The failure of a Disciple and the Appointment of Seventy others!!!
And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go……… Luke 9:61-62, 10:1-2,
In our last study, we read of the wrong attitude that James and John had towards the Samaritans because they refuse to allow Jesus and His Disciples pass through the City of Samaria to Jerusalem. We discovered that those who seek for Judgement and destruction of their enemies and those who did not accept them have a Wrong Spirit which is different from the Spirit of Christ who came not to destroy Men’s lives but rather to save them. Today, we shall go further in our study by looking at the how a Man who wanted to follow the Lord could not do so because of His attachment to His Family and the Lord appointed Seventy other Disciples on a Mission.
And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” : Here we see a Man who showed His willingness and determination to follow the Lord. But little did He understand that there was an error in his request. Many at times, we say in a Church meeting, “Lord I will follow You” only to finish it with, “But LET ME FIRST”. Think about those three words, “LET ME FIRST”. The point is not what The Lord should permit you to do first, it could be to bury your Father as we see in the Verse 59 or to say bye bye to those in your house. There are many who desire to follow the Lord only after they have retired and accumulated wealth for themselves. They say to the Lord, “I will follow You but Let me First get a Job, Build a House, get married, send my children to school and retire”. There is nothing wrong in doing all of these but the principle here is Putting ME(Yourself) First. You cannot put ME First and still seek to be the Lord’s Disciple. It is not possible!!! It has to be the LORD First and ME nowhere!!! It has to be ME Dead, and the LORD First. Luke 9:23 says, ” If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny HIMSELF, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. Our Own will must be surrender if we desire to follow the Lord. We must depend on the Lord to add every other things to us as we seek His Kingdom(Matt 6:33).
This Man only wanted to bid farewell to His Household. But Jesus saw in this Man’s Heart an attachment to His parents and relatives. These attachments is found in a lot of believers and it has hindered them from following the Lord. They feel that following the Lord is going to take away their usefulness to their parents and love ones and they draw back from taking a step further in following the Lord. No wonder the Lord says in Luke 14:26, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” Let us therefore Learn to detach ourselves from a Soulish love for human attachments that will hinder us from following the Lord.
But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”: Once we have decided to follow the Lord, there is never a question of Looking back. We are only going to look forward to follow Jesus wherever He goes and lead us to. Many have put their hands to the plow and now they are looking back at this and Looking back at that and thinking whether they should do this or that. And they have gone into other things different from what the Lord calls them to. The Kingdom of God is no longer the priority in their lives and that’s why they have missed out on God’s best. Have you backslidden? Maybe you haven’t sinned openly but other interest have cropped up in your mind when you should be going everywhere proclaiming the Kingdom of God. Turn back today and say, “Lord, I repent of All the days, months and years when I have got other interest occupying my mind. Henceforth, I want my mind to be occupied with the promotion of your kingdom”
I don’t know what this Man later did, but if He failed to follow, I am sure He is regretting it wherever He is now. There are lots of people who will get to Heaven with tremendous regret because they have missed doing God’s will on Earth. This is what many people don’t realize. They say, “somehow, if I can get to Heaven, that is enough!!!” Not at all. That’s not enough!!! If you are to get to Heaven, You should get there without regret on how you lived your life on Earth. If you have wasted your life in a lot of unnecessary things in this world, you are going to have a tremendous regret when you stand before the Lord without any doubt. Turn to the Lord and say, “Lord I want to follow You and You are going to be first. In no area will I be First. I am going to Die to My SELF, My Choice, My preference and Earthly attachments”. If we go this way, then we will have no regrets at the end of our lives.
After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go: After what? After some gave excuses and reasons why they could not follow the Lord now, Jesus appointed others!!! The Man lost the chance!!! He could have been among the appointed group but He missed the bus!!! What a tragedy it would be in eternity if it was written concerning anyone of us that, “The Lord appointed someone else to do what He first called Us to do”. May that never happen to anyone of us(Amen).
Notice also, He sent them Two by Two to go to every city and place that He Himself was about to Go. This is exactly what the Lord has sent us to do. He has sent us to go and preach the Gospel throughout the World that He Himself is going to come again one day.
Another thing we should note is that in the Old testament, under the old Covenant, the Lord selected One and sends a person out Singularly. He called Abraham alone. He called Noah alone, He called Enoch alone, He called Joseph alone, He called Moses, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, David, Jeremiah etc alone. They were all called alone. Even John the Baptist the greatest Prophet who lived to prepare the way for Christ was alone. But as soon as we open the pages of the New Covenant, we find Jesus instituting a new principle in His service. He sends them out TWO by TWO. And when we come to the Acts of the Apostles, we find the same principles. Peter and John in Acts 3:1 healing at the Beautiful gate. Paul and Barnabas in Acts 13:2. Paul and Silas in Acts 15:40. And in other places, Paul and Timothy. In the New Covenant, there is no place for individual ministries. The Lord is looking for a body ministry. A ministry where at least two people represent Christ in a way in which one person cannot. In the New Covenant, the Lord does not only look for holiness but Fellowship just as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one. And this must be demonstrated in two people becoming One and working together as a Body. This is so important because this is another thing which Today’s Christendom does not seems to recognize and understand. The principle of working together as EQUAL. Not where One person is Like the Prophet or Boss and the other person is like the Servant who is just to wash His hands and do other dirty jobs. There are people who go forth today two by two but not as Equals. One is the Boss while the other carries the bag like the Salve. This is an old Covenant principle. In the New Covenant, every member of the body is useful. Everyone is unique in His or her own way. We are all equal before Christ. The fact that God has given you a gift that makes you on the platform does not make others your Servant. You must recognize them as your Brothers and Sisters. This is what the Lord is looking for in the places He is going to come. That’s why He said, “wherever two or three are gathered There I am in their midst(Matt 18:20)”. Although the Bible is with us when we are alone but we cannot represent His body by standing alone. Two must become One in agreement. If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven(Matt 18:19). Two people who are United in Spirit can accomplish more for the Lord than individuals standing alone. This is why we must never allow people to call us titles other than Brothers and Sisters in Christ because Titles has a way of lifting us above other Believers and making us feel like the Boss and they are not our Equal. The Lord never appoints one Man to lead the Church in the New Covenant. It is always a group of Elders who are all equal. Not one person as the General Overseer and others are servants to Him. Let us therefore seek for fellowship with other Brethren for the Lord is coming for a group of believers who have become one together as a body.
Dear Friend, now is the Time to count the Cost and Follow the Lord. It is dangerous to say, “Let Me first do this and that before I respond to the Lord”. If you will not respond, the Lord will appoint others. If you will not follow the Lord, others will. If you look back after you put your hands on the plow, others will press on towards perfection. The work of God will continue even if you fail to respond. But how will it be in Eternity, When you stand before the Lord and He says to You, “If only you had followed and continued in my Steps, this was what I wanted to accomplish through your life. But since You wanted to do something First, I chose someone else to do what you should have done!!!” Let us therefore respond immediately to the Lord now that He says to us, “Follow Me”. May none of us have anything to regret when we stand before the Lord.(Amen). God bless you. Have a blessed day.
#Everyday with Jesus.