Songs and Praise
   

 
 
 

Less 118 THE SEVENTY DISCIPLES SENT OUT

 
Luke 10:1-24;

Lesson 118 Senior Lessons

MEMORY VERSE:  "The harvest truly Is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest" (Luke 10:2).

I Commission of the Seventy Disciples

The 70 disciples were appointed and sent two and two into the cities and the places to work miracles and preach, Luke 10:1 The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few, Luke 10:2; Matthew 9:37; John 4:35-38 Jesus warned His messengers of the dangers of their mission, Luke 10:3; Matthew 10:16-23; Ezekiel 2:3-7 They were to carry no provisions for their journey, but Jesus promised they would find peace and sustenance as they labored, Luke 10:4-8; I Corinthians 9:13, 14; Galatians 6:9; Psalm 126:6 The people who refused to hear and heed were forewarned of im¬pending judgment, Luke 10:9-12; Acts 13:49-52; 18:5, 6

II Three Cities Rebuked

Chorazin and Bethsaida had much light, Luke 10:13; Matthew 11:21 Tyre and Sidon, wicked cities of antiquity, will fare better at the judgment than Chorazin and Bethsaida, Luke 10:14 Proud Capernaum, Jesus' headquarters, was doomed to ignoble de¬feat, Luke 10:15; Matthew 4:13

III The Joy of the Seventy

The importance of their message was revealed, Luke 10:16; John 13:20; 14:21 The 70 returned with joy:. even the devils were subject unto them through the Lord's name, Luke 10:17; Romans 16:20; James 5:13-15; I John 3:8 The disciples were cautioned to rejoice because their names were written in Heaven rather than because the spirits were subject to them, Luke 10: 18-20; Revelation 20: 12,15; 21:27; Malachi 3: 16,17 Jesus also rejoiced in spirit because these things had been accom¬plished, Luke 10:21, 22; Philippians 2:9-11 Blessed were those who saw in Him the Messiah, Luke 10:23, 24

NOTES

Other Seventy

'The Lord appointed other seventy also.' One might think, on read¬ing the words 'other seventy,' that a similar group had been sent out previously. This is not true, however. Saint Luke evidently had in mind the twelve Apostles who had been commissioned and sent out prior to this time (Matthew 10:1-23; Luke 9:1-6).


Probably Jesus would have sent others had He found those who were willing to go. The Bible records, 'For many are called, but few are chosen' (Matthew 22:14). In Luke 9:56-62, we read about several who were called, possibly in anticipation of this very group's being commissioned to go forth with the Gospel. The Scripture does not say whether they followed Jesus or not, but it does say they had excuses to offer. We know that those who are making excuses today are getting nowhere along the highway of holiness.


Paul the Apostle writes of the Christians in his ministry. In the letter to the Hebrews he wrote, 'For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first prin¬ciples of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.' Jesus must have found the same situation among His followers. He gave the multitude strong meat; and, on one occasion found, when He had finished talking, that only the twelve Apostles re¬mained with Him. 'Will ye also go away?' He asked 'Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God' (John 6:67-69).

Need for Laborers

No, Jesus had not sent a previous 70. His great compassionate heart must have longed to do so. He realized the need for more laborers, be¬cause He commanded these to pray as they labored. There is a secular song that says, 'Whistle while you work,' but Jesus admonished His disciples to pray while they worked. 'Pray without ceasing,' is what Paul wrote to the Thessalonians. He was only reiterating what Jesus had told the people, faint' (Luke 18:1). These laborers were to pray for more laborers. The Lord knew if He could win men's hearts, He could gather the world-wide harvest satisfactorily.


Surely there is no need or excuse to stand 'all the day idle.' The Master of the vineyard is continually calling those who will work for Him. What are the wages? — infinitely more than any other employer can pay. 'Whatsoever is right I will give you.' 'And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together' (John 4:36). You care not for that kind of wages? There is only one alternative: 'For the wages of sin is death' (Romans 6:23).


The 70 disciples were among the first Christian missionaries. They were to go 'into every city and place, whither he himself would come.' In reading this verse of Scripture, we can learn of Jesus' plan for enlight¬ening the world. As the disciples journeyed they declared the Gospel of the Kingdom. This aroused the people to a state of expectancy; and when Jesus came to them, the common people, at least, heard Him gladly. Multi¬tudes, people in all walks of life, often thronged Him in the places He visited.

