Later on, the Lord chose and commissioned seventy-two apprentices. He sent them out in pairs as advance teams to the places he was planning to travel. 2 He instructed them saying, “There is a huge harvest out there, but few harvesters. So, beg God, who is producing this bumper crop, to send out workers to bring it all in.
3 “Move out, but beware! I’m sending you out as lambs among wolves who are lying in wait to pounce. 4 Act with caution, moving under the radar. Leave the stuff which makes you a visible target at home -- wallets, backpacks, extra sandals -- leave it all behind. Don't get sucked into trivial conversations along the way. 5 And whenever you do enter a house, first say, ‘Peace be on this house.’ 6 If your blessing is well received that is an indicator that God’s peace rests there and it’s a good place to stay. If the people of the house seem hostile or even indifferent to the blessing, just move on to another house.
7 “If you do stay with a household, receive the hospitality of food and drink as it is offered. Think of it all as wages for being kingdom workers. But don't get carried away with the idea -- moving from house to house angling for more and better. 8 Whenever you’re welcomed into a town just say ‘thank you’ for the food they offer and enjoy that. 9 Extend healing to the sick there and declare, ‘God’s kingdom has come upon you.’
10-11 “However, whenever you enter a town and there is no welcome -- no hospitality -- as you’re leaving it make sure you leave behind even the dust from your feet. Then say, ‘God’s kingdom has come to you -- but you’ve rejected it.’ 12 And know that come Judgment Day the town will be worse off than ancient Sodom.
13 “Trouble awaits you quintessential Jewish towns of Chorazin and Bethsaida. You’re so hard-hearted that if the miracles done among you had been done in the ancient pagan towns of Tyre and Sidon, they would have turned to God in an instant. They’d have put on their mourning clothes and covered themselves with ashes. 14 Indeed, as bad as Tyre and Sidon were, they will be better off than you when judgment comes.
15 “O, and you, Capernaum, do you think you’re going to be welcomed with a parade up into heaven? Huh… you’re heading down the trash chute to hell.
16 “Those who listen to you, apprentices, are listening to me. Those who reject you are rejecting me. And whoever rejects me is rejecting God, the one who sent me.”
17 When the seventy-two apprentices returned to Jesus upon completion of their mission trips, they were ecstatic. “Lord, you should have seen it -- at the mere mention of your name even the demons obeyed.”
18 Jesus replied, “I’m not in the least bit surprised. I could see Satan knocked from his throne, dropping like a bolt of lightning from the sky. 19 Look, I have given you the power and authority to trample on snakes and scorpions -- total dominion over the enemy. Nothing can hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, don’t get all excited because you’re able to ride herd over a bunch of spirits. No, rejoice in the fact that God has recorded your names in his heavenly registry -- that you are recognized by him. That’s really worth getting excited about.”