10 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. 5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. 8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. 13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades.[b] 16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.” 17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Jesus was about to travel to a series of towns and in preparation for His visit He sent a series of people two by two to the towns to prepare the way. They were to heal the sick. Jesus knew that in preparation to hear the message of the Kingdom some preparation work was required in these towns. Jesus also made plain that if they were not welcomed then He would not be welcomed, this also formed some of the reconnaissance.
In some situations, people’s hearts need to be prepared to receive the news of the kingdom of God, the Gospel. Healing ministry is a good means by which this can happen and provides a platform to receive the Good News. In other situations some people respond negatively to anyone they deem to be lesser than the person they want to speak with – yet Jesus knows that as He has sent the disciples He has given them authority and so receiving them is as if a person is receiving Him. He notes, that if you reject the disciples then you are rejecting Jesus.
It calls to mind how often I may have thought less of a person than I should not understanding that, at times, people have been sent by another as a forerunner. Decisions may have been made on the reception I gave to the ‘ambassador’ rather than the person and this may not have gone well for me as a result.
Father help me to minister healing to open doors for Your kingdom and may I treat everyone with equal grace and so entertain angels!
Written by Ps. Richard Botta