Summary: Jesus sends out the 72. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

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Reading: chapter 10 verses 1-24

This event in Luke chapter 10:

• Should not be confused with another similar event

• That you looked at a few weeks ago

• In Luke chapter 9 Jesus commissioned or sent out the 12 disciples.

• Here in Luke chapter 10 Jesus commissioned or sent out 70 of his followers.

Now there are similarities in both incidents;

• And this should be expected;

• After all it is the same master, who is sending out his followers to do the same basic job.

So there will be similarities but there are also differences:

• The 12 disciples were sent out to minister in Galilee (north);

• But these 70 men were sent out to minister in Judea (south).

• And the men in this chapter are not called apostles;

• They were anonymous disciples N.I.V. ‘others’. K.J.B. ‘seventy also’.

• They were true followers of Jesus;

• But not members of the inner-core, the 12 disciples.

Question: Why 70?

• Some versions say 72 and there is about equal textual evidence to go with either;

• I am going to go with the seventy-two!


• Just as the 12 disciples represented the 12 sons of Jacob and tribes of Israel;

• So the seventy or seventy two (both numbers) are also symbolic.

(1). THE NUMBER 70:

• The number 70 might be linked with Moses in Numbers chapter 11 verses 16&25);

• Who on one occasion chose 70 leaders of Israel.

• These 70 elders were all given a share in God’s spirit;

• And as spirit filled leaders they were equipped to lead God’s people.

Quote: Tim Downs

“Watches, cars and Christians can all look chromed and shiny.

But watches don't tick, cars don't go and Christians don't make a difference without insides. For a Christian, that's the Holy Spirit”.

Quote: A. W. Tozer once laid down the challenge,

“If God took His Holy Spirit out of this world,

what the church is doing would go right on and nobody would know the difference.”

• The Holy Spirit was essential for the Elders in Moses day to function effectively;

• And he is essential in every Christian life, ministry and fellowship today!

(1). THE NUMBER 72:

• The number 72;

• May be associated with the nations listed in Genesis chapter 10.

• In that chapter (after Noah dies and just before the tower of Babel);

• There is a table of nations listed and there are 72 nations listed.

• The choice of 72 may emphasis the universality of the gospel message;

• 72 nations, 72 missionaries – one for each nation.

• Maybe it is a symbolic way of saying Jesus wants the message spread to all nations!

(1). There Is A Call That Needs Answering (vs 1-4)

“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

3Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.”


• My Passport; What I hold in my hand is a fairly common document.

• It’s my passport, it allows me right to travel around the world,

• It shows not only where I come from but also who I am.

• It shows that I am a citizen of the United Kingdom (no you are not seeing the photo!);

• Therefore I am also a representative of my country to the rest of the world.

• The way that people abroad view me will have an impact on how they view my county.

• These 72 followers (passport holders) of Jesus were not just his followers:

• They were also his ambassadors;

Question: What is an ambassador?


• An ambassador is an authorized representative of a sovereign.

• He speaks not in his own name but on behalf of the ruler whose deputy he is,

• And his whole duty and responsibility;

• Is to interpret that ruler’s mind faithfully to those to whom he is sent.

• The followers of Jesus:

• Went out to represent him, to serve him, and with his authority and blessing!

In these opening verses Jesus tells the seventy 4 key truths:

(1). Be willing - "The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few.”

• Jesus tells the seventy-two that there is much work to do,

• But not enough people to do the work:

• That was true in Jesus day, it is true in ours;

• Ill: Just watch this DVD clip.

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