1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two 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 a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you.
7 Stay in that house, 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 set before you.
9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, `The kingdom of God is near 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 that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.'
12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
13 "Woe to you, Korazin! 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 up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.
16 "He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."
The Lord of the Harvest (10:1~9)
Jesus sends out seventy-two disciples ahead of Him to bear witness to the coming of a King whose will cannot be thwarted, a sovereign ruler who will reign with perfect peace, and a kingdom that will last for eternity. They are sent out to every town and place without partiality, and Jesus makes it clear that there is a ripe and bountiful harvest ready to be collected. They are to declare the Good News diligently but not anxiously, for it is the work of God to soften hearts to receive their message. It is important to remember that regardless of our evangelistic efforts or people’s responses, the coming of God’s kingdom is an unchanging reality. We are simply called to be faithful witnesses to a world that is in desperate need of a Savior.
- Jesus gives two directives to His disciples: pray for more workers to be sent, and go! How are you responding to this call? Be eager in prayer and prepared to go.
Peaceful Proclamation (10:10~16)
The kingdom of God is approaching, and this means judgment will come upon all who reject the King. Jesus delivers a chilling warning for those who refuse to accept His message: judgment will fall, and it will fall heavily. He compares the towns that have rejected His ministry to ancient cities that infamously fell to ruin for their failure to repent; thus is the dreadful fate of those who hear the Gospel and reject its message. This is also an encouragement for those who are despised for Jesus’ sake: we are not to be downcast because, ultimately, they are not rejecting us but the One who sent us.
- How does this passage challenge you to proclaim the Good News to the lost? How can you be bolder and more fervent in your witness?
A letter to God
Gracious God, thank you that Your kingdom’s coming cannot be thwarted. Forgive my fretting over hostile rejection, the lack of fervor in my prayers for the lost, and my reluctance to speak boldly. May Your will be done in my life and the lives of others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
* All Copyrights of the text in Living Life belong to Duranno Books.