1 Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. Luke 10:1 (NAS)Read Luke 10:1-16
As his advance team, Jesus appointed 70 others to go into surrounding towns in pairs to declare “the kingdom of God has come near to you.” The instructions were similar to those given the 12 disciples when he sent them out into the nearby cities. To authenticate their ministry they’d be healing the sick. The assumption is that they’d also be exorcising demons.
That there were 70 responsible “followers” available says something about Jesus’ entourage, that the ranks had been thinned to those willing to pay the price of discipleship. These people were appointed by Jesus and must have been scrutinized and found worthy.
The cities were also designated by him, as we read these were those to which “he himself was going to come.” He already knew what the response would be in Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum, as he predicted judgement would befall them, but they’d have their chance anyway.
This is the way the gospel would be put forth in the future, by emissaries of the King. Failing to be hospitable to them (the laborers) and to it (the gospel) would spell doom individually and collectively.
The first and last thing they’d hear from these workers is “the kingdom of God is near.” They’d get the message coming and going, in peace or in judgement.
May we aspire to make the cut, to be found worthy, to obediently carry out the task, to be able to report back joyously to the King of what great things he did through us!