Plan of Redemption

Jesus' plan is still the same today. Before Jesus can enter the heart of a man, somebody must tell that man the Story. Before He can enter a city or place, a messenger of the Cross must precede Him. Someone may say, 'Read the Bible, follow its instructions, and you will be saved.' This is true, because the Bible is God's message to men; it is the revelation of Himself to the world. It is, then, a messenger in itself. Even so, a man's being saved by reading the Word alone is the exception rather than the rule. Do we find many being redeemed in this manner even in enlightened America? How much less is this true in heathen darkness, where the only religion that is known is that of superstition and devil worship? 'How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?' (Romans 10:14). In some instances a few words will suffice, in other cases years of prayerful labor are required to bring a soul to Christ. One thing is sure: if we are faithful in telling the Redemption Story to men, Jesus will come also.

'Down through the ages 'twas e'er the same,
Always a faithful band
Told the sweet story of Jesus' love,
Told of Redemption's plan.'

Worthy Workmen

The disciples were not to go out heavily laden; they were not to carry purse, scrip, nor shoes. They were to trust God for their maintenance. The citizens of the country who were worthy (Matthew 10:11) would receive them until they were ready to depart again. These disciples were messen¬gers of grace, laborers in the Lord's harvest; therefore their provisions and necessities of life were provided. Jesus said, 'The labourer is worthy of his hire.' These are true laborers and not hirelings. We find in the Bible in¬stances of God's disdain for the hireling — the one who uses the Gospel to gain the things of this world (John 10:12, 13; Ezekiel 34:1-10).


The 70 were warned that their reception would not always be favor¬able. He sent them out as sheep among wolves. They were to be meek, harm¬less, and defenseless in themselves. They were to be wise and sincere, but not to expose themselves to needless dangers. `Be ye therefore wise as ser¬pents, and harmless as doves' (Matthew 10:16). When persecution arose, they were to flee to another city. This was not a cowardly flight, but a prudent withdrawal because of rejection, that the Gospel might be heralded to wider areas. Jesus told them that even so they would not have gone 'over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come' (Matthew 10:23).

The Seventy Return

It was with triumphant joy that the 70 returned, saying, 'Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name ' It is the natural tend¬ency for man to glory in power, whether that power is inherent or con¬ferred. The Apostles and disciples sometimes showed a disposition to glory in their successes. This arose from pride and would hinder, if not destroy, the real work that God had committed to them. Jesus was always quick to show them the error and solemnly warn them of the danger: 'Notwith¬standing in this rejcice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but
rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.' We must receive the same admonition today if we expect to do anything pr God.


There is no room for pride in God's plan for man. There is in pride the act of taking from God His glory. God does all the acts of good and power; He uses man only as His instrument. As sure as a Christian begins to take to himself the glory of his feats and triumphs, God will lay him level with the dust. 'God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble' (James 4:6). Pride must be cast adrift before God can visit us with favor, for no grace comes to the proud. Humility is the grace that attracts more grace.

The Place of Rejoicing

'Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.' We can see, then, a place for rejoicing in the Gospel. Jesus did not wish to deter the disciples from rejoicing; He wanted only to guide it into the right channels. Their rejoicing was to be Heaven-born and not of a carnal nature: 'Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory' (I Peter 1:8).


God has laid no embargo upon rejoicing. He puts no restraint upon happiness so long as it springs from heavenly fountains. 'Rejoice ever¬more,' the Bible tells us. 'Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.' This is the greatest thing that can happen to mortal man; therefore let us give God the glory and honor due His name. 'I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out' (Luke 19:40) .

QUESTIONS

1 Had any persons other than the 70 disciples been sent out?
2 How many laborers were there for the harvest?
3 Were the disciples sure of a welcome?
4 What provisions were they to take?
5 Did Jesus give them a message to preach? What was it?
6 Did the Lord help the disciples in their work?
7 Were the disciples rejoicing when they returned? What about?
8 What did Jesus tell them to rejoice about?

 
   
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