The Great Commission tells us to go out and make disciples [Matthew 28.19]. Jesus' instructions to the disciples as he sends them out in Luke 10, tells us how he wants us to do it.
Here is a brief outline of the directions that Jesus gave to the 72 disciples:
- Jesus sent the disciples out 2 by 2. [verse 1]
- He sent them ahead of where He was going soon. [verse 1] Therefore, He had a strategy, which he prepared in advance of sending out the disciples.
- The harvest is plentiful. So, pray for workers.[verse 2]
- Sent the disciples out as lambs among wolves. [verse 3. See also: Matthew 5. 5, 9; 1 Cor. 8.9; 2 Cor. 12.10]
- Don't prepare too much. [verse 4]
- Don't get distracted or diverted. [verse 4]
- Bless the place as you enter. [verse 5] Christians bear the peace of Christ and it is evident to those around them. [see 2 Cor. 2.14-17]
- Invest in those who are receptive (the Person of Peace). [verses 6 - 9] Note the warning not to go from house to house [verse 7b]. Jesus places a higher value on building relationships than the numbers oriented approaches that are so common to present day ministries. A thousand flyers passed out is not as important as one real relationship.
- Graciously receive the host's hospitality. [verses 7-8] The disciple isn't the only one with something to offer. Christians should beware of arrogance, and be eager to get to know the Person of Peace. (Remember how dishonoring it feels to have someone monologue about themselves and their interests while never listening to you, nor asking you any questions.)
- Heal the sick. (Note: some of "the sick" seemed to be those troubled by demons.) [See verse 17]
- Proclaim: "the Kingdom of God has come near to you." [verses 9, 11] (note: Jesus emphasizes this twice!) Jesus' disciples are ambassadors and heralds proclaiming the nearness of God's Kingdom [2 Cor. 5.20. Cp Luke 10.16]
- Don't waste time with those who are not receptive. [verses 10 & 11]
- It is tragic for those who are not receptive.[verses 12-15]
- Jesus gives His disciples spiritual authority to speak in His name. [verse 16, 19]
- The greatest joy of the disciple is that Jesus has guaranteed our citizenship in heaven [verse 20]