giovedì 1 ottobre 2009

"The kingdom of God has come near to you"

Scripture: Luke 10:1-12
When Jesus commissioned seventy of his disciples to go on mission, he gave them a vision of a great harvest for the kingdom of God. Jesus frequently used the image of a harvest to convey the coming of God’s reign on earth. The harvest is the fruition of labor and growth – beginning with the sowing of seeds, then growth, and finally fruit for the harvest. In like manner, the word of God is sown in the hearts of receptive men and women who hear his word and who accept it with trust and obedience. The harvest Jesus had in mind was not only the people of Israel, but all the peoples (or nations) of the world. John the Evangelist tells us that "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). What does Jesus mean when he says his disciples must be "lambs in the midst of wolves"? The prophet Isaiah foretold a time when wolves and lambs will dwell in peace (Isaiah 11:6 and 65:25). This certainly refers to the second coming of Christ when all will be united under the Lordship of Jesus after he has put down his enemies and established the reign of God over the heavens and the earth. In the meantime, the disciples must expect opposition and persecution from those who who would oppose the gospel. Jesus came as our sacrificial lamb to atone for the sin of the world. We, in turn, must be willing to sacrifice our lives in humble service of our Lord and Master.

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