Jesus Sends Out Seventy-Two Men to Proclaim Peace
These are the readings for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost.
God’s Word for This Week
“Peace” or “shalom” (Hebrew) is more than the absence of hostility between God and us. It is wholeness in every way, bought by the blood of Christ. Today’s lessons show the part we all have in proclaiming God’s peace near and far.
Traditional First Lesson – Isaiah 66:10-14
By picturing Jerusalem as our mother, what does Isaiah say Jerusalem will do for us? (See 66:12.)
Jerusalem, that is, God’s church of all believers in Jesus everywhere, will give us continuous, overflowing comfort and peace through the good news of our Lord Jesus.
When we see God’s comfort, what will we do? (See 66:14.)
When we see God’s comfort in Christ, we will rejoice and flourish as we see God’s power at work. Still, he will show his fury to his foes.
Supplemental First Lesson – 1 Kings 17:1-16
When many Israelites turned to Baal, the storm god, in what two ways did God punish them? (See 17:1-3.)
God judged and punished his Israelite people by a) sending no rain (not even any dew) for several years and by taking his spokesman Elijah away from them so that they received no messages from the Lord.
A Canaanite woman helped Elijah, though, and saw a miracle. List several surprises in this part of the story.
It is surprising that a Canaanite woman, not an Israelite, helped Elijah. And how she helped! “It is difficult to know which to wonder most at: Elijah’s calmness, consistency, and readiness of faith; or the widow’s almost incredible simplicity of trustfulness” (Alfred Edersheim).
Traditional Second Lesson – Galatians 6:1-10,14-16
In what practical way would we fulfill the law of Christ? (See 6:2.)
By carrying each other’s burdens, we will fulfill the law of Christ.
When Paul says, “a man reaps what he sows,” what does he mean? (See 6:8.)
Paul means that certain actions naturally lead to corresponding results. “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
In what alone will we boast? (See 6:14.)
We pray that we may never boast of anything except for the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to us, and we to the world.
Supplemental Second Lesson – Philippians 4:10-20
What secret had Paul learned? (See 4:12 especially.)
Paul had learned the secret of being content in any and every circumstance.
In 4:13, Paul does not mean that all of us can be world-class violinists or swimmers. What does he mean?
Paul means, as a Greek expert has put it, “As to every circumstance, I am strong in him who strengthens me.” Paul is strong in the Lord Jesus, not in himself.
What promise did Paul give to those who had helped him? (See 4:19.)
Paul promised the generous Philippians (and us), “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
Gospel – Luke 10:1–12,16–20
How did Jesus make the seventy-two men whom he sent out the answer to their own prayer? (See 10:1-4.)
Jesus made the seventy-two the answer to their own prayer for more workers in the Lord’s harvest by sending them out on a tour of the towns ahead of him in Judea. (In line with our individual gifts, Jesus also will make us the answer to our own prayers for more workers.)
When we listen to our pastor or someone similar announce the forgiveness of all our sins—or, God forbid the opposite—to whom are we listening? (See 10:6.)
When we listen to our pastor or someone else announce that our sins have been forgiven or are retained, we are listening to Jesus himself. Those words are “as valid and certain,” Luther says in our catechism, “in heaven also, as if Christ our dear Lord dealt with us himself.”
In what did Jesus say not to rejoice? In what did he say to rejoice? (See 10:20.)
Jesus said not to rejoice that evil spirits submit to us as we share the gospel but to rejoice that our own names are written in heaven.