Fruitful Life @ Trinity
Spirituality of Simplicity, Luke 10:1-12, Proper 9 (FourthSunday after Pentecost)
- Bible Trivia
- When Morning Gilds the Skies
- When Morning Gilds the Skies
- Do you know that the Spirituality of Simplicity is the most effective way to accomplish your mission? Let’s look at how Jesus teaches the Spirituality of Simplicity in Luke 10 and how it can be effective in fulfilling your calling.Jesus was on his journey to Jerusalem. On the way there were many who came to him telling him that they wanted to follow him, but they had some other priorities to take care of first. One said, he needed to bury his father, and another said he needed to say goodbye to his family. Jesus’ answer to them was, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”What is means is that people with baggage are not fit for the kingdom of God. You must take off your baggage to follow Christ, may it be filial baggage, social baggage, ritual baggage, or even sexual baggage.Now, today’s passage began with Jesus, having selected 70 people who obviously have passed the test, commissioning them to go out on a mission trip.“After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go.” (v. 1).There were not the disciples but Luke called them “seventy others.” However, they were commissioned exactly like the disciples were just a chapter before this.Why seventy? According to Genesis, there were 70 nations in the world. Therefore, for the first century audience, this number implies that Jesus intended to send missionaries to the end of the earth. They were sent with nothing but the Spirituality of Simplicity.Their mission was a success. At the end they came back to report that, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” (Lk 10:17).I’m sure we all want to fulfill our personal or communal mission. This passage reminds us that the Spirituality of Simplicity is all we need to have a successful mission.There are 3 requirements to form the Spirituality of Simplicity. The first one is that we must abandon to proclaiming the kingdom.1 – Abandon to Proclaiming the KingdomBut Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:60).This verse summarizes the preliminary requirement of following Christ. There’s probably nothing more important than for a son to bury his father according to the culture, but Jesus’ shocking statement amplifies the requirement of abandonment.One of the less frequently used meaning of abandonment is “total surrender”—without reservation, not even for something as culturally important as burying one’s father.Abandonment means you must have no reservation to follow Christ. You must totally surrender to him—your body, mind, spirit, sexuality, power, and possessions. That’s not an easy thing to do. However, you have no other choices. The alternative is an unfulfilled and unfruitful life.There was a hospice nurse who discovered that many people leave this world with unfulfilled dreams because they have reservations. They were reluctant to take the plunge to give everything to their calling. They allowed their personal interest and personal desires stand in their ways.Based on the context of this passage, before these 70 people were sent out, they were selected from probably thousands of people who applied for the job. Jesus’ job requirement was simple—abandonment—but most of them failed this test.Abandonment is the foundation of spirituality of simplicity. Once you abandoned yourself, nothing can bog you down, you reach a level of simplicity to proclaim the kingdom effectively.How abandoned are you to the kingdom? Trinity has turned a new leaf and entered a new phase for mission. It’s a good time to ask ourselves, how abandoned we are. How abandoned are you? Are you part of the 70, ready to be commissioned to turn the world upside down?The second requirement for the Spirituality of Simplicity is that we must cultivate a sense of urgency.2 – Cultivate a Sense of UrgencyHe said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (v. 2).Do you see the plentiful harvest? I am sure you don’t. A few people told me that they have done a demographic study of this area and found no market for churches. There are more churches around here than there are people who are interested joining. I was quite discouraged to hear that, but when I studied the demographics of the first century Israel, it was the same situation.Jesus saw the plentiful harvest in such situation, so I am sure Jesus would say the same to us today, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” If you see the harvest, you will automatically run to labor in it, but Jesus said, “therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” The fact that you have to ask him means it’s not something obvious to our common sense.The harvest is not revealed in the demographics. The next verse says, “Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves.” (v. 3). The harvest is even hostile. It’s not as ready as you think.On the other hand, a lamb is also a symbol of the Spirituality of Simplicity. You must distinguish yourself from the spiritually sophisticated or cunning wolves. It also implies that you must urgently depend on Christ. Christ himself, is the lamb of the world. It is the mission of Christ after all.The entire concept of the harvest is simply a sense of urgency. Harvests must be harvested in time—miss it and lose it! That’s why Jesus said, “greet no one on the road.” You don’t have time to dawdle about and say hello to everyone and pat their dogs on the way. Jesus is saying, “Don’t stop and smell the roses.” If you think this is no fun, you miss the point because bringing in the harvest is more fun than smelling the roses.Cultivating a sense of urgency will allow you to focus. Focus is an important aspect of the Spirituality of Simplicity. A focused mind is a simple mind and an effective mind.Abandon to Proclaiming the Kingdom, Cultivate a Sense of Urgency, and lastly Travel Light.3 – Travel Light“Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals … Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide … Do not move about from house to house. … eat what is set before you.” (v. 4, 7, 8).Jesus’ advice to travel light makes me think about today’s air travel. If you fly today, you might get annoyed by the limit of luggage size and weight. The disciples should not have any problem.The suggestion to not to move about from house to house is also part of the urgency. It means don’t waste time moving around. “Eat what is set before you” means they may be in a gentile village and they may be served non-kosher food. Jesus is asking them not to miss the chance to proclaim the kingdom by observing their dietary rituals. Simplify your food and set aside the ritual baggage.Jesus asked them not only to travel light physically, but also emotionally. Sometimes, we might be able to live a simple life, but we carry a heavy emotional baggage.Jesus said, “Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” (Luke 10:16). If you take things personally, you will not have a successful life and mission. The way to travel light emotionally is that you must be able to handle rejection by giving it away to Jesus. Understand it’s not about you.When Jesus said, “I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves,” he is warning you that you will face rejection and even hostility. If you can’t handle rejection or hostility, you can’t travel light because you will be emotionally bogged down.Therefore, always remember this verse when it comes to rejection, “Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” (Luke 10:16). That’s an important secret to the Spirituality of Simplicity.So, there you have it. The three requirements of the Spirituality of Simplicity are:· Abandon to Proclaiming the Kingdom· Cultivate a Sense of Urgency, and· Travel Light.The form the acronym of ACT. Very simple!Let’s apply the Spirituality of Simplicity taught by Jesus to fulfill our mission. May God bless you! Amen!
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