July 7, 2019 - Two by Two - A Reflection on Luke 10:1-12, 17-20.
Jesus called each apostle personally but always sent them out in pairs. He never sent them out alone. There are only two incidents in the Bible where his apostles went out alone. In one instance the apostle betrayed him. In the other instance the apostle denied him. As the wise king Solomon said: Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
I have noticed over the years that most Christians walk alone. Consequently, when they fall, they have to pick themselves up, which is not always the easiest thing to do. Eventually, many get discouraged and give up. It is one of the reasons our churches have emptied. The obvious solution is to ensure that we walk together with somebody else.
We follow this principle in our Schools of Discipleship (our 111th School started in Hyderabad, India, last week). In the Schools we partner two people with each other. They are responsible TO each other and FOR each other, and because we insist they take these responsibilities seriously, we see spectacular growth in each individual. They are additionally supported by the backing of team members.
Once they finish the School, their task is to fulfill Jesus’ great commission to make disciples of all nations. This isn’t easy. Jesus told the apostles that he was sending them out like lambs among wolves. That wasn’t very encouraging, but his disciples had a choice. They could conform to the world, and preach a message that made people more comfortable in their complacency; or they could preach the message of Jesus, that was bound to be opposed, because it called for fundamental change.
But we can take encouragement from the enthusiasm of the disciples when they returned. They had obeyed Jesus, and it worked. His promise to them was vindicated. They discovered that fulfilling his call to mission was backed up with his power. In addition, they had authority over all the power of the evil one, and their names were registered as citizens of heaven. Now tell me, isn’t that worth something?
So, partner with another Christian and get going!