Session 8: Walking in the Harvest (Jesus send out the 72)

The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

Thesis: Jesus sends us out to share his message with others.

Luke 10:1-11, 16-17 (NLT)
The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.  Now go, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves.  Don’t take any money with you, nor a traveler’s bag, nor an extra pair of sandals. And don’t stop to greet anyone on the road. “Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house.’  If those who live there are peaceful, the blessing will stand; if they are not, the blessing will return to you.  Don’t move around from home to home. Stay in one place, eating and drinking what they provide. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve their pay. “If you enter a town and it welcomes you, eat whatever is set before you.  Heal the sick, and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you now.’  But if a town refuses to welcome you, go out into its streets and say,  ‘We wipe even the dust of your town from our feet to show that we have abandoned you to your fate. And know this—the Kingdom of God is near!’
Then he said to the disciples, “Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me.”
When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”

 

Key Verse (Luke 10:2): The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.  


Opening activity 1: Religious Lightbulb Jokes: https://txipl.org/lightbulbjokes

Have group come up with an answer for Presbyterians. (Middle Schoolers, soccer players, band geeks, etc – choose what catagories you’d like).

Ask:

  • Why are these “light bulb” jokes so popular?
  • What makes them “funny?”
  • Why do we often joke that it takes more people to do a task, then is necessary?

Opening Activity 2: Create your SuperHero Teams

Brainstorm a list of Superheroes.  Choose 3 to be the inner circle.  Choose 9 additional ones to be on the main team. How many do you have on the “back-up” team?  

How is their job as a superhero the same as the main team?  How is it different?

Compare the Original Avengers Trailer to Infinity War Trailer:  

Discuss:

  • How are these trailers similar?  
  • How are they different?  
  • Why did we need Avengers 1 (and all other Marvel movies) and not start with Infinity Wars?

 

Icebreaker Question: How do you handle being swamped at work/school? (procrastinate, ask for help, work smarter not harder).
Leaders this might be a good time to share a personal story.


Bible  Study:

Read Verse 1: The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit.

Say: Jesus commissioned 72 disciples to go out in pairs and tell the surrounding communities about His message of love and grace.  

Discuss:

Why 72?  Numbers in the Bible often contain a symbolic nature. Here are some way that the number seventy would have have meaning to the people they were going to interact with.

  • a: 12 tribes of Israel (12 apostles) X 6 days of creation.
  • b: It was the number of the elders who were chosen to help Moses with the task of leading and directing the people in the wilderness (Num.11:16-17,24,25).
  • c: It was the number of the Sanhedrin, the supreme council of the Jews.
  • d: It was held to be the number of nations in the world.

Why pairs? Discuss the benefits of going out in pairs versus going alone. Also, how might going as a large group also be ineffective?  (Here are some scriptures that might aid in your discussion)

  • Matthew 18: 20 “For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”
  • Ecclesiastes 4:12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

Read Verses 1-2: The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.

  • Who is the harvest?
  • Who are the workers?
  • Why is the harvest plentiful?
  • Why are the workers few?
  • How can the number of workers increase?

Read Verses 1-3:  The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.  Now go, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves.

Discuss:

  • What would happen if a lamb was surrounded by wolves?
  • How does this idea compare to “A wolf in sheep’s clothing”?
  • Why do you think Jesus might use this analogy?  How do you think the disciples would feel hearing this analogy?
  • Jesus says this to the Twelve when he sends them out:Matthew 10:16 “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.” What might it mean to be shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves?  How might that help people come to know Jesus

Deeper Discussion: If time is permitting, read verses  4-11 and discuss the questions below:
Don’t take any money with you, nor a traveler’s bag, nor an extra pair of sandals. And don’t stop to greet anyone on the road. “Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house.’  If those who live there are peaceful, the blessing will stand; if they are not, the blessing will return to you.  Don’t move around from home to home. Stay in one place, eating and drinking what they provide. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve their pay. “If you enter a town and it welcomes you, eat whatever is set before you.  Heal the sick, and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you now.’  But if a town refuses to welcome you, go out into its streets and say,  ‘We wipe even the dust of your town from our feet to show that we have abandoned you to your fate. And know this—the Kingdom of God is near!’

Discuss: What is the instructions Jesus gives in these verses? What is the meaning for these instructions? Why does Jesus give these instructions? Are these instructions still relevant today? (for pastors? for missionaries? for us?) What might be some modern interpretations of these instructions?

 

  • Don’t take any money with you, nor a traveler’s bag, nor an extra pair of sandals.
  • Don’t stop to greet anyone on the road.

  • Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house.’

  • Don’t move around from home to home. Stay in one place, eating and drinking what they provide.

  • Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality

  • Heal the sick

  • Tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you now.’

  • If a town refuses to welcome you,wipe even the dust of your town from our feet’


FLASH FORWARD: 2018

While Jesus was speaking to a specific group of disciples, his words still ring true today

Read Verses 1-2:  The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.

  • Who is the harvest in today’s world? Has the harvest changed? Is it still  plentiful?
  • Here is an interesting article to review if you have time: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/14/if-the-u-s-had-100-people-charting-americans-religious-affiliations/
  • Who are the workers in today’s world?  Are they only the pastors, missionaries, and church workers?
  • Are you called to be a worker? What is your harvest field? (work, school, neighborhood, etc)?  Do you see a need for people to share Jesus in your harvest field?
  • Jesus says, “pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields” What does this say about the power of prayer? What does it say about trusting God’s leading versus trying to do the work on our own.
  • How can you help reap the harvest in your field? (Sharing the good news & praying for more workers)

Final Thought:  God calls us to share the good news with people around us, and he also calls us to a life of pray.  

Prayer time:  Invite your group to say sentence prayers (a one sentence prayer) for the “fields” in which they work. (People they interact with that need Jesus).