Luke 10:4
Carry no purse or bag or sandals. Do not greet anyone along the road.
Definiteness of Purpose in Christian WorkJ. Wilbur ChapmanLuke 10:4
No Time to be LostJ. Thomson, D. D.Luke 10:4
SalutationH. W. Beecher.Luke 10:4
The Mission of the SeventyR.M. Edgar Luke 10:1-24

I. THE LARGENESS OF THE FIELD. "The harvest truly is great." It is not a few human families, or a few small populations; it is not one large nation; it is not even one great continent; it is the entire human race, which Jesus Christ proposed and which he still purposes to redeem - this great human race, with all its nationalities, with all its creeds and all its doubts and denials, with all its pride and all its degradation, with all its profound estrangement from Divine truth and the living God. The harvest is great indeed; the task is tremendous; the victory, if it be gained, will make all other victories sink into utter insignificance; they will be but the small dust in the balance, There is encouragement in the thought of -

II. THE CHARACTER OF THE SEED WHICH IS SOWN. That seed was in course of preparation as Jesus Christ was speaking and working and suffering. It was his whole life; it was, indeed, himself in all his relations with men, in all the aspects in which he could be regarded, whether as Teacher, or Friend, or Exemplar, or Divine Sufferer. This was the seed which should be sown, the fruits of which would be the great harvest of God. "I, if I be lifted up," etc. But, on the other hand, there has to be taken into account -

III. THE CHARACTER OF THE AGENTS at work in the broad field of the world.

1. Their infirmity. They are men; good men, but "the best of men are but men at the best;" all (they should be) renewed by the Spirit of God and fired with the love of Christ and of human souls; but all (they are) "compassed about with infirmity," all bound with limitations of understanding, of character, of wisdom.

2. Their paucity. "The laborers are few" - few in comparison with the agents of evil and the sources of error; few, regarded in their proportion to the multitude on whom they are to act. in this light they are lamentably insufficient. There are great breadths of the field scarcely worked and other vast districts positively untouched. What, then, is -

IV. THE HOPE OF THE FAITHFUL? When we survey the greatness of the harvest and the fewness of the laborers in the field, where does our hope lie? In the providing power of the great Lord of the harvest. He who moves the stars in their spheres can create human souls, can endow them with noble faculties, can inspire them with generous aims, can send them forth on glorious and triumphant missions. We cannot tell the possibilities which are hidden in one great human soul whose heart God has touched, whose hand God has strengthened. One such man may be instrumental in turning a whole tract of barrenness into fertility: what, then, may not a number of such souls accomplish? When the Lord of the harvest speaks the word, great will be the company of the preachers, the number of the laborers. Wherefore let us pray the Father of spirits to put forth his creative power and send mighty workers into his waiting fields. - C.

Salute no man by the way.
"Salute no man by the way." It is remarkable that such an injunction should be given by our Divine Master, so distinguished as He was for amiable feelings and condescension, while at the same time He immediately added an exhortation to pay the usual courtesy, by desiring them, when they entered a house, to "salute the family." The reason of this apparent inconsistency is easily discovered. In eastern countries, we are told, that salutations between travellers meeting on a journey are attended by so many questions, by so many expressions of welcome often repeated, and so many tedious forms, as seriously to retard their journey. Now, if such interruptions often occurred, as might be the case on a much-frequented road, the object of their journey might be in a great measure frustrated. When such despatch was required as our Saviour deemed necessary on this occasion, those tedious forms of customary civilities were to be omitted. It is true, that in the charge which our Saviour gave to the twelve, He uttered no prohibition to salute the travellers which they might meet with on the way. But it was properly given to the seventy disciples, because haste, which was not required at the mission of the twelve, was then become necessary.

(J. Thomson, D. D.)

They were to waste no time on such ceremonies which were clearly excessive. We, however, are in no great danger of carrying the ceremony of salutation to excess. It befits us, therefore, to take heed how we minify even the few salutations which we have. "Good-bye" is all we have left of "God be with you"; for men are ashamed any longer to use that. Instead of the grand salutation, "God be with you," you shall hear men who are parting say, "Well, old fellow, take care of yourself!" Men are substituting a course way of greeting and saluting each other, instead of giving those reverent, dignified, pleasure-giving, respect-inspiring salutations which belong to antiquity, and which should belong to every refined society — and to none so much as that which calls itself Christian.

(H. W. Beecher.)

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