Luke uniquely said that the seventy disciples returned (Ὑπέστρεψαν δὲ οἱ ἑβδομήκοντα) with joy or grace (μετὰ χαρᾶς). They said to Jesus, calling him Lord (λέγοντες Κύριε), the demons (καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια) had submitted to them (ὑποτάσσεται ἡμῖν) in Jesus’ name (ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου). Only Luke had anything to say about these 70 disciples. Like the 12 apostles when they returned, these disciples were happy. They pointed out to Jesus that even the evil spirit demons were submitting to them when they mentioned Jesus’ name. Thus, the power of Jesus would continue. These apostles and disciples would carry on his work. Do you think that today’s disciples of Jesus can make evil spirits submit to them?
Luke indicated that Jesus told the 70 disciples with a solemn pronouncement (λέγω ὑμῖν) that it would be more tolerable (ἀνεκτότερον ἔσται) on that judgment day (ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ) for Sodom (ὅτι Σοδόμοις) than for that unwelcoming town (ἢ τῇ πόλει ἐκείνῃ). This was similar to the statement about Sodom and Gomorrah in Matthew, chapter 10:15, where Jesus make a comparison between those places that had rejected the apostles with the famous wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. He compared those non-welcoming towns that had rejected any of the 12 apostles with the famous wicked cities of Genesis, chapter 18:20-19:29, Sodom and Gomorrah. This was a solemn statement that it would be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on judgment day than this town that had rejected his apostles. They had lacked hospitality to the followers of. Jesus, so that they were worse than those terrible cities in Genesis. Here Luke only mentioned Sodom and not Gomorrah. Do you live in a welcoming town?
Luke indicated that Jesus told the 70 disciples what they were to say and do, just like the 12 apostles in chapter 9:4. They were to say (εἴπατε), in the street of any town that did not welcome them, that they they were going to wipe off even the dust (Καὶ τὸν κονιορτὸν) of their town (ἐκ τῆς πόλεως) that clung to their feet (τὸν κολληθέντα ἡμῖν…εἰς τοὺς πόδας), as a protest against them (ἀπομασσόμεθα ὑμῖν). Nevertheless, they should know (πλὴν τοῦτο γινώσκετε) that the kingdom of God has come near (ὅτι ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ). Earlier Luke, chapter 9:4, had indicated that Jesus said to his 12 apostle that wherever town did not welcome them, as they were leaving that town, they were to shake the dust off their feet as a testimony or witness against them. Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:14-15, and Mark, chapter 6:11. Mark indicated that Jesus said that if any place would not receive them or listen to their words, they were to leave that place. They should shake off the dust from their feet, as a witness or testimony against them. This indicated that the dust of that house was useless. Despite their unwelcome attitude, Jesus wanted these 70 disciples to let the people of this town know that the kingdom of God was near. Have you ever shaken the dust of your feet in front of anyone as a protest?
Luke indicated that Jesus told these 70 disciples to heal the sick people (καὶ θεραπεύετε τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ ἀσθενεῖς). There was no mention of casting out demons or evil spirits. They were to tell the people (καὶ λέγετε αὐτοῖς) that the kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ) had come near to them (Ἤγγικεν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς). There was no exact equivalent to this passage in the other gospels. However, Matthew, chapter 10:8 said that the 12 apostles were to do what Jesus had been doing. They were to heal or cure the sick or ailing people. They were to raise up the dead, a difficult task. They were to cleanse the lepers, and cast out the demons. Since they had not paid to get this gift to be an apostle, so thus they should not receive any payment for their work as an apostle. They should give freely of their own time since this was not a money-making project. The idea of the kingdom of God coming near was also present in Matthew, chapter 10:7. There, Jesus wanted the 12 apostles to go and proclaim that the kingdom of heaven was at hand or near. This was exactly the same teaching as John the Baptist, word for word, as in Matthew, chapter 3:2. This connection of the message of John and Jesus was very strong in Matthew. Luke was more precise, since the kingdom of God was coming near, they ought to be alert. Do you think that the kingdom of God is close at hand?
