Updated: Nov 14, 2021
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INTRODUCTION. As Jesus prepared to journey to Jerusalem for the last time before his crucifixion, He sent seventy disciples, two by two, ahead of him as advance messengers along the route He intended to take (Luke 9:51; 10:1). Jesus compared the people to a field of ripe grain ready to be harvested, but the laborers or reapers were few. He told the disciples to pray for more workers. As He sent these disciples on their way, Jesus told them they would be in danger as lambs among wolves (Luke 10:2-3).
Some of the instructions Jesus gave to these seventy disciples were because his earthly ministry was nearing the end and time was short. The disciples were not to salute people on the way or go from house to house as this would delay them. They were to carry no provisions with them, for they were entitled to be paid for their work of spreading the news of the kingdom. They were to stay in a home where the owner truly cared for the peace Jesus has to offer. They were to heal the sick by Divine authority and to preach the nearness of the kingdom. If they were rejected, they were to shake the dust of that city from their feet (Luke 10:4-11).
Jesus said it would be more tolerable for the wicked city of Sodom in the day of
judgment than for the city that rejected his messengers. He then condemned the
cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum. The people of these cities of Galilee
had seen his mighty works, but they had rejected him. It would be more tolerable for the heathen Phoenician cities of Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment, for their inhabitants would have repented in sackcloth and ashes had they seen and heard the testimony of Jesus (Luke 10:12-15).
Jesus concluded by stating that those who received the disciples received Jesus. Those who rejected the disciples rejected Jesus, and if they rejected Jesus they also rejected God who sent him (Luke 10:16).
The seventy returned joyfully and were especially pleased that the demons were subject to them in Jesus' name. Since Jesus gave the disciples the authority over the demons, their successes indicated Jesus overpowered Satan. Jesus saw Satan falling in defeat as lightning falling from heaven. Jesus then gave the disciples greater power over evil. However, they were not to rejoice in their miraculous abilities, but they were to rejoice that their names were written in heaven (Luke 10:17-20).
Finally, Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit, prayed to his Father, and blessed his disciples (Luke 10:21-24).