Two by Two
Luke 10: 1 | By Rev George Vink
Jesus frequently used farming images to illustrate his teaching. Using the plowing and looking back imagery, Jesus taught the disciples that following him requires commitment and working together. Plowing required team work, whether between the farmer and the ox or two oxen yoked together and the farmer. Being sent to proclaim the kingdom also requires team work.
Team work, being sent out two by two, mirrors God himself. John 1:2 tells us that the Word (Jesus) was with God in the beginning. Genesis 1:2 declares “…the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” The unity of Father, Son and Spirit is the relationship model for us to emulate. The Father instructs believers, saying “Hear him. He’s my beloved.” The Son declares he came to do his Father’s will. All accomplished through the powerful work of the Spirit!
When Jesus sent out his followers, two by two, he was reflecting the importance of team work, the joy of working together in harmony. When two work together as led by the Spirit, their credibility is enhanced. They experience the needed mutual support. Luke’s telling of the early church in Acts reveals its continuance, beginning in Antioch where Paul and Barnabas team up. Later in Acts 15, we learn that the Jerusalem Synod sent out Judas and Silas to confirm personally what was sent in writing regarding how to deal with troubling situations. Continuing, Luke wrote that upon a disagreement between Paul and Barnabas, both head further with new partners, Mark goes with Barnabas and Silas accompanies Paul. Working as teams!
What we need to realize, as those teams did then, is that it’s never really a team of just two.
The two can and do what they do only with a third person empowering them—The Holy Spirit. With the Spirit present, the relationships needed become real and dynamic. We must not and cannot be sent unless we are sent with one another and the Spirit. It’s always team work. Whether Jesus “appoints” as we’re told in Luke 10, or we’re commissioned as told to “go” in Matthew 28, it’s his presence, his spirit, that empowers the rewarding relationship of team work. It’s a God thing!
Going out two by two is a way of reflecting the relationship embodied in the Trinity which is something to be reflected in our teaming with others to fulfill our being sent.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, team with us as we go as sent to places yet unknown and to people yet unseen. May our relationship with you and one another be joy filled and empowering.
INTERACT WITH OTHERS
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