Luke indicated that Jesus said to the 70 disciples that they were to remain in the same house (ἐν αὐτῇ δὲ τῇ οἰκίᾳ μένετε). They should eat (ἔσθοντες) and drink (καὶ πίνοντες) whatever they were provided (τὰ παρ’ αὐτῶν). Jesus said that the laborer deserved to be paid or was worthy of his wages (ἄξιος γὰρ ὁ ἐργάτης τοῦ μισθοῦ αὐτοῦ). They were not to move around (μὴ μεταβαίνετε) from house to house (ἐξ οἰκίας εἰς οἰκίαν). This is similar to what Luke, chapter 9:4 indicated that Jesus said to his 12 apostles. There Jesus told the apostles that whatever house they entered, they were to stay there and leave from there. Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:11, and Mark, chapter 6:10. Mark indicated that Jesus had a very simple message about where to stay. Wherever they entered a house, they should stay there in one place until they left. They should not switch places. Matthew also had Jesus give a very simple message about where to stay when they entered a town or village. They should try to find a place to stay with someone who was worthy, honorable, or suitable. They should not switch places. They should stay in that one place until they left. They were not to go wandering around. Find a suitable person and place! Then stay there! This message to the 12 apostles and 70 disciples was the same. Matthew, chapter 10:10 also indicated that these laborers deserved their food, just like Luke here. Luke even indicated that they should eat and drink whatever they get, and not be picky. Where do you stay when you travel?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that if there was a son of peace (καὶ ἐὰν ἐκεῖ ᾖ υἱὸς εἰρήνης) or anyone there who shared in peace, their peace would rest or remain on that person (ἐπαναπαήσεται ἐπ’ αὐτὸν ἡ εἰρήνη ὑμῶν). But if not (εἰ δὲ μήγε), that peace would return to them (ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς ἀνακάμψει). Matthew, chapter 10:13, had something similar when Jesus was talking to his 12 apostles before their missionary expedition. If there were worthy people or the house was worthy, they should let their peace come upon them. However, if they are not worthy or deserving, their peace should return or turn back to them, the same as Luke here. I am not sure how you would get your peace greeting revoked in some way. Have you ever been mad because someone did not return you peace greeting?
Luke said that Jesus told the 70 disciples that whatever house they entered (εἰς ἣν δ’ ἂν εἰσέλθητε οἰκίαν), they were first to say (πρῶτον λέγετε) “Peace be to this house (Εἰρήνη τῷ οἴκῳ τούτῳ)”. The early followers of Jesus were to bring peace not strife, but this was a standard greeting anyway. Matthew, 10:12 had Jesus give these same simple instructions to the 12 apostles. As they went into a house, they were to greet or pay respects to the people in the house. This was only common sense. You had to respect, greet, and bring peace to the people in whose house you entered. How do you greet people?
Luke indicated that Jesus gave these 70 special disciples nearly the same message that he had given to his 12 apostles. Jesus told them not to carry (μὴ βαστάζετε) any purse (βαλλάντιον) or bag (μὴ πήραν). They were not to wear sandals (μὴ ὑποδήματα) and not greet anyone on the road (καὶ μηδένα κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν ἀσπάσησθε). Earlier Luke, chapter 9:3, indicated that Jesus told the 12 apostles to take nothing for their journey. Here it was almost the same admonition for these 70 special missionary disciples. However, there was the further admonition of not to greet people on the road that seemed a little inhospitable. However, they had an urgent message that meant that there should be no distractions along the way. There was no mention of bread, a staff, or tunics here for the 70 disciples. Equivalent passages about the 12 apostles can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:9-10, and Mark, chapter 6:8-9. Mark indicated that Jesus instructed the 12 apostles that they should not bring anything for their journey. They could only bring a staff or walking stick, but they could not bring any bread, a bag or a sack, or money in their belts. However, all 3 synoptics agreed that they did not need two tunics, since one would be enough. Matthew indicated that Jesus told the 12 apostles that they were not to bring with them any gold, silver, or copper, in their money belts, since they did not need money. This was similar to what Mark had said about not bringing any money belts. They were not to take any bag or sack for their journey. They were not to take two tunics, since one would be enough. They were not to take any sandals or a staff. This was a very strong demand on these 12 missionaries of Jesus. The same demand was expected of these 70 disciples on this 2nd missionary journey. Would you be able to carry out these instructions as a missionary for Jesus Christ?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that they were to go on their way (ὑπάγετε). He was going to send them out (ἰδοὺ ἀποστέλλω ὑμᾶς) as lambs (ὡς ἄρνας) in the middle of wolves (ἐν μέσῳ λύκων). There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 10:16, perhaps indicating a Q source. This was part of the remarks that Jesus gave as the admonitions to his 12 apostles. Matthew indicated that Jesus was going to send them out like sheep in the middle of wolves. Luke did not mention as Matthew had that Jesus told them that they had to be as wise, intelligent, shrewd, or sensible as serpents. At the same time, they had to be as innocent, simple, unsophisticated, sincere, or blameless, as doves. This was a tall order. Here there was a simple statement without any explanation. Are you more like a lamb or a wolf?
Luke indicated that Jesus said to these 70 disciples (ἔλεγεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς) that the harvest was plentiful (Ὁ μὲν θερισμὸς πολύς), but the work men or laborers were few (οἱ δὲ ἐργάται ὀλίγοι). Therefore, they should pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest (δεήθητε οὖν τοῦ Κυρίου τοῦ θερισμοῦ) to send out more laborers or work men into his harvest (ὅπως ἐργάτας ἐκβάλῃ εἰς τὸν θερισμὸν αὐτοῦ). This saying about the laborers for the harvest is nearly the same, as in Matthew, chapter 9:37-38, indicating a probable Q source. However, there Jesus spoke to his disciples, right before he appointed and commissioned his 12 apostles. He told them that the harvest was plentiful, but there were few field laborers. He wanted them to request or pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out more field laborers into his harvest field. The Father is the Lord of the harvest. Are you willing to work for the Lord of the harvest?