Saturday, October 2, 2010


Jesus had accumulated a great number of disciples when he now sends “seventy others,” besides the twelve. A few text ready seventy “and two” and both numbers have been regarded as being symbolical. He commissioned 35 pairs because he wanted the work done quickly.

Jesus does not say field is large that is to till and to sow His vision regards only the harvest. By the harvest Jesus means all those in whom the work of God’s grace succeeds. Like a great ripe field of grain they stand before the eyes of Jesus and need only to be gathered on. Our prayers for more workers do not save the harvest or a part of it. Our prayers join God’s concern for the harvest and makes us one mind, heart and will with Jesus. He does not tell the seventy to go out and get workers. This mistake had often been made, and workers are brought in that God never called. All that we are to do is “to beg” this of God and we know that this is His will, and he will hear our request.

Lambs among the wolves: Lambs are the disciples who have lost all viciousness that is due to sin and wickedness. Wolves characterize the world of men as being viciously wicked. As lambs they have no defence against wolves. But this shows that their only protector is Jesus – Jesus could never abandon them.

Strict rules: Carrying the minimum involves the dismissal of all care about bodily needs. He who sends them out will provide for in all respects. They are to learn complete trust. Jesus forbids them to even salute anyone on the way. The assumption that Jesus gave this order because the Orientals greeting is longer is not correct. They were the introduction to conversations and thus would cause delay on the road. The work has to be done with promptness because the time was short.

Jesus tells the disciples to eat whatever the people can afford even when they are poor; Most of the cities had mixed population Jews and to Gentiles lived together. The messengers are not to hesitate in regard to eating the food that is served them, much less to refuse it. We also have the responsibility to heal their sickness. They will take nothing from that city that refused them, not even the friendly dust that struck to them from walking through the streets of the city and adhered to their feet. Right before the people they are to say, “We are shaking it off for you, that this dust may testify that the messengers were here, they had to leave because you refused them and their message.”

Recently my friend was talking about a young priest who went for a house visit along with him. As in most cases the family served a good meal with variety of dishes. The young priest without showing any sign of sensitivity asked for the dish which he preferred and showed signs that he was not happy with the dishes they set out on the Table. The family felt embarrassed and they could not provide for him the dish he wanted. In spite of taking pains in preparing variety of dishes and spending so much of money on that, all that they received was disappointment and embarrassment. I do not think that the family would invite him again for a dinner. Sometimes as disciples we forget the mandate we have received from the Lord. We add on our needs to such an extent that we find it hard even to move from one place to another. As messengers of Christ every Christian’s visit to a family should bring joy, hope and peace to the family members, which requires the proper understanding of the meaning of discipleship.

The Pulpit Commentary
The Interpreter’s Bible Commentary

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