The Sending of the Seventy, part 1
The first part of Luke chapter 10 shows us that Jesus sent out 70 disciples to visit various communities as he traveled toward Jerusalem. As we read this passage, we find that much of this pertained specifically to the 70 disciples. Jesus chose these men specifically and sent them out for a certain amount of time to specific cities with a specific ministry. He told them what to take and what not to take with them. He told them what to say and what to do. He told them what to do if the people welcomed them and what to do if they rejected them.
The description is fairly straightforward. The language is fairly easy to understand. The difficulty lies in deciding how this description pertains to us. We can easily see how it pertained to the original disciples. But is there an application of these principles to us today? What are we supposed to do about it?
A further complication is the fact that, in chapter 22, Jesus gives his disciples a different set of directions than what we find here.
So, I think that these directions pertained specifically to that group of 70 disciples at that place and time. I don’t think that we have a timeless pattern that we are obligated to follow today. The specifics pertained only to that place and time; they really don’t pertain to us; we are not obligated to duplicate them in our ministry.
However, within the specifics, I think we do have some timeless principles, and it is on these principles that I want to focus today. The specific commands pertained to the 70, but the general principles pertain to us; we seek to follow the general pattern we see here. So we have to separate what was specific and pertinent only to the 70 disciples from what has a more general application for us today.
What are the general principles about missions that we can glean from this account? There are several. I think we’ll get through about half of them today.