10 After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 2 He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ 6 And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. 7 Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; 9 cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town. 13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But at the judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades. 16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” 17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” 18 He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19 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. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Jesus sends some of his disciples on a short term mission. It’s interesting that Luke says nothing about what happened on the mission, but focussed entirely on the lessons they learned and the joy that resulted.
This mission was partly about what these disciples would do in the towns they went to, but mostly about what God would do in these disciples. They didn’t do anything that Jesus hadn’t already been doing. But God did something special in these disciples’ lives.
This pattern seems to be repeated over and over. I grow and am blessed beyond what I deserve simply by walking with my God where He goes, and taking my part in the things He’s doing.
Not everyone was chosen for this mission. Not the 12. “Seventy two other disciples”. We don’t even know their names. Undoubtedly Jesus would have done it better. Perhaps the 12 would have done it better. But Jesus chose these disciples. His authority was enough to achieve great things. His purpose in sending them was to achieve great things in their lives.
We are all called to be witnesses but God calls some to be evangelists: some for one mission, some for another; some for a short period of time, others for longer. Some are chosen to go (the 72), others take part by providing a home and food for them (v7).
I’m called to do my part, not someone else’s. And whatever part He calls me to will be a source of Joy if I walk faithfully in it.
Written by David Cornell