vv 1-2. After this the Lord appointed seventy-twoothers and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
We read early on in the Gospels about Jesus sending out the 12 apostles, as in Matthew 10, Jesus sent out the twelve apostles with these instructions: “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, but only to the people of Israel—God’s lost sheep. Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Later on, however, as Jesus’ mission grows, we find Him sending out 72 disciples. Even then He invites them to pray for still more who will engage in this work of announcing Jesus’ coming and the Good News of His Kingdom. It all points to this Mission-shaped work of God’s church.
In fact, the life of God’s church has only flourished when this mission outlook has prevailed. As God’s word comes into a person’s life, transforming that person, there grows also a desire to pass it on so that others may benefit. Jesus sets the pattern so that a local church without that motivation is little more than a religious club looking after its own interests.