Ever hear a preacher ask people to open their Bibles to the book of Hezekiah? That’s funny because: 1) There was a Jewish king named Hezekiah but no book of the Bible bears his name; 2) You can hear a ‘swoosh’ of page turning as people search for the book of Hezekiah. There are other things people just know are in the Bible, like: God helps those that help themselves. Some people believe that and they’re convinced it’s in there. It’s not, but if you find it, call me! And people believe God’s work is funded by charity. What does God say about that?
Jesus’ instructions in Luke 10 are a treasure trove of God’s thoughts. Jesus told them what to do in order to get to their mission (Click HERE for Insight: Defined & Designed). He told them what to do once they arrived. When they entered a house, they were to speak peace to it. “Peace” (Shalom) was/is a traditional Jewish greeting. Had they greeted others along the way their words would have been ordinary, mundane, and unnoticeable. Speaking peace in Jesus’ name was a participation in His ministry.
Jesus told His disciples in John 14, Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. When Jesus commissioned the disciples in John 20, He said, Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so send I you. Theirs was the ministry of proclaiming peace with God. Peace took on a whole new dimension. Paul would sign his New Testament letters with Grace and Peace. In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul says we have been given the ministry of reconciliation. We tell the world God offers them His Peace. Is it offered on the basis of charity?
Jesus’ disciples were to receive whatever was offered them at a given house. Sounds like charity, doesn’t it? After all, we list our tithes on our tax forms as a charitable deduction. Is that what they are? Why were the 70 to receive and what were they to receive? Because a workman is worthy if his wages – JESUS (Luke 10:7).
God’s funds to pay His laborers was/is held by others. And His Peace message is borne by workmen. Seeing it as charity could be why so many ministries are underfunded. Don’t we take a dim view of withholding wages? Think about it!
Soli Deo Gloria!