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?
There is something similar in Luke, chapter 11:39-40, but Jesus was eating with the Pharisees there. Here, Jesus continued to curse the Pharisees and the Scribes, much like earlier in verses 13, 14, and 15. The first part of this diatribe is exactly the same as those earlier verses. Woe to you (Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν)! Scribes (γραμματεῖς)! Woe to you! Pharisees (καὶ Φαρισαῖοι)! Hypocrites (ὑποκριταί)! There is no doubt that here Jesus was cursing the Scribes and the Pharisees. This time it was against the Pharisees for their impure hearts or intentions. They cleaned the outside of the cup and the plate (ὅτι καθαρίζετε τὸ ἔξωθεν τοῦ ποτηρίου καὶ τῆς παροψίδος), but let the inside remain full of greed or robbery and self-indulgence (ἔσωθεν δὲ γέμουσιν ἐξ ἁρπαγῆς καὶ ἀκρασίας). Jesus called them blind Pharisees (Φαρισαῖε τυφλέ). He reminded them to first clean the inside of their cups and their plates (ὅτι καθαρίζετε τὸ ἔξωθεν τοῦ ποτηρίου καὶ τῆς παροψίδος,). Then. the outside would be clean also (ἵνα γένηται καὶ τὸ ἐκτὸς αὐτοῦ καθαρόν). Their interior heart was important.
On that special day, there was the wish to have an open fountain for the house of David and the people of Jerusalem, so that they would be able to cleanse their sins and impurities. This is a rare mention of a cleansing fountain that would become a mainstay of Christianity.
Yahweh, via Ezekiel, wanted them to purify the sanctuary on the 1st day of the 1st month. In other words, this would be a New Year’s Day activity. They were to take an unblemished bull and use him to cleanse the sanctuary at the start of the new year. The priest should take some of the blood from the sin offering and put it on the doorposts of the Temple, as well as the four corners of the altar ledge and the posts of the gate of the inner court. The priest was also supposed to do this same ritual on the 7th day of the month for anyone who sinned inadvertently by error or ignorance. This purification ritual of the first day of the first month of the year would make an atonement for the Temple, so that it would be purified.
The house of Israel was to spend 7 months burying the men with Gog, so that they could cleanse the land of Israel and its people. These grave diggers would gain honor on the day when Yahweh was going to show his glory. These body searchers would be set apart to pass through the land continually. They would bury any remains they found. Anyone who saw a human bone was to set up a sign by it, until these buriers buried them in the Valley of Hamon-gog or the city Hamonah, next to it. Thus, the land would be cleansed by removing these dead bodies in 7 months.
Yahweh, via Ezekiel, laid down the law. There was to be no more idol worship. They were never again to defile themselves with all these detestable things. There would be no more transgressions. Yahweh was going to save them from the various evil ways or apostasies that they had fallen into. Yahweh was going to cleanse them. Thus, they might be truly his people. Yahweh was going to be their God. There would not be any questions about this.
Once again there is another oracle that Yahweh gave to Ezekiel, the son of man. He was to tell the people of Jerusalem that they were a land that was not clean. There was no rain to cleanse them on the day of Yahweh’s indignation.
Yahweh was going to heal Israel and Judah. He was going to help the city of Jerusalem to recover. They would have an abundance of prosperity and security in Jerusalem. Both the fortunes of the towns in Judah and among the northern Israelites would be rebuilt for them like it used to be. Yahweh was going to cleanse them from the guilt of all their sins against him. He was going to forgive their rebellion against him. Jerusalem would become a name of joy, praise, and glory for the whole world to see. Everyone would know about Jerusalem and the good that Yahweh had done for them. In fact, they would tremble and fear at all the good prosperity that he had provided for them. There were great days ahead.
The enemy is coming like a series of clouds. His chariots are like tornado winds. His horses are quicker than eagles. Jerusalem will be ruined. The only way that they can be saved is if they cleanse their heart of wickedness. Their evil schemes are so much a part of their life that it will be difficult to get rid of them quickly.
Jeremiah has another oracle of Yahweh about the unfaithfulness of Israel. It is just not recently. Long ago, they threw off the yoke of Yahweh and burst out of their bonds, since they said that they would not serve. They ran to every high mountain and under the green oak trees to worship false gods. They lay there sprawling and playing the whore or prostitute. Yahweh had planted them as a vineyard from the purest stock. However, they had become degenerate and a wild vine. No amount of lye or soap could cleanse them from this stain of guilt. What was he to do with these unfaithful Israelites?