Luke 10:1-11, 16-20 (NRSV)
Chapter 10After 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. Verse 2He 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. Verse 3Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Verse 4Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Verse 5Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this house!' Verse 6And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Verse 7Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. Verse 8Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; Verse 9cure the sick who are there, and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.' Verse 10But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, Verse 11'Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.' Verse 16"Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me."
Verse 17The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!" Verse 18He said to them, "I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. Verse 19See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. Verse 20Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
The gospel reading from Luke begins with the story of the seventy disciples who are commissioned by Jesus to go out and heal the sick and preach the transforming message that the kingdom of God has come near. They will be able to trample on snakes and scorpions, to overcome all the power of their enemy. It sounds like they are to become as much as superheros.
But what about me as a follower of Jesus when I read this story? Personally, I do not think of myself as much of a superhero, but I can still plant the seeds of the good news. I can offer God’s grace to everyone I meet, and I can believe Jesus’ presence has the power to transform those I meet. God is the “superhero” in this story, and we are the bearers of the Good News every day. We are God’s feet in our broken world.
Lord, share with us the art of planting seeds. Empower us to overcome our own weaknesses which stand in the way. Amen.