The Seventy disciples were in addition to the Twelve original apostles that were chosen by Jesus. The gospel of Luke is the only book that mentions that Jesus sent the seventy disciples “two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go” (Luke 10:1). The fact that the Seventy disciples are not mentioned again nor their names given implies that this was a temporary appointment.
It seems that the appointment took place in Peraea, but that the Seventy were sent first to the region of Samaria. Jesus had earlier said, “Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold” (John 10:16). Now He sent forth the Seventy to find some of these lost sheep. The seventy had accompanied Jesus on the Third Galilean Tour, when the Twelve had gone forth on their first mission, two by two to heal the sick and cast out demons in Galilee (Matthew 10:1–42; Luke 9:1–6).
The instructions Jesus gave to the Seventy were similar to those previously given to the Twelve. He said, “Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road. But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you. 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. Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, ‘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.’ ButI say to you that it will be more tolerable in that Day for Sodom than for that city” (Luke 10:3-12).
It is interesting to know that in the New Testament Jesus appointed 70 men to assist Him in preparing the way and preaching HIs Word. And in the Old Testament, Moses also appointed 70 men to assist him in judging Israel (Exodus 24:1; Numbers 11:16).
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In His service,
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