I don't know how many times in my life I got excited about doing something and then charged forward with the attitude that I was going to accomplish this goal regardless if anybody came with me or not. To many to count. I was going to make it happen, no, I was going to force it to happen. But then, just as I got into the thick of things, when things got really tough and even dicey, I'd loose heart, get discouraged and soon drop out and quit. I'm sure I am not alone in this. I am sure that most of us can recall a time or two where that was a description of you. But isn't comforting to know that Jesus has made preparations to encourage us who are on mission with him when we go through difficult times? Isn't nice to know that Jesus' strategy included an encouragement component to keep his missionaries (us) on track?
Did you notice in that verse above that Jesus appointed 72 other people and teamed them up two be two. Why? What would be the reason for sending them out two by two? If you sent them out individually you could cover twice as much territory. The only possible reason for this pairing is to provide support for one another. Listen to what the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:
From this verse we can see Jesus' wisdom in sending the 72 out in teams. He knew that there would be far more success with teams than if they went out on their own. Teams would provide assistance, encouragement, protection and strength. None of this would be available if a person was pursuing Christ's mission alone. Knowing these benefits Jesus made teams part of his strategy. All throughout the book of Acts we see the same pattern of teams being used with the apostles. Whether it was Paul and Barnabas or Peter and John we see them doing the work together and pursuing Christ's mission in teams.
For those of us in the 21 Century we can learn a very important lesson! As we go out to fulfill and pursue this God given mission we need to make sure that we don't try to do it alone but we have surrounded ourselves with other like-mind believers who have the same passion for Christ's mission as our own. That when we go out to seek the lost we don't do it alone but we do it with others who will watch our backs.
Who are you teaming up with? Are you trying to do the mission Christ has laid on your heart all alone and find yourself getting discouraged? Who are those believers in your life that would form a good team?
Let's learn from Christs example. Let's follow Christ's instructions! Let's find others that we can team up with.