5 Lessons About Jesus Sending Out The Seventy-Two

5 Lessons About Jesus Sending Out The Seventy-Two August 22, 2018

How does Jesus’ sending out the 72 apply to Christians today? Are there lessons we can gain from their experience and Jesus’ instructions?

Two by Two

I remember one old preacher telling the church that they either evangelize or fossilize. They had no outreach. They had no mission’s board. In fact, they expected the pastor to do all the evangelizing, sending him out instead of going out themselves, but he’s not supposed to do it alone. It says that “the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go” (Luke 10:1). To see exactly what we can learn from Jesus’ sending out the 72 to preach the gospel and the practical application for believers today, we’ll go verse by verse, so first of all, in verse one, Jesus sends them out “two by two,” not one by one. Perhaps it’s best that one person witness while the other prays, plus there are two as a witness, and it’s safer with two than with one. The Bible also speaks that two are better than one (Eccl 4:9), and that by two witnesses, a thing is established (2 Cor 13:1; Deut 19:15). What I find interesting is Jesus sends these men out to go ahead of Him to places that He will later go. The point is, Jesus is responsible for what happens after the gospel has been proclaimed because God gives the increase (1 Cor 3:6), not us.

Pray for Laborers

Chip Ingram (Living on the Edge Ministries) once said that only 1 in 10 is an active witness for Christ, and had lead at least one person to faith in Christ. That means 9 out of 10 believers don’t’ share their faith actively. Apparently, that was a problem in Jesus’ day too because “he said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest’” (Luke 10:2). Most of the time, believers don’t witness because of the fear of man over the fear God, but by our silence, we can actually deny Christ by refusing to share the gospel. We are sometimes more concerned about our being rejected or ridiculed than we are about the eternal state of the person’s soul. Jesus says the solution is to pray for more laborers, but also to enter into the labor, because the harvest is so huge and the laborers are so few. It can be discouraging.

Trust in God

Next, Jesus tells the seventy-two to “Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves” (Luke 10:3). He wants them to learn to trust God, even though He is sending them in harm’s way. Jesus wants them to be dependent upon God for their safety and provision, and so He tells them, “Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road” (Heb 10:4). The seventy-two must not only be aware that they’re going into enemy territory (Satan’s world), but they must trust God with providing for their needs and not be depending upon their own resources. We also note that Jesus told them to not get engaged in conversations along the way because they’re on a mission…a great commission from Jesus Himself and He didn’t want them to get distracted.


Jesus tells them that “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’” (Luke 10:5), and then “remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house” (Luke 10:7). They are then to say, “Peace be to this house.” By Jesus saying, “if a son of peace is there,” it may mean that there is someone who is open to the gospel, and if so, that would be the best place to stay, because “the laborer deserves his wages” (Luke 10:7).


In Luke 10:10-12, Jesus tells them that “whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.” Why would it be more tolerable for Sodom than for those who reject Jesus Christ? It’s because we have more light today. More people have heard the gospel than ever before, but the Jews had heard and seen Jesus and seen His miracles, so they had no excuse. Sodom never had that great of a witness. Many have heard the gospel explained and know what’s required and yet still reject it, over and over again. They are more accountable for their rejection of Christ because Jesus was not able to preach in Sodom, but almost everyone on earth has at least heard of His name today. Besides, mankind is without excuse, because in his heart, he knows that God exists. They simply suppress this knowledge (Rom 1:18-20).


Jesus is still sending out men and women today. He often does so two by two, but He knows the laborers are still few that we need to continue to pray for more laborers. And then we need to take the gospel into the whole world (or at least next door), knowing that some will reject it, but some will accept it. One thing we must recognize is that God is the true evangelist (John 6:44). God alone saves, and He only saves only through Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12), so salvation cannot be earned (Eph 2:8-9), but we must also recognize the fact that God gives the increase to the church. I believe that takes the pressure off of our witnessing. We are not responsible for saving anyone; we are responsible for telling everyone. It’s not their response to our ability; it is their response to His ability, even though it’s our responsibility to tell them.

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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  • HpO

    Dear brother Jack,

    You can count me in that stats from “Chip Ingram … that only 1 in 10 is an active witness for Christ”, from the 1st time I became a born-from-above, fired-up and die-hard follower of THE Christ Jesus of the gospels, epistles and revelation – enduring the cross that I carry in my life of faith in response to the ransoming Fatherly love of God through the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of His own beloved Son, Jesus, the Messiah of Israel and the savior of the rest of the world. However, that said, I can tell you from experience that the core problem with Bible Christians & Bible Churches today is no longer that “9 out of 10 believers don’t’ share their faith actively.” But that, let me spell it out for your edification:


    • Jack Wellman

      Thank you. Our church has a prison ministry, a nursing home ministry, an outreach to the poor, as well as a few other things based upon Matt 25:35-36) as we seek to do it unto Him (Matt 25:40) as opposed to not doing anything (Matt 25:41- ). Many churches are dead, but not ours and the Southern Baptist in our town is helping many people too. That’s spelled out too by facts, at least for the two churches in our small town.

