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The Work of the Seventy-Two Followers

10 Later the Lord chose seventy-two[a] other followers and sent them out two by two to every town and village where he was about to go. He said to them:

A large crop is in the fields, but there are only a few workers. Ask the Lord in charge of the harvest to send out workers to bring it in. Now go, but remember, I am sending you like lambs into a pack of wolves. Don’t take along a moneybag or a traveling bag or sandals. And don’t waste time greeting people on the road.[b] As soon as you enter a home, say, “God bless this home with peace.” If the people living there are peace-loving, your prayer for peace will bless them. But if they are not peace-loving, your prayer will return to you. Stay with the same family, eating and drinking whatever they give you, because workers are worth what they earn. Don’t move around from house to house.

If the people of a town welcome you, eat whatever they offer. Heal their sick and say, “God’s kingdom will soon be here!”[c]

10 But if the people of a town refuse to welcome you, go out into the street and say, 11 “We are shaking the dust from our feet[d] as a warning to you. And you can be sure that God’s kingdom will soon be here!”[e]

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Footnotes

  1. 10.1 seventy-two: Some manuscripts have “seventy.” According to Jewish tradition, there were seventy nations on earth. But the ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament has “seventy-two” in place of “seventy.” Jesus probably chose this number of followers to show that his message was for everyone in the world.
  2. 10.4 waste time greeting people on the road: In those days a polite greeting could take a long time.
  3. 10.9 will soon be here: Or “is already here.”
  4. 10.11 shaking the dust from our feet: This was a way of showing rejection.
  5. 10.11 will soon be here: Or “is already here.”

16 My followers, whoever listens to you is listening to me. Anyone who says “No” to you is saying “No” to me. And anyone who says “No” to me is really saying “No” to the one who sent me.

The Return of the Seventy-Two

17 When the seventy-two[a] followers returned, they were excited and said, “Lord, even the demons obeyed when we spoke in your name!”

18 Jesus told them:

I saw Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19 I have given you the power to trample on snakes and scorpions and to defeat the power of your enemy Satan. Nothing can harm you. 20 But don’t be happy because evil spirits obey you. Be happy that your names are written in heaven!

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Footnotes

  1. 10.17 seventy-two: See the note at 10.1.

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