1. This account is paralleled at Mt. 10:1-42 (a much fuller account), and Mk. 6:7-13. The sending of the seventy at Lk. 10:1-12 is plainly a different occasion. These accounts in Mt. 10, Mk. 6, Lk. 9 and Lk. 10 are limited to the covenant people, the Jews. They last only several weeks and are a kind of training mission. The missions noted at Mt. 28:16-20 and Mk. 16:15-18 are world-wide missions to all people.
2. Mt., Mk. and Lk. note that Jesus summoned and called together His disciples for this mission. That implies that they were not spending their full time with Him.
3. Lk. notes that Jesus "gave them power and authority over all the demons. Lk. 10:19 also uses the words :power and authority." Jesus assures them that He is Lord over Satan and the diseases which he causes. Therefore the disciples have nothing to fear.
4. Vs. 2 says that Jesus sent them. They are not self-appointed. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God. They were to declare what Jesus has done for them. This includes the gift of everlasting life. Secondly, they were to heal diseases. This authenticated their mission. Diseases are caused by sin. Their removal reminds us of the forgiveness of sins.
5. Vs. 3 contains several lessons:
6. Vs. 4 tells us several things:
a) They were to depend on their hosts for their daily needs;
b) They were not to seek out the best houses for their own comfort;
c) Once they have settled in a house they should not move around seeking better lodging. Such actions would be offensive to the hearers and would hinder the extension of the kingdom.
7. In vs. 5 Lk. does not speak of those who do receive them. To receive them means to receive their message, Christ. It is implied that those who do receive them receive Christ. But if they do not receive them they should send a clear message that they have rejected Christ. To shake the dust from one's feet was symbolic for saying: "You have rejected a very important message. I am no longer responsible for you."
8. Vs. 6 tells us that the disciples did exactly as the Lord had commanded them. First they evangelized. They preached the Gospel. It saves people. Secondly, they healed peoples' diseases. This authenticated their mission. This mission lasted several weeks. While they were gone, John the Baptist was beheaded.
9. This mission which occurred before Jesus' suffering and death was limited to the Jews and included casting out evil spirits. The great commission which Jesus instituted after His resurrection was for all peoples of the world. It did not include the command to drive out evil spirits.
10. During Jesus' lifetime on earth He performed many miracles to prove that He was the Son of God. During that time He commanded His disciples to drive out devils to prove that they were sent by Him. But Jesus' resurrection from the dead was the greatest proof of His divinity. His miracles ceased. And, likewise, thereafter He no longer commanded he disciples to drive out evil spirits.
11. Quotations from the parallels in Mt., Mk. and Lk.: "Do not go in the way of the Gentiles and do not enter any city of the Samaritans, but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel....I send you out as sheep in the midst of Wolves; therefore be shrewd as serpents, and innocent as doves....When they deliver you up, do not become anxious about how or what you will speak; for it shall be given you in that hour what you are to speak....Do not fear."
THEME: Jesus And His Missionaries
Mt., Mk. and Lk. tell us that first Jesus equipped His disciples to be missionaries and then sent them out on a training mission to preach the kingdom to the Jews and to heal their diseases. After His resurrection and before His Ascension Jesus commissioned the disciples to be witnesses to all nations (Mt. 28:19; Acts 1:8). Their mission, though they are dead, is still going on. First Jesus equips His missionaries and pastors and then He sends them out with certain direction.
I. HOW JESUS EQUIPS HIS MISSIONARIES AND PASTORS
At this point in the Gospel accounts Jesus had already been with His disciples about two years. During this time He had taught them the way of salvation and how to deal with people. The word "disciple" means "learner." Jesus gave them their Seminary training. What had He taught them? Vs. 1 of our text says that "He gave them power and authority over all the demons." At Lk. 10:18-19 He told the seventy that He had conquered Satan and that He had given them authority over Satan and that, therefore nothing would or could harm them. Jesus came to destroy him who had power over death, namely, the devil. Heb. 2:14- 15, Jesus took the sins of all men on Himself. Jesus took death and its fear away from all. That gave the disciples courage to preach. Furthermore, vs. 2 tells us that Jesus sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God. The disciples had been baptized. They were members of the kingdom of God which will last forever. Their sins were forgiven and their names were written in heaven. That's how Jesus equips His missionaries. All they need to do is to preach what Jesus has already done for all people.
II. HOW JESUS TAKES CARE OF HIS MISSIONARIES AND PASTORS
In vss. 3-4 of our text we learn how Jesus provided for workers in the kingdom of God. He said: "Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece. Jesus does not mean that His workers are to be naked beggars. Poverty is not a virtue. Nor is Jesus saying that they should make no provisions. He is saying that He would provide for all of their needs. Pagan teachers carried expensive staves. Jesus said: "Don't do that." The pagan teachers took two tunics apiece. Jesus said: "don't do that." Jesus even said: "Don't take bread or money." He does not talk about starvation. He means: "I'll take care of you." In vs. 4 Jesus says: "Whatever house you enter, stay there, and take your leave from there." He means that the people themselves would provide for them. He tells them to be satisfied with what the people provide. At Lk. 10:7 Jesus told them: "The worker is worthy of his wages." The people to whom they preached were to provide for them. And so it is to this day. Several times at Mt. 10:26 and 31 Jesus said: "Therefore do not be afraid." He would take care of them. In Mt. 28 He said: "Lo, I am with you always."
III. JESUS TELLS HIS MISSIONARIES AND PASTORS WHAT TO DO
A. They were to proclaim the kingdom of God. To proclaim the kingdom of God means to tell all people that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. II Cor. 5:19. To proclaim the kingdom of God means to baptize people in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This baptism, through the Word, washes peoples' sins away. To proclaim the kingdom of God means to celebrate the Lord's Supper. In this supper the Lord assures people that their sins are forgiven. To proclaim the kingdom of God means to tell people how they can join the family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob forever. We pray daily for this kingdom when we say: "Thy kingdom come." The preaching of the Gospel reveals this kingdom to people and gives them faith.
B. They were to heal diseases and cast out evil spirits. The disciples did not heal all cases of diseases but enough to prove that Jesus really sent them with a commission.