by Bob Wickizer

Training Wheels
Bob Wickizer
2 Kings 5:1-14; Psalm 30; Galatians 6:7-16; Luke 10:1-11,16-20

If only George had been a kinder, gentler ruler. His policies of taxation to support far flung wars abroad were just too much for the American people to take. Of course I am talking about King George II during Colonial American times. In response to gross abuse of power by the king, the people revolted. On the Fourth of July we celebrate that accomplishment and we remind ourselves that we must be vigilant about the potential for the abuse of power in government, churches and even our families.

Like the early American colonists, Jesus was concerned about the potential for the abuse of power by his followers. Jesus knew he was giving these seventy some powerful gifts and that they were not accustomed to using such gifts. In this morning's Gospel he sends out seventy of his followers "like lambs in the midst of wolves." Jesus himself is in the final leg of his journey to the cross. Why did he send out the seventy at this point in time to a city where Jesus was planning to visit soon anyway? Did he want the seventy to convert others, to baptize them, preach to them, build churches or did he have something else in mind?

I think this initial sending out of the seventy was like putting training wheels on a child's bicycle. Most of us have watched a child ride a bicycle with training wheels for the first time. That first trip is a little wobbly where the child leans one way only to be stopped by one outrigger training wheel and then the child leans to the other side. The wheels prevent most rollovers but more than that they keep the rider constrained to a narrow range of side to side motion so that the rider builds confidence in her abilities to manage the bike.

So Jesus sends out the seventy on a "training wheel" mission. Everything they do Jesus could have done himself but that was not the point. Jesus wants to make sure his followers understand how t ...

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