After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. (Luke 10:1-2 ESV)
Knowledge does not always mean action. We know that eating junk food isn’t good for us, but we still do it. We know that exercising regularly helps our bodies and we still don’t do it. We tell our kids to not touch the hot pan on the stove and they still do it. Just because we know something, that doesn’t mean we will live it our or experience it.
We tend to give people a lot of Bible based theology, thoughtful philosophy, even helpful strategies for life, but this great wealth of information does not necessarily translate to a long-haul-life-change. We all know plenty of Christians who know what the Bible says but who struggle to connect these truths to their daily lives and even more importantly, to what God wants to do in and through them in the context of the real world. We can see from this passage that Jesus wasn’t just about knowing the right things, he was about experiencing them as well.
After teaching the disciples he sends them out to apply the knowledge they have learned of Jesus and his mission. We even see Jesus applying his teachings to specific experiences his disciples went through (Luke 5:1-11, Luke 5:27-31). We must continually examine our motives for reading our Bibles, listening to sermons, reading bible devotions, or even discussing spiritual matters with friends. The things we learn from our Bible and the Holy Spirit should spur us to action and not just lay dormant in our minds.
The ideas of knowing Jesus, following Jesus, and being sent out by Jesus are indivisible- they are all part of the same stream.