“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.” – Luke 10:3-4 NLT
When Jesus first sent out His disciples to tell people about the kingdom of God, He put some pretty strict limits upon them. We are often taught (correctly) that Jesus wanted His disciples to learn how to completely rely upon God providing for Him. But there is another element that we do not often hear from the pulpit.
Jesus begins His qualifications by warning the disciples that they were going to be ministering among wolves. Jesus told them to strip themselves of their possessions so that they would not have anything that wolves would desire. It guaranteed that those who listened to them were attentive for the right reason.
But there was one other reason Jesus sent His disciples off empty-handed. He wanted them to find their provision from the same souls to whom they were ministering. He wanted those who were hearing and responding to the gospel to also be the ones who took responsibility for funding the gospel mission.
Everyone is a contributor in Jesus’ economy; and everyone is a consumer. The seventy-two disciples gave the gospel and received a living from it. Those that heard received the gospel and gave food and shelter. All received. All gave.
Are you a contributor as well as a consumer? None of us give all, but all of us should give some—and we should give to those that spend their lives sharing the gospel. When we do, we become participants in God’s plan of redemption in the world.