Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. … Then the seventy returned with joy.
The Lord Jesus knew the hostility of this world all too well. He had often experienced it, and He knew “what was in man” (John 2:25). However every town and village should hear the message of peace. People should know that “the kingdom of God has come near you” (v.11) and prepare for it. So the Lord sent out seventy disciples. He did not conceal the fact that they would meet stiff resistance. They would feel like “lambs among wolves”.
In Israel the wolf was one of the greatest enemies of the sheep. Escaping from one was difficult as they hunted in packs. The Lord knew about rapacious wolves: they were people who had their eye on Him and His own and sought to kill them. Who could withstand their attacks? Certainly helpless lambs least of all, if the Good Shepherd did not protect them. And that was just what happened in our chapter.
The seventy returned joyfully. None had been torn apart by the wolves, not a single one. They had naturally met with opposition, but they had felt that the Lord was with them, for they had gone “before his face” (v.1). This is the case all the time. In the Lord’s service we shall not be spared enmity. An innumerable company of believers in the long history of the church will confirm the fact. The Lord is still sending His servants out. And the world hasn’t changed either, even if in many places indifference is encountered rather than hostility. Yet who has not experienced that the Lord provided all that was necessary, so that we can return from serving Him “with joy”.
Image: By Ikonopisatelj – http://chattablogs.com/aionioszoe/archives/70Apostles.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3536332