Luke 10:3-4 (NIV) “Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.”
When Jesus traveled, He did so without a lot of resources, and without a lot of planning. Instead, He moved at God’s express direction, and He relied on God’s provision for whatever He was doing. So when He sent out the twelve (Luke 9:3) and the seventy-two, He sent them out requiring the same reliance on God’s guidance and provision that He Himself operated in.
Jesus knew that He was sending those men out into a potentially hostile environment without a lot of resources to deal with that hostility. They weren’t armed, and they were going, not as a large crowd, but in pairs. But, despite how things looked, they were not defenseless. Just as sheep in a field seem to be in danger by surrounding wolves, so these pairs of disciples might seem to be in insuperable danger, too. But a quick glance around the field quickly discovers the good shepherd, ever alert, sling in hand, ready to defend the flock against the wolves, and to take them to a safe shelter before the sun goes down. In the same way, God Himself was the protection for those evangelists, ready to guard them as they walked in obedience to His commands and His directions, and ready to lead them to places of safe shelter every night.
Incidentally, the men were also not to greet others on the road. Their work was urgent – they weren’t to do their own thing, but to prepare people for Jesus, who was coming right behind them.
Father, today we too often lack both Your urgency and faith in Your provision. When Your call comes, we tend to first decide if it is something we want to do, instead of just instantly obeying the call. And if we do decide to participate, we assess whether it is something we can do with the resources we have, or if we need to fund raise or get supporters before we begin to obey. Lord, how much blessing are we missing out on by not simply obeying immediately, and trusting You for what we need? Help me, from now on, to obey Your call instantly, both the what and the how of it, and relying on both Your protection and Your provision. Amen.