After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. (Luke 10:1, NKJV)
When I travel, I always intend to travel light, but I can’t say I succeed. A couple I know packed for a trip of several days in one carryon. Not one each—only one. It wasn’t even heavy. I was so tempted to ask just what they packed in that single bag. It amazed me that they could travel with so little. When I’m struggling with a heavy piece of luggage, I feel a bit envious of those who have mastered how to travel light.
Luke 10 tells the story of Jesus sending out seventy men (some translations say seventy-two) to places He would soon visit. His instructions to the seventy were similar to those He gave the twelve in Matthew 10 and Luke 9. As He sent them out, He wanted them to travel light. Or, to be more precise, they were to go emptyhanded. No extra clothes, no money, and no food for eating along the way.
Greet No One
When sending these men, Jesus even told them to not greet anyone along the way. That seemed strange, even a bit unfriendly, and I often wondered why. But then I began to better understand the things He told them. Jesus knew the task was urgent and His time on earth was short. Luke 10:2 says, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few.” There was no time for His messengers to be encumbered with things or delayed by others. As they went out, they would also learn to trust God’s provision instead of their own resources.
We know the names of the twelve disciples, but Scripture does not identify the seventy. We may never know who they are, but Jesus entrusted them with the important task of going into the various cities of Israel to prepare them for the Lord’s coming. Their ministry was twofold. Jesus told them, “And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you’” (verse 9).
Working the Harvest
I can see so many parallels between the seventy messengers and us today. Perhaps we could accomplish more for the Lord if we learned to travel light, if we were less concerned about material things and the opinions of others. The harvest is still great and there is still a shortage of workers. God has a place for each of us to fill, souls for us to reach. It’s kingdom work. We must travel light so we do not become distracted while fulfilling our mission. We must reach out to the sin-sick souls of our world and tell them that the kingdom of God has come near them.
The Lord sends us, His modern-day disciples, and assures us, “He who hears you hears Me” (Luke 10:16, NKJV).
Lord, help me to fulfill the mission You have given me. You have called each of us to work in Your harvest. Time is short and the workers are few. Help us to stay focused on Your mission and not allow the distractions of the world to pull us away from the harvest.