bible Study – Week 3
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two [a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. 5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. 8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’
Some Questions and Reflections
We learn in this passage that Jesus sent out his disciples in pairs to the towns where he was about to go. They were in a changing time, shifting from ‘abiding’ (spending time with Jesus and learning from him) to ‘guiding’. They were going on Jesus’ behalf, no longer simply ‘being with’, they were now ‘going for’. Why did Jesus choose to send the disciples out in pairs rather than alone? What might be the benefit of going in twos?
(Answer: Accountability. The life of discipleship meant to be connected to not just Jesus, but
to other people. Going two by two, like tracks on a railroad, means that having another
travelling alongside you can keep you in a straight line and keep you going on the road that
Jesus is calling you to go on.)
Following Jesus is all about movement, but before we move, he calls us to pray and ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers for ‘the harvest is plenty but the workers are few.
1. Has God been calling you to move in any area of your own life?
Discipleship is characterised by openness to the Holy Spirit’s voice and direction.
2. Is there anything that needs to change inside of you to be open to the call of the Holy Spirit in your life? What is the Holy Spirit saying to you? And are you open to hear what He has to say?
Jesus instructed the disciples not to take a purse or bag or sandals with them on the
3. Why might Jesus have asked this of them?
(Answer: Firstly, there is a sense of urgency to Jesus’ call. When there is little time for delay, leaving behind your possessions means you are able to travel faster. While the harvest is ripe, there is little time for delay. Secondly, by taking nothing with them, the disciples would be reliant on the provision and
generosity of the people they would meet along the way. It may also have meant they needed to partner closely with the Holy Spirit in order to find the ‘person of peace’ wherever they went.)
The life of discipleship here is something that you might not expect; that is a life of receiving hospitality. You can tell a lot about a person by the way that they receive hospitality.
4. Are you comfortable and vulnerable enough to be able to receive hospitality from somebody else? And, in the same way that the disciples were told to leave many of their possessions behind, could there be something He is asking for you to let go of in order to go on this journey?
Jesus not only put his disciples in a position to be ready to receive, he also called them to give generously. He asked them to offer peace to the households they entered into, to heal their sick and to them the kingdom of God. He wanted them to
share everything that he had invested into them.
5. What gifts has Jesus invested into you throughout your journey with him that you can now share with others?
Sometimes, we may risk being disciples in form only, and not in function. We risk becoming like ghost stations and ghost trains, visible relics that no longer serve the purpose of the kingdom of God. It is important that we remember to function like disciples, not just look like them. Let’s be thinking about who we can bring along on the journey, and how we can serve others with the gospel.