Luke 10:After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 2 He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ 6 And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you.
There are several things about this text that grab me today. The one I’ll focus on here is the vulnerability required of the disciples as they are sent. They will literally be in need as they travel about, having no money, no food, no extra clothing – nothing. As such, they will enter a town hungry and tired, not powerful. They will be in obvious need and so will be looking for people in a town who will respond to their obvious need with hospitality. That is the sign, the “tell”, that Jesus is naming which will reveal which towns he should visit and which he should not.
I’m pretty sure that when people see me they don’t see someone in need. And, to be honest, I’ve been conditioned to hide such things even when they’re true. I’ve been taught to be in command, in charge, capable, self-reliant – not vulnerable. But there is great power in vulnerability. People are surprised when I tell them, “I need your help with this.” It is disarming as long as it’s authentic. And the posture of people shifts and they are ready to help in whatever way they can, just because I asked.
So today the Lord is showing me that, despite what I’ve been taught my entire life, that vulnerability and weakness are actually powerful tools/resources in the Kingdom of God. Power is made perfect in weakness as the apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:9. That’s not something you’ll often hear in our secular culture. It’s a counter-intuitive reality of the Kingdom of God.
Lord, teach me to be weak so that, in you, I might be strong. Amen.