Jesus, the only Son of God, entered the world to redeem the world. He loved the world and made a home in it. However, the world was hostile towards Him. Some people made Him welcome; others rejected Him; and others again tried to eliminate Him. The world is ever- changing, and people prefer to follow contemporary culture with instant rewards. These fast living moments fit well in a consumerist culture. At the time of Jesus, many put their faith in the power of the natural world. They worshipped the god of thunder, god of storm, god of fire and even a god of no name. There is a shift in the modern world; where people adore human beauty and talents, and ignore the One Who gives them talents at the first place. The recent Australia Census in 2021 revealed that people who declared to have no religion at all is increasing at an alarming rate. This trend is worrying because many have lost trust in everything, including science, technology, humanity and divinity. They become their own god.
Jesus sent His disciples into the world to do work experience. It was a part of His preparation to hand over the Church into the hands of His disciples. Jesus knew that they would face the same challenges that He Himself had gone through. He gave them precise instructions. First, they should not go alone, but in pairs, in the company of others. The text said Jesus 'sent them out ahead of him' ( v.1) which implies Jesus was with them, but He was hidden from their sight. Second, He told them to travel light, 'having no purse nor a spare tunic and wore no sandals' (v.5), which indicates they should put their trust in God, Who would provide for their necessities. Not having spare items means that they were poor in materials, but spiritually rich. They had the message of eternal life; they brought God's peace with them. Jesus gave them the power to combat evil spirit, and the power to heal all kind of sicknesses and diseases. That spiritual richness empowers them to go with confidence in their mission. This richness was far more important than gold nor silver. Their richness was hidden from those who failed to welcome them, but those who made them welcome would see God's power at work through them. Third, the instruction 'taking what food and drink they have to offer' implies that the disciples should feel at home with the host, and act as if they were part of the household. The next instruction was how they should behave? They should not look for the quality nor quantity of what people had offered, but rather to see the generosity, the goodness of the people hearts. His final instruction was a warning that the disciples should not abuse their power. 'Whenever you enter a town and they do not make you welcome, go out into its streets and say 'wipe off the very dust of your town that clings to our feet, and leave it with you' (V.10).
The disciples returned with great joy because the power of God was working through them. Jesus told them it was right to enjoy of their success, but do not forget that happiness which comes from the people is a passing one; true and permanent happiness comes from God because 'your names are written in heaven' v.20. Our names are permanent in heaven because they are written not by human hand but by God's hand.
We are important to God, and for the mission, because every harvest needs workers and we are called to work for the kingdom. Because we work for the kingdom, our work must be accompanied by daily prayers for guidance and for the strength to keep on going. Jesus warned His disciples, that Satan will certainly attack them. Without God's grace and love we achieve nothing worthwhile.
We pray to be faithful to Jesus.