The First Rule of Mission

Read: Luke 10:1; Acts 1:6-8

The Lord appointed seventy-two. (Luke 10:1)

The first rule of mission is that it’s Christ’s mission, not ours. Luke 10:1 plainly says “the Lord” appoints and sends. It’s not about us. This runs counter to the mantras at many graduation ceremonies: “Follow your dreams,” “Change the world,” and the like. That same triumphalism sometimes creeps into our mission efforts when we falsely think it’s our mission to change the world. This whole chapter reminds us, “It’s not about you.”

That’s actually quite liberating. Jesus did the heavy lifting. He died and rose again! He appoints us to steward this good news! What better job could there be?! The number 72 is just a couple more than the number of elders mentioned in Numbers 11:16. They each received a portion of God’s Spirit so Moses would not be alone in serving God. This was an early Pentecost, the event described in Acts 2 where every Christian is given the Holy Spirit. Mission isn’t reserved for the few but for all who call on the Lord.

Notice also that he sends the 72 “where he himself was about to go” (Luke 10:1). On the way to Jerusalem, he traverses the region of Samaria, people far from God. This is a preview of his commission in Acts 1:8: “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Until he returns, Christ still sends us to be his witnesses. Wherever he leads you today is a place he intends to go. So get going.

As you pray, thank God for the privilege of being sent.

About the Author

jon opgenorth

Rev. Jon Opgenorth serves as president of Words of Hope. Previously, he served for 18 years as senior pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. In preparation for ministry, he received a BA in Religion from Northwestern College, and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary.

This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series Sent: Preparing for Mission Trips