After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of Him. Luke 10:1
This human drama, enacted in St. Louis, has been repeated in many other cities and communities: A workman was buried when the ground in which he was working collapsed. For 17 hours firefighters and paramedics worked to free him and free him they did. During those working hours women from the Red Cross and the Salvation Army served the rescuers with food and drink. They helped the helpers.
Something similar took place when Jesus sent out 72 disciples to preach and heal in the towns where He Himself would come. The people in these towns were, spiritually (and physically) speaking, in a desperate situation – like the man under the collapsed ground. Jesus sent this large group of disciples as a rescue team. They were helpers of the needy. Helping the helpers were the families who welcomed them into their homes, giving them not only food and drink but also gracious hospitality and expressions of peace. This meant much to the evangelizing disciples.
To this day God provides both the evangelists and the people who give them support. The latter back up Christ’s workers with prayers and gifts, with hospitality and spiritual support. These are necessary and appreciated by our Lord’s rescue forces. One wonders how much free hospitality the early settlers in this country gave the horseback missionaries who came to them on the prairies and forests primeval. Without such help, the pioneer pastors and teachers could not have done their work. Also the small favors count when done in faith. Jesus said to His workmen: “Anyone who gives you a cup of water in My name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward” (Mark 9:41).
Christ’s love always constrains and prompts us to help those who help the spiritually lost. It is that love that brought God’s Son down from heaven to give His life for the salvation of all: the people in need, the helpers, and those who help the helpers.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, guard and protect missionaries and keep them safe so that they may continue to do the work You have for them to do. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)