The Gospel Of Luke – Week 28 – Easter 2020
Jesus Continues To Expand The Kingdom – New Disciples, Instructions, and the Resurrection
During Easter weekend, our focus is typically on the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is one of the most important set of facts about the Christian faith, and it is important to remember and celebrate all of it. But it is also important to realize that the resurrection was not the finish line in terms of the Godhead’s plan for humanity. In some ways, the resurrection was like the starting line for the church, it’s beginning point. We see it this way only by looking at Easter as one critically important part of the much larger story about how God – Father, Son, and Spirit – planned a rescue operation for humanity. And in today’s text we see an important facet of that plan – the expansion of the Kingdom by continuing to make new disciples who would make new disciples, and so on. Jesus ministry began with himself, then moved to the Twelve disciples, then here to another 70, and all of this is taking place as all of them start heading toward Jerusalem, where Jesus has already warned he would be betrayed and suffer at the hands of the Jewish religious leaders. Jesus has all of this in view as he commissions these 70 new ministers of the gospel. And as the circle of disciples expands, so the impact of the Kingdom of God expands.
Jesus sends them out with his power and authority, and they preach and heal and free people from oppression, and Jesus instructs them to tell the people they spend time with that “the Kingdom of God has come near” them. He wants people to understand that this way of living and loving and helping and serving people is THE way of God’s Kingdom. As the 70 return amazed at the things God had done through them, he reminds them to remain humble, and he also offers a prayer of thanks to God that Kingdom plan is unfolding. He also takes a moment to remind the original 12 disciples to pay attention to the moment they are experiencing, a moment that the prophets of old would have ached to get to see. He doesn’t want them to miss the fact that they are living and participating in a pivotal moment in history. And the fact is that we, you and I, are STILL part of the wave of disciples and disciple-makers that God is using to continue to expand the work and impact of the Kingdom. As we celebrate the power of Easter, it serves as a reminder that God’s Kingdom plan is still unfolding. As you stand in awe of the resurrection and all its personal implications, also be reminded that God is still moving in you and through you for the good of the world and God’s glory!