Jesus sent out the 70 “as lambs in the midst of wolves.” What do we know about the 70 “lambs,” and what can we learn from them?
The only thing we know about them as people is that none were of the 12, because Luke 10:1 tells us: “After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also.” (As a bit of an aside, if any of the 12 thought they had any priority access to Kingdom authority, the sending out of 70 relatively untrained “others” will have dealt with that one!) Some of them might have only just joined the crowd of followers when the “great multitude” met Jesus after the transfiguration; some may have been among the 5,000 that were fed not long beforehand. We don’t know; but what we do know is that they were all either total or relative rookies. Yet they came back saying, “even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
What do we learn from their exploits?
For their part, they had to rely totally on God for provision -“Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals …And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the labourer is worthy of his wages.” Also they had to stay focussed on their mission and avoid all distractions – “and greet no one along the road.”
For the Lord’s part, He gave them the anointing of His Spirit, and the authority of His Kingdom rule in the command to heal the sick and declare that the Kingdom of God had come near through them. We don’t know why He picked that particular 70, except that they were “babes” as opposed to the “wise and prudent.” But they were babes with authority – “the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy,” and their names were written in Heaven. No wonder Jesus rejoiced when they came back: He had just seen a microcosm of His Church in action.
So to be effective lambs bringing the Kingdom of God into the wolf-pack we need to trust Him completely for for three things:
The supply of His provision to meet our own material needs,
The supply of His anointing the meet the spiritual and physical needs of others,
The understanding and awareness of His authority to manifest Kingdom rule through our ministry.
That’s it. No qualifications, no probationary period, no minimum length of service; just faith, authority in the name of Jesus, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
And finally, we have to be sure that we really are going as lambs. Are there any “wolfish” aspects to our own characters? We need to spend time in the presence of the Lamb Himself, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal them, because they allow the “power of the enemy” into our own lives. The good news is that we have the authority of the name of Jesus to trample over them. That is something we all need to do, whenever wolfishness rises up.
The fields are white unto harvest. Are we ready? Baaa!