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(NASB)
Jesus sent a group of 70 disciples (some manuscripts say 72) as heralds along the route that He was to take from Caesarea Philippi on His journey to Jerusalem. Their mission was to alert the people in the various cities and towns along the way.. to the wonderful news that the kingdom of God was very near and that Jesus of Nazareth.. the King of the Jews was soon to pass that way.
It was a very similar commission to the one that Christ had given to His 12 disciples, only a few chapters earlier. They were to travel in pairs.. and visit all the different towns along the route which Christ would shortly travel. The 70 disciples were given the responsibility to prepare the way for the Lord and to tell forth the good news of the gospel to the people with whom they came in contact.
Their journey would take them into some hostile environments where they would appear to be like defenceless lambs in the middle of a pack of wolves but they were to trust the Lord in every situation, knowing that God is in control.. however fraught with difficulties the way appeared, knowing that He is working all things together for good - even when things are hostile and dangerous.
They were to focus on their important ministry and not be needlessly delayed by profitless talk or diverted from their important task by unnecessary diversions. Indeed, the 70 were reminded to pray earnestly about their ministry.. asking God to send more labourers into the harvest-field - so that lost souls could hear the good news of the glorious gospel of grace and be eternally saved by faith in Christ.
This was a special office and unique privilege for these 70 disciples which they undertook during the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus but there are many principles in this passage of scripture that can apply to our Christian walk as we witness of the coming of the Lord to a world of lost sinners who need a gracious Saviour.
We live in this world for a brief span of time but we have been given an equally important commission to go when Christ sends us or to stay in the place where God has chosen to place us. We are to labour in the harvest field of the world so that lost sinners may hear the good news of the gospel and be saved.
We are to pray that God would send more laboureres into the harvest field and be prepared to go ourselves along the difficult route where we too appear as defenceless lambs among a pack of vicious wolves. We are to focus on our work for the Lord and not to be diverted by the unimportant things of life and we are to be honourable representatives of our Lord and Saviour so that man may see our good works we do and hear the good news we tell - and glorify our Father in heaven.
Heavenly Father, thank You that through the witness of Your Word and the faithful service of others Christians I heard the good news of the gospel and have come to faith in Christ - Who alone has the words of eternal life. I pray that You would use me in the place where You have put me so that others may hear the good news of the gospel of grace and be saved by Your goodness and grace - in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.
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