As any college student can tell you, there is a very different mood on campus during the last two or three weeks of each semester. This is the time that everyone starts to realize that the projects they’ve been avoiding, the bad grades that have been earned, and the general apathy displayed up until that point are going to come back and bite them very quickly. You can go to any on-campus library during the first couple months of a semester and have no problem finding the books your looking for and a good place to sit, but during those last few weeks, things will be much more crowded. People are starting to realize that if they don’t get things done immediately, then it will be too late. It takes a while to get there, but there will eventually be a real sense of urgency toward the things that need to be done.
This is the same sense of urgency that we see from Jesus in today’s reading. He recognizes that he is not going to be around much longer and people need to be prepared. So, he sends out 70 leaders to go before him and let people know that the Kingdom of God is at hand. He wants them to be prepared because he doesn’t have much time. He knows that if they reject him now, then that will probably be their last chance because they likely won’t see him again. In order to prepare the hearts of the people to accept Jesus, he sends out 70 of his followers to preach a message of peace and expectation. Their job was to go to all of the places that Jesus would soon visit and let the local community know that they brought with them a message of peace, which was not a common message within this culture. These people wanted war. They wanted the Messiah to bring violence upon Rome so that they could once again be the dominant force in the world. But, they were missing the point.
Jesus sent these men and women before him so that they could prepare the world for a better way. They were sent to say that Jesus is coming, and with him comes peace. Our job is the same. We have been sent out in order to prepare the world for Jesus to come back. We carry with us a message of peace and hope. When our lives expect Jesus to return, then we have within us a sense of urgency that cannot be contained. If we truly believe that Jesus is on his way back, then we usher in Jesus’ ideals of justice and peace, rather than allowing ourselves to be carried away by worldly ideals of what justice should look like.
-In what ways does Jesus’ definition of justice differ from a secular definition of what justice looks like?
-Do you feel any sense of urgency within yourself in regards to the return of Christ? Why or why not?
(By Cody Poinsett)