The Mission of the 70
Reading: Luke 10:1-16
After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto them, “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell. He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.
The LORD is traveling to Jerusalem, and to the cross. He has warned His disciples of the cost of following Him. Now, He sends seventy of them to announce the Kingdom of God to the cities that they will pass on the road.
There is a lot that we can meditate on here…
The laborers are few: the call of the Gospel is to follow Jesus’ example of serving. Our Lord left us His teaching and manner of living to provide us an example of humility and service. As humans, we enjoy the positions of the world, but not serving others. Could this be the reason that the laborers are few? Let us pray to the Lord of the harvest that He will send more laborers, and that He will help us to be more willing to serve.
The mission is dangerous: The Lord tells them, “Behold, I’m sending you as lambs among wolves.” Not everyone is willing to listen. Not everyone will be kind. If they reject Jesus, they will also reject His disciples. The message that they should announce is the nearness of the Kingdom and the necessity of turning back to God in repentance, and it is not an agreeable message for everyone.
Depend on me: The disciples are going without money, without provisions, without anything, trusting purely and solely in God. In God’s service, He uses both abundance and scarcity, receptiveness and rejection, to help us become better disciples. In this time, the seventy sent by Jesus are going to learn to depend on God and His provision.
You are my envoys: It is Jesus who sends, and whoever receives or rejects these disciples is receiving or rejecting Jesus. Those who hear the message of the Gospel and accept it receive mercy and salvation (and that isn’t the work of the messenger, but of the one who sent him), but those who reject it condemn themselves because they are rejecting Jesus, and the Father who sent Him.
This is why in preaching the gospel we should seek to present it as much as possible without our personal additions. Share the Gospel, only the Word of God can transform hearts. There are no human words, no matter how persuasive, that can do it. Only the Holy Spirit can raise the dead.
MEDITATE: And us? Have we been sent? (You might find the answer in Matthew 28:19-20)
Translation By: Emily Stader