1. The number seventy was symbolic to the Jews.
· It was the number of the elders who were chosen to help Moses with the task of leading and directing the people in the wilderness (Numbers 11: 16-17)
· It was the number of the Sanhedrin, the supreme council of the Jews.
· It was held to be the number of nations in the world.
2. Jesus is keen on sending the disciples two by two. It is always good to go in twos; it ensures safety; when two people move from place to place they can deepen their relationship by their sharing on the way. It will prevent one from becoming individualistic.
3. The preacher must not be preoccupied with the material goods. The preacher is to concentrate on the task in hand and greet no one on the way. It implies that he must not linger on the lesser things when the great things call him.
3. The preacher must not be in the work for what can be got out of it, but eat whatever is offered to him. He should not move from house to house seeking the luxury and comforts.
4. To have heard God’s word is a great responsibility. We will be judged according to what we have had the chance to know. We allow things in a child that we condemn in an adult. Privilege means also responsibility.
The scope for the ministry is too big. There are still several million people who have not received the word of God and therefore we have the responsibility to ask God for more labourers. In God’s kingdom everyone is expected to become a labourer in his/her own capacity. In a very special way we need to pray for the vocations to priesthood, and all of us have the duty to take care of the priests who are sent by the Lord himself to bring Peace ‘Shalom’ (which means wishing the good of the others) to the people whom they encounter.
William Barclay’s Commentary