You are sent to work not to rest or fail.
Jesus sent out the seventy to preach immediately, and chiefly where he was about to come. They were appointed for a temporary object. They were to go into the villages and towns, and prepare the way for his coming.
Luke 10 1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. 8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you.9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
Two by two – There was much wisdom in sending them in this manner. It was done, that they might aid one another by mutual counsel, and that they might sustain and comfort one another in their persecutions and trials. Our Lord in this showed the propriety of having “a friend,” who would be a confidant and help. Every Christian, and especially every Christian minister, needs such a friend, and should seek some one to whom he can unbosom himself, and with whom he can mingle his feelings and prayers.
These He sent out two by two
1. To teach them the necessity of harmony and agreement among the ministers of righteousness.
2. That in the mouths of two witnesses every thing might be established.
3. That they might comfort and support each other in their difficult labor. Mark 6:7
Sent them two by two. That each one might have a helper, a counselor and a sympathizer.
Recently, I was discussing a prayer concern with someone and asked for details because I prefer to pray specifically so I can observe the outcome and know when and how prayer is answered for testimony time. I mentioned that sometimes,I am mistaken to be a busy body for asking for details. My friend corrected me. He said I am a “busy buddy” not a “busy body”. Such relief to know someone understands my intention.
Do you have a busy buddy with you or at home? It is important that you have buddies who support you in prayer, encouragement and advice. If you do not have one whom you can share your life’s work with, ask God to give you one for this transient mission of your life on this earth. This person will be God’s representative to you to encourage you when the going gets tough and to hold you up with the Word when you may forget to turn to His Word.
God sent people out in pairs in the Old Testament. It was Abraham and Sarah, Moses and Aaron, Jonathan and his armor bearer . David, the king of Israel, had Nathan the prophet. Paul in the New Testament, who is credited with writing many of the letters in the New Testament, travelled with other apostles.
Rationale for having a buddy
1. Safety. In Jesus’ time it was dangerous to travel alone. There’s safety in numbers. But Jesus’ way is the way of the cross, of suffering and persecution so I think there has to be a lot more to it than just a safety issue.
2. Sharing. The way of the cross is hard, and it’s discouraging when people are not receptive to the ministry we are a part of or when our plans don’t work out the way we had hoped they would. We know that all will not be receptive to what we offer. Even Jesus was rejected by some. Jesus was rejected by the very people he knew the most. And Jesus’ instruction to the disciples being sent out in pairs, includes what to do when we are not well received.
3. Encouragement. Having a partner in ministry to encourage you is sometimes the only thing that keeps us going. When we try to go it alone, we are like the ember that gets pulled out of the fire. Pretty soon, we’re just a cold discouraged piece of coal that has lost its fire and its passion. But when we are in partnership, we burn brighter and hotter and longer. We need the energy and passion of other Christians in order to sustain long term ministry.
4. Accountability .Having a partner in ministry also keeps us accountablefor both the ministry God sends us on and for personal growth. When Moses was gone too long on the mountain, Aaron gives in to the wishes of the people and makes an idol for the people to worship. It’s only when Moses comes back down from the mountain that Aaron is called to account for his actions.
5. We stray.The same thing happens with us. When we are left to do things on our own, it’s easy to stray from the path, and to stop short of the ministries God has in store for us. We need to be accountable to someone who will tell us when we are going in the wrong direction, will speak the truth to us even when it hurts.
When David got Bathsheba pregnant and then had Uriah, her husband, killed to cover it up. It was Nathan that calls him out for his misconduct. Without Nathan to hold David accountable, who knows what else David would have done.
While our transgressions are often not as big as David’s were, we still stray from the life God intends us to live, when we have moments in life where we put our wants before the needs of those God has called us to serve. We need a partner who will call us back to faithful living, keep us from wandering farther and farther off the path.
6. Different gifts. We all have different gifts, no one person has every gift. We need to be in ministry with one another so we can compliment one another’s gifts. We often talk about how we are called to different ministries and to different roles within the same ministry.
7. None of us are perfect. No one person has every single spiritual gift there is. We need one another to balance each other out, so one person can be full where the other person’s gifts are sparse. So often in life we try to hide our bare spots, or try to get the sparse sections to grow so we can be everything ourselves. But that’s not how God intends us to be in ministry. We’re not supposed to do it alone.
So Jesus sent them out two by two. Who is it that Jesus is sending you with? Who is your partner in ministry? Who is God calling you to be in partnership with?
Sometimes we are called to be in ministry with our spouse. Sometimes, even if we are married, we are called to be ministry partners with someone else. Your ministry partner should be someone who is passionate about the same things you are, has different gifts than you do, whose gifts compliment your gifts. Your ministry partner should be someone who isn’t afraid to, in love, tell you when you have messed up, isn’t afraid to push you not to stop short of the goal God has set for you.
Your ministry partner should also be someone who encourages you, will walk beside you, knows when to speak words of encouragement, when to just walk with you in silence. And just as importantly, your ministry partner should be someone for whom you can do all of these things. The partnership should be a mutual thing.
If you don’t know who you should be in ministry with, then pray about it. Don’t just assume that God forgot to make you a ministry partner. We need partners in ministry. It’s not something we do alone. Ask God to help you discern who you are being called to be in partnership with.
Jesus sent them out two by two. Don’t try to go it alone.
“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20, NKJV throughout)
“And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits.” (Mark 6:7)
Many soldiers, who fought together in a war, have learnt the importance of being part of a pair. They would often become mates, who watched out for each other. They would do everything together. Surviving an intense battle together would strengthen the bond between them. This provides a good example for Christians to follow.