“Increased Intensity, Gospel Urgency”
We have before us today a passage that we find only in the Gospel of Luke, its events are not recorded by Matthew, Mark or John. It speaks of unnamed “others” “laborers” Luke 10:1-2. These are those who we suppose responded positively Jesus’ call to EXTREME COMMITMENT in Luke 9:57-62. These are choice and chosen men, men we will not know until we meet them in Heaven! They are called here to a short term task!
I. Why are these 70 called?
1. They are called to be witnesses –
After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. (Luke 10:1 NKJ)
… by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established. (Deuteronomy 19:15 NKJ)
They are witnesses of the Gospel, they are proclaimers of Kingdom truth, as we will see they also are witnesses to people’s response to this truth!
2. They are called to be laborers –
Then He said to them, "The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. (Luke 10:2 NKJ)
3. They are called to be lambs in the midst of wolves –
"Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. (Luke 10:3 NKJ)
4. They are called to an empty handed, bare-footed ministry –
"Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; … (Luke 10:4 NKJ) (the reference to sandals may have meant extra sandals)
5. They were called to an urgent, hurried, seemingly impolite ministry –
… and greet no one along the road. (Luke 10:4 NKJ)
A. Greetings tended to be long, drawn out
B. Greetings were due from cultural inferiors to cultural superiors
C. These cultural expectations should have been complied with, except in extreme situations!
6. They were called to deliver a simple, gracious message “peace”, and they were to be respected –
"But whatever house you enter, first say, `Peace to this house.' 6 "And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you. 7 "And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house. 8 "Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. (Luke 10:5-8 NKJ)
A. The message of “peace” was the same to every house –
NKJ James 2:1 My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. (James 2:1 NKJ)
It mattered not whether a person were rich or poor, respected or lowly, the Gospel message was and is the same.
B. The greeting of “peace” which was ultimately from God and Christ was to be respected. Jesus disciples, even if unknown and barefooted were to be honored and provided for.
40 "And the King will answer and say to them, `Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.' (Matthew 25:40 NKJ)
7. They were equipped for this calling with gracious healing powers and as they healed they were to be SERIOUS / SOLEMN proclaimers of the Kingdom of God –
9 "And heal the sick there, and say to them, `The kingdom of God has come near to you.' 10 "But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11 `The very dust of your city which clings to us we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.' (Luke 10:9-11 NKJ)
A. A simple task - heal the sick there
B. A simple message - and say to them, `The kingdom of God has come near to you.'
C. A simple solemn sign – shaking dust off their feet, it was what Jews did when they left a Gentile city, here Christ’s laborers (Jews) would be doing such to other Jews. It was a solemn, formal symbol that such people, who rejected Christ, were LOST!
Definition of solemn -
earnest: having or showing sincerity and gravity
humorless: having or showing no joy or humor
formal: characterized by ceremony or formality
II. Why serious? Why solemn?
1. An excellent opportunity with a definite time limit –
Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.'
12 "But I say to you that it will be more tolerable in that Day for Sodom than for that city. 13 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
14 "But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15 "And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades. 16 "He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me." (Luke 10:11-16 NKJ)
A. Great works had been done by Jesus Christ
B. Jesus had approximately SIX MONTHS more on earth before His death, resurrection and ascension to Heaven, places like Sodom, Tyre and Sidon never had such a privilege of the presence of Jesus Christ in the flesh, performing miracles etc…
C. Jesus sent these disciples (though unknown and barefooted) to prepare His way, rejecting them meant rejecting Him!
D. It is always a DREAD thing to reject Christ –
"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36 NKJ)
III. Why rejoice?
Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name." 18 And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 "Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven." 21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. 22 "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him." 23 Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, "Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see; 24 "for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it." (Luke 10:17-24 NKJ)
1. Not because of unexpected power / success – :17-19
2. But because of TRUE SALVATION –
. 20 "Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."
3. In this Jesus rejoices –
A. To His Father - :21-22
B. To His disciples (including the unknown ones) - :23-24
• Let us be serious and solemn with the world, their time to know Christ is short, we are called to be witnesses to them: laborers, lambs, empty handed, barefooted, urgent, simple –
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, "Your God reigns!" (Isaiah 52:7 NKJ)
• Let us rejoice if God has willed to reveal Himself, Father, Son, Spirit to us –
"And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:3 NKJ)