Jesus' disciples went on a mission to change the minds and hearts of others. They returned, themselves utterly changed. The hearts and minds of the disciples were opened because they did the hard work. They took the risks. They left everything to follow. They left as infants and returned as scholars. Their work changed them forever.
I am a fantasy geek - you know this. What comes to mind is The Hobbit trilogy. In the first scene in the Shire, a little, inexperienced, sheltered hobbit is invited to embark on an adventure. The adventure would last a couple years, three movies, and many exciting encounters. During the last scene of the final movie, the hobbit Bilbo returned to find he had been declared dead, and his home being auctioned off one item at a time. Bilbo enters his home to find it in shambles, having been looted by the auctioneers. It was a fitting end. The messy state of his home mirrored the messy state of his soul. He had returned utterly changed. He was not the same hobbit that left the Shire years before. He had left as an infant and returned a scholar of life. It makes me wonder sometimes if I am content to sit in my hole in the Shire, or if, perhaps, God is calling me on an adventure that will change me forever.
The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”