When we picture Jesus and his followers together, most likely we imagine Jesus sitting around with the twelve disciples. Yet in this week’s gospel Jesus has seventy followers close enough that he trusts them to be sent out in pairs to heal the sick and announce that God has come near. The good news is meant to be shared far and wide by those who trust Jesus and follow him, and this work is not meant to be done independently. In our independent society, it is decidedly countercultural to see that discipleship is a shared task. We are interdependent in our work. Sharing the good news is not meant to be solo work nor is it just the responsibility of “professionals” like clergy or select individuals with certain skills or training. Sharing the good news is the calling of everyone who follows Jesus. God’s people are sent out into the world to serve in the name of Jesus each time they gather for worship. In today’s gospel text, we are again reminded that the gospel message is to be shared by us through welcoming others, sharing bread with the hungry, and offering compassion to the afflicted.
Image: Mural showing people harvesting cocoa pods from a Theobroma cacao tree outside House of Chocolate shop in St. George’s, Grenada, West Indies, Caribbean. Copyright © Ellen Rooney/Alamy Stock Photo. Used by permission.