Do you recall the last time you were sent on a mission with a checklist of do’s and don’ts in hand? If so, you will likely recall the consultation session that preceded the mission. You remember, the one where you were carefully instructed what to do in case certain events happened and what not to do in the case other events happened. And what about the after-action report, you know the debriefing session that occurred when you returned.
Topics like this often take me back to my childhood. My mom was a very busy working mom and she was a master at the pre-launch mission planning sessions, she had to be with me and my brother. She would meticulously go over the checklist with us before sending us down the road on our bikes to Martin’s grocery store to retrieve the items on her carefully crafted list. She would judiciously instruct us as what to buy and what not to buy. Get this brand if it’s on sale, if not get that brand. Don’t get the bread that is stale but don’t smash the loaf trying to find out. Pickup a pound of lunch meat and watch the butcher so he doesn’t have his thumb on the scale. No matter how hard she tried, we always seemed to arrive home with less than she wanted but more than she expected. We boys never listened, or so it seemed…
As we come to our focal passage in Luke this week, we find Jesus in a similar situation. He is on the verge of sending out a large group of disciples on an urgent and important mission. Seventy-two of them, in fact, and He is giving them careful instructions on what to do if they are received well and what to do if they are not. He gives them a checklist of things to take or not take and things to do when they arrive. He tells them how to behave when they are liked and how to respond when they are not. And he sends them off with His authority and power to accomplish the mission. Yes, even Jesus used checklists it seems.
Well, how did the disciples do? Did they listen better than the Glover boys? Did they accomplish the mission? Were they treated well when they arrived, or not? How did they react when they returned and what did Jesus have to say about their results? Curious, I hope so. Join us tomorrow for a deep dive into Luke 10:1-24 and find out how well the disciples did on their very important and urgent mission. A mission very similar to the one you and I have been given as well.
If you’re unable to join us in person for this study, please feel free to download the Bible study materials for your personal use by following one of these links: PowerPoint Slides, PDF File. For more information on this Bible study series please see Doubtless Living: The Gospel of Luke.