      • pud

        You lie all over the place don’t you jack?

      • HpO

        Neither of the following “facts” changes THE fact that the world rejects Jesus and the church is dead:

        (1) The fact that “[y]our church has a prison ministry, a nursing home ministry, an outreach to the poor, as well as a few other things”.

        (2) The fact that “[y]ours and the Southern Baptist in our town is helping many people”.

        Dead churches do (1) and (2) all the time.

        • Jack Wellman

          Thank you for your comment, but “Do dead men and dead women walk?” No! They walk in the works God has appointed for them to walk in (EPh 2:10).

          • HpO

            Brother Jack Wellman, why have you been dismissing and contradicting these many condemning truths about us born-again Christians & our born-again Christian churches?

            Mark 3:29-30 – “[Each one of us] blasphemes against the Holy Spirit … because [we a]re saying, ‘[Jesus] has an unclean spirit'”!

            Luke 8:13-14 – “[We] are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; [we] believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. [We] are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity”!

            Luke 9:58, 62 – “[Having[ nowhere to lay [our] head[s … we have been] putting [our] hand to the plow and looking back [away from] the kingdom of God”!

            John 15:6 – “[Each] one [of us] does not abide in [Jesus]”!

            2 Corinthians 13:5 – “[We] do … not recognize this about [our]selves, that Jesus Christ is in [us]”!

            Hebrews 2:1, 3 – “[From] what we have heard, we drift away … We neglect so great a salvation”!

            Hebrews 6:4-6 – “[We] have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, but then have fallen away … [Everyone now] yields thorns and thistles, … is worthless and close to being cursed, and … ends up being burned”!

            Hebrews 10:26, 29 – “We go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth … [and] ha[ve] trampled under foot the Son of God, and ha[ve] regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which [we] w[ere] sanctified, and ha[ve] insulted the Spirit of grace”!

            2 Peter 2:18-22 – “Speaking out arrogant words of vanity [we] entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while [we our]selves are slaves of corruption; for by what [we have] overcome, by this [we are] enslaved. … After [we] have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, [we] are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state ha[ving] become worse for them than the first. … Hav[ing] known the way of righteousness, [we] turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. It has happened to [us] according to the true proverb, ‘A dog returns to its own vomit,’ and, ‘A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire'”!

          • Jack Wellman

            You adding so [much] with brackets that [it’s] hard to tell what are [your words inserted] and what is straight scripture. We are told to “go”…evangelize or fossilize, but obviously, not everyone is obeying this command (or like you), not understanding Scripture. I suggest a good study Bible for you.

          • HpO

            I gave you Mark 3:29-30, Luke 8:13-14, Luke 9:58, 62, John 15:6, 2 Corinthians 13:5, Hebrews 2:1, 3, Hebrews 6:4-6, Hebrews 10:26, 29, and 2 Peter 2:18-22. And you tell me, “I suggest a good study Bible for you.” Good idea, how about Mark 3:29-30, Luke 8:13-14, Luke 9:58, 62, John 15:6, 2 Corinthians 13:5, Hebrews 2:1, 3, Hebrews 6:4-6, Hebrews 10:26, 29, and 2 Peter 2:18-22?

    • pud

      The sooner the better! “Faith” is THE most dishonest position anyone can hold.

  • pud

    “Jesus is still sending out men and women today.”


    Demonstrate that any “jesus” ever existed, was a deity, did or said anything that you claim…..

    It is so fundamentally STUPID to construct a scenario where the ALL POWERFUL gawd, in some other form, who impregnated a virgin with himself as a sacrifice to himself as a loophole for oversights he himself had, NEEDS you lowly bumpkins running around knocking on doors to propagate this STUPID narrative.

    It is something only the MOST credulous, gullible, STUPID person could embrace.

  • Guestie

    What I always found intriguing about this story was Jesus’ apathy about the people who would be encountered along the way. Why were the 72 specifically directed to not evangelize people they met during their travels?

    • Jack Wellman

      The Bible never says they weren’t to evangelize with anyone in their travels but not stop and converse with others on their way to where Jesus sent them.

      • Guestie

        Here’s Jesus specifically telling the 72 not to evangelize the people they met on their travels:

        ““Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road” (Heb 10:4).

        Or are you suggesting that the 72 were evangelizing even though they were not stopping and conversing? Maybe they were shouting out loud as they walked but wouldn’t listen to anything anyone else said? It is pretty clear that Jesus isn’t concerned with the people on road.

        • pud

          Tell us exactly who wrote those words down as they were spoken. Not who wrote the story in the story book but who actually took dictation

    • pud

      It’s a STORY from a STORY BOOK that’s why.