The Lord appointed other seventy - Rather, seventy others, not other seventy, as our translation has it, which seems to intimate that he had appointed seventy before this time, though, probably, the word other has a reference to the twelve chosen first: he not only chose twelve disciples to be constantly with him; but he chose seventy others to go before him. Our blessed Lord formed every thing in his Church on the model of the Jewish Church; and why? Because it was the pattern shown by God himself, the Divine form, which pointed out the heavenly substance which now began to be established in its place. As he before had chosen twelve apostles, in reference to the twelve patriarchs, who were the chiefs of the twelve tribes, and the heads of the Jewish Church, he now publicly appointed (for so the word ανεδειξεν means) seventy others, as Moses did the seventy elders whom he associated with himself to assist him in the government of the people. Exodus 18:19; Exodus 24:1-9. These Christ sent by two and two:
Several MSS. and versions have seventy-two. Sometimes the Jews chose six out of each tribe: this was the number of the great Sanhedrin. The names of these seventy disciples are found in the margin of some ancient MSS., but this authority is questionable.
After these things - After the appointment of the twelve apostles, and the transactions recorded in the previous chapters.
Other seventy - Seventy others besides the apostles. They were appointed for a different purpose from the apostles. The apostles were to be with him; to hear his instructions; to be witnesses of his miracles, his sufferings, his death, his resurrection and ascension, that they might “then” go and proclaim all these things to the world. The seventy were sent out to preach immediately, and chiefly where he himself was about to come. They were appointed for a temporary object. They were to go into the villages and towns, and prepare the way for his coming. The number “seventy” was a favorite number among the Jews. Thus, the family of Jacob that came into Egypt consisted of seventy, Genesis 46:27. The number of elders that Moses appointed to aid him was the same, Numbers 11:16, Numbers 11:25. The number which composed the great Sanhedrin, or council of the nation. was the same. It is not improbable that our Saviour appointed this number with reference to the fact that it so often occurred among the Jews, or after the example of Moses, who appointed seventy to aid him in his work; but it is evident that the office was “temporary” - that it had a specific design - and of course that it would be improper to attempt to find now a “continuation” of it, or a parallel to it, in the Christian ministry.
Two and two - There was much wisdom in sending them in this manner. It was done, doubtless, that they might aid one another by mutual counsel, and that they might sustain and comfort one another in their persecutions and trials. Our Lord in this showed the propriety of having “a religious friend,” who would be a confidant and help. Every Christian, and especially every Christian minister, needs such a friend, and should seek some one to whom he can unbosom himself, and with whom he can mingle his feelings and prayers.
During His ministry, Jesus had kept constantly before the disciples the fact that they were to be one with Him in His work for the recovery of the world from the slavery of sin. When He sent forth the Twelve and afterward the Seventy, to proclaim the kingdom of God, He was teaching them their duty to impart to others what He had made known to them. In all His work He was training them for individual labor, to be extended as their numbers increased, and eventually to reach to the uttermost parts of the earth. The last lesson He gave His followers was that they held in trust for the world the glad tidings of salvation. AA 32.1
When the time came for Christ to ascend to His Father, He led the disciples out as far as Bethany. Here He paused, and they gathered about Him. With hands outstretched in blessing, as if in assurance of His protecting care, He slowly ascended from among them. “It came to pass, while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.” Luke 24:51. AA 32.2
While the disciples were gazing upward to catch the last glimpse of their ascending Lord, He was received into the rejoicing ranks of heavenly angels. As these angels escorted Him to the courts above, they sang in triumph, “Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord, to Him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens.... Ascribe ye strength unto God: His excellency is over Israel, and His strength is in the heavens.” Psalm 68:32-34, margin. AA 32.3Read in context »
The importance of making our way in the great cities is still kept before me. For many years the Lord has been urging upon us this duty, and yet we see but comparatively little accomplished in our great centers of population. If we do not take up this work in a determined manner, Satan will multiply difficulties which will not be easy to surmount. We are far behind in doing the work that should have been done in these long-neglected cities. The work will now be more difficult than it would have been a few years ago. But if we take up the work in the name of the Lord, barriers will be broken down, and decided victories will be ours. CME 14.1
In this work physicians and gospel ministers are needed. We must press our petitions to the Lord and do our best, pressing forward with all the energy possible to make an opening in the large cities. Had we in the past worked after the Lord's plans, many lights would be shining brightly that are going out.—Medical Ministry, 301, 302. CME 14.2Read in context »
The Saviour devoted more time and labor to healing the afflicted of their maladies than to preaching. His last injunction to His apostles, His representatives on earth, was to lay hands on the sick that they might recover. When the Master shall come, He will commend those who have visited the sick and relieved the necessities of the afflicted. CH 34.1
The tender sympathies of our Saviour were aroused for fallen and suffering humanity. If you would be His followers, you must cultivate compassion and sympathy. Indifference to human woes must give place to lively interest in the sufferings of others. The widow, the orphan, the sick and the dying, will always need help. Here is an opportunity to proclaim the gospel—to hold up Jesus, the hope and consolation of all men. When the suffering body has been relieved, and you have shown a lively interest in the afflicted, the heart is opened, and you can pour in the heavenly balm. If you are looking to Jesus and drawing from Him knowledge and strength and grace, you can impart His consolation to others, because the Comforter is with you. CH 34.2Read in context »
[Appeal for the Work in Australia, Pages 13-15 (1899).]
Both home and foreign missions should be conducted in connection with the ministry of the word. The medical missionary work is not to be carried forward as something apart from the work of the gospel ministry. The Lord's people are to be one. There is to be no separation in His work. Time and means are being absorbed in a work which is carried forward too earnestly in one direction. The Lord has not appointed this. He sent out His twelve apostles and afterward the Seventy to preach the word to the people, and He gave them power to heal the sick and to cast out devils in His name. The two lines of work must not be separated. Satan will invent every possible scheme to separate those whom God is seeking to make one. We must not be misled by his devices. The medical missionary work is to be connected with the third angel's message as the hand is connected with the body; and the education of students in medical missionary lines is not complete unless they are trained to work in connection with the church and the ministry. CH 557.1Read in context »