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.”
Moves Like Moses
A lot of Jesus’ actions in the gospels mirror the actions taken by Moses in the Pentateuch. In the first five books of the Bible Moses delivers a covenant agreement between Israel and God. In the New Testament Jesus reveals a new covenant agreement. Moses is shown to foreshadow Jesus, we would call him a type of Christ. Jesus is the full revelation of the Father and so he is the fulfillment of all of the Old testament law.
When Moses ruled Israel it was apparent that he needed help and he appointed 70 elders to help him administrate leadership. Apart from the 70 were Joshua and Aaron, thus making a total of 72. Jesus sends out 72 to announce his message of hope for mankind. He is announcing a new way. However, the rejection of this avenue of grace means the willful walk in rebellion that leads to God’s judgment. Having preached through Exodus at Grace Fellowship, in Woodstock, we see how God provides the law as grace. He graciously condescends to allow mankind to live and to come close to him. When they do not choose his way, they die horribly.
To a human race that is losing sight of holiness and has elevated mankind to the position of God, this kind of judgment seems barbaric and primitive. However, we have made decisions to depart from the path of God’s grace and we are already reaping chaos and disorder in its wake.
Jesus, let us be bold in declaring a way of grace. Let us clearly communicate the consequences of making a new path that leads to disorder and death.
- How many people does Jesus send? Why?
- What are parallels between Jesus and Moses?
- What is the crux of Jesus’ new way?
- Does Jesus send people today?
- How and what are Jesus’ disciples to proclaim?