Text Elements—Source, The New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary, Volume IX
• Jesus sends 70 missionaries out to preach, teach and heal.
• They are to go ahead of Jesus into the towns to prepare a way for him.
Luke 10: 1-11, 16-20
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
10 After this the Lord appointed seventy[a] 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.’[b] 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.’[c]
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[a] 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.”
Some Thoughts on Today’s Reading—Pastor Pam
More than 2,000 years ago Jesus chose his first 12 disciples. They would study and learn how to minister. He would give them powers of healing. Then, one day, they would be on their own to preach, teach and heal.
Luke tells us that Jesus included more than the 12 in his mission to introduce all people to the Kingdom of God. In this instance, he sends 70 out with the power of Christ. However, he tells them they will be like lambs among wolves. They will also generate hostility from evil forces.
He says, “Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”
The identity of the disciples (Luke calls them apostles) is unknown. They are known to us as chosen by Christ and on a mission of peace to bring news that the Kingdom of God is near. It is an urgent time and reminds us today that evil must always be challenged even when there are only a few vulnerable people of faith to do so.
Christ’s powerful mission continues today instilling deep impetus in those he calls to be in community with all people. To act as agents of peace. To share God’s table together. To be vulnerable speaking the eternal message of God who lives today within believers in yet another culture that values power and might, exclusion and exile. In the end, the mission of the called is to prepare others to encounter Jesus and his kingdom of grace where evil has fallen like a flash of lightening. We have his word.
Peace and Grace,