Luke 10. The Mission of Seventy. A Second Climactic Experience.
Key Notes: A second successful mission. Names in Heaven. Jesus rejoicing. Evangelism, the Master Plan.
10:1–12 Jesus, having received back his twelve apostles and debriefed them, then sent off another seventy workers, with instructions similar to those He gave the Twelve.
•Go two by two to the places Jesus would soon visit.
•Pray the Lord of the Harvest for more workers.
•Do not carry extra provisions.
•Stay with a "son of peace", eating whatever is offered.
•Heal the sick and announce that the Kingdom is near.
•If you are not welcomed, shake the dust from your feet in judgment.
10:13–16 Then He denounced Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, the cities where He had expended so much effort but where repentance did not come. Much would be required of them--more than Sodom or Tyre and Sidon. Rejecting Christ was the same as rejecting the Father.
10:17 Like the Twelve, the Seventy returned exuberant. They had power even over demons. Jesus said He beheld Satan fall as lightning from Heaven.
This reference is indefinite regarding the time of Satan's fall, as is Rev.12:9. It may be prophetic of a future event. We understand that there are three phases to the defeat of Satan.
•He is being bound during Jesus' life. Matt.12:29
•He is committed to the Abyss for a thousand years after Christ's Second Coming. Rev.20:2
*He is finally cast into the Lake of Fire. Rev.20:10
Jesus gave them further authority over evil --scorpions and serpents. But He reminded them that their highest joy came from their own salvation.
"Rejoice that your names are written in Heaven". These disciples knew that they are saved. The Council of Trent denounced any Christian who claimed assurance of salvation. But Jesus gave these disciples assurance by looking them in the eye and saying "rejoice that your names are written in Heaven."
The concept of God's chosen ones having their names recorded in a book in Heaven can be found from Exodus to Revelation.
" ...if not, blot me out of Thy book which Thou hast written". (Ex.32:32)
"Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; let them not be enrolled among the righteous." (Psa.69:28)
"...your people shall be delivered, ever one whose name shall be found written in the book." (Dan.12:1)
"...a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who feared the Lord and thought on His Name." (Mal.3:16)
"...whose names are in the book of life." (Phil.4:3)
"..the .firstborn who are enrolled in Heaven." (Heb.12:23)
"...the book of life of the Lamb that was slain." (Rev.13:8)
"...whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world." (Rev.17:8)
"...another book was opened, which is the book of life." (Rev.20:12)
"...nothing unclean shall enter it...but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life." (Rev.21:27)
Names "written in the book of life from the foundation of the world" is predestination written large.
10:21 Jesus had a moment of high exaltation in the Holy Spirit and prayed: "I thank Thee, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, that Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes...for such was Thy gracious will."
Then Jesus immediately connected the Father's will with His own task: receiving what God delivered, and revealing the Father to those He had chosen.
10:23 The disciples were blessed to be seeing and hearing at first hand what the prophets and even David (IISam.7:12,13) longed to understand. Peter said that the prophets knew their words referred to the future, but that even angels did not have full knowledge of what the disciples were experiencing. IPet.1:10–12
Summary: Because our opponents accuse Christian missions of cultural imperialism, we need to note that Jesus is the author of missions. He later initiated His third wave of missions. Matt.28:18.
Marxists, and Muslims are also imperialistic. Missions should not be cultural imperialism, but it is spiritual imperialism. As Paul said .."the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ...." IICor.10:4–5
"...to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations...." Rom.1:5
These verses capsulize concepts of evangelism and witness.
1. The work of evangelism was done by people with some training but no independent resources, relying on a sympathetic audience. (10:1–12). They have no weapons and no gimmicks--only the Holy Spirit.
2. The evangelists could be called "babes" and "sheep", indicating their naivete and vulnerability. Clearly God chooses to use such people for Kingdom work. Often the "best" people are not the ones who go to the mission field.
3. Not every missionary work will be successful. It is awesome to realize that the cities Jesus condemned were those in which He had spent much personal time and effort. In contrast, the Seventy were triumphant with minimal effort on their part. 10:13–17
4. Another message is that our lack of success in evangelism is due to the rebellion of the listeners, rather than our poor technique. The listeners are responsible for their fate. 10:13–15
5. Evangelism involves the defeat of Satan and evil powers. 10:18–19
6. Those who are saved may be assured of their salvation. 10:20
7. Salvation depends on Jesus choosing to reveal the Father to us. 10:22
8. Evangelism cannot leave Jesus out. (10:22). To confess that we worship the same God as other monotheists is to ignore Jesus as the crucial second person in the Godhead and the revealer of the Father. It is Christ's Kingdom.
Jesus' evangelistic training program has been widely copied.
He demonstrated teaching and power in healing.
He gave instruction to His disciples.
He sent out the Twelve to do as He had done, healing and preaching.
He brought them back for a debriefing.
He demonstrated and taught again.
He sent another advance-team of seventy.
He brought them back for debriefing.
The Master Plan of Evangelism. R.E. Coleman; Fleming-Revell;’64 gives insight into Jesus’ method of working with recruits. This book has been used as an evangelistic study guide for many years.