The term Apostle can refer to the twelve disciples of Christ. Broadly it means anyone sent on a mission with a message. Let’s look at 70 or 72 others who were “apostled” by Jesus and what their mission was in Luke 10:1-11, 16-20.
70 Apostled? (vs 1-2)
Luke 10:1 The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. 2 These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.
“The Lord now chose seventy other disciples and apostled [or ‘sent’] them.” Among them were James, Mark, Luke, Barnabas, Philemon, Onesimus, Aquila, and other early church leaders were “sent” in pairs for safety and mutual encouragement, into the spiritual harvest. There an urgency to reaping the harvest of the kingdom.
Mission Instructions (vs 2-11)
Luke 10:3 Now go, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. 4 Don’t take any money with you, nor a traveler’s bag, nor an extra pair of sandals. And don’t stop to greet anyone on the road.
5 “Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house.’ 6 If those who live there are peaceful, the blessing will stand; if they are not, the blessing will return to you. 7 Don’t move around from home to home. Stay in one place, eating and drinking what they provide. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve their pay.
8 “If you enter a town and it welcomes you, eat whatever is set before you. 9 Heal the sick, and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you now.’ 10 But if a town refuses to welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘We wipe even the dust of your town from our feet to show that we have abandoned you to your fate. And know this—the Kingdom of God is near!’ …
Mission instructions included pray for helpers, beware of wolves, don’t take money, bags, extra sandals, don’t waste time in chit-chat, bring peace and fertile ground will reveal itself by peaceful responses, stay put, eat everything, hospitality is deserved pay, heal, tell them about the kingdom and if unwelcomed move on.
Eat, Heal and Tell (vs 8-9)
Luke 10:8 “If you enter a town and it welcomes you, eat whatever is set before you. 9 Heal the sick, and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you now.’
Missions in three steps: eat, heal and tell. 1) Meals are good mixers. Not everyone is hospitable, but we ought to be. 2) If we can’t heal physically, we can heal hearts with kind words and encouragement. 3) Tell the stories of Jesus using the wisdom that God gives us.
Who Listens to You? (vs 16)
Luke 10:16 Then he said to the disciples, “Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me.”
Jesus Christ was despised and rejected and so will we be, but the more people we talk to, the more we win. He said that, “Whoever listens to you listens to me.” People don’t reject or accept us but Jesus. What a blessing to be listened to when we talk about Jesus.
What is Our Joy? (vs 17-20)
Luke 10:17 When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”
18 “Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! 19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. 20 But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.”
The disciples had joy in doing the work of God. This is how it is meant to be. We may lack joy because we are not taking a rest day, or not where God designed us to be. The ultimate reason for joy is having our names written in heaven.
Just as Jesus apostled 70 disciples to go, eat, heal and tell, so he apostles every one of us. We are rarely sent far away. Most often our mission field is right here in our own backyard. Let us pray for an opportunity to tell about that which gives us true joy.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.