When the 72 disciples return they are ecstatic. As they walked in freedom, giving and receiving peace, and investing in relationships, they saw the Kingdom of God break in. In simple trust, they obeyed Jesus and discovered that they were used to heal people and to cast out demons.
Jesus is full of joy. He had given power and it had brought life. Then he says something curious. “I am grateful that you hid all this from wise and educated people and showed it to ordinary people.” As much as God’s power had flowed – it had flowed through very ordinary vessels.
So often, God’s strategy is the power of powerlessness.
God uses the weak. He uses the broken.
God redeems the world by taking on the must humble, vulnerable form – an infant born into impoverished conditions. He absorbs all that is sinful and broken – through a bloody, painful, shameful death by state-ordered crucifixion.
God’s Kingdom is full of God’s power. But God shows it through this upside down strategy of weakness.
This is the lavish love of God. This is the invitational love of God. He doesn’t overpower us. He doesn’t force his power on us. He doesn’t coerce us.
When we long to participate with God in transforming the world, our weaknesses don’t disqualify us – they may actually position us. When we humble ourselves, walking in dependence on God’s power flowing through us, then we will be filled with the joy of seeing the Kingdom break through!
How can we discern the power of powerlessness? We are so used to expecting power, strength, and dominance as a way to work for good and for control. Jesus reminds us that this is not his way. Jesus uses the weak, the ordinary, and the powerless to advance his Kingdom.
You choose the foolish and weak things to display your love to the world. This is so counterintuitive for us. We need your Spirit to form humility in us. We ask you to teach us your ways.
Through Jesus, our Incarnate King we pray. Amen.