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The Lord's Seventy
by Wayne Blank
"The Lord appointed other seventy also and sent them two and two before His face into every city and place, whither He Himself would come"
Just as John the Baptist had prepared the way for the coming of the Messiah (see also The Elijah To Come), the seventy that Jesus appointed also had that purpose, to announce the coming of Him i.e. "the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before His face into every city and place, whither He Himself would come" (Luke 10:1 KJV). The seventy did however seem to have miraculous powers as well, by means of the Holy Spirit of God, that John is not recorded as making use of. John certainly had a greater measure of the Holy Spirit i.e. "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist" (Matthew 11:11 KJV). The fact that there were seventy of them doing what John did alone also makes that evident.
Jesus' further instructions to the seventy:
"And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house."
Jesus then used specific examples, such as the people of Chorazin and Bethsaida (two towns near to Jesus' home in Capernaum, on the north shore of The Sea Of Galilee), who had the direct benefit of Christ's witness and teaching among them and yet failed to repent, while others who had less direct access to the Messiah did what was right (e.g. see The Christians of Tyre).
"Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in Sackcloth and Ashes. But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell." [see Where Is Hell?]
As mentioned, the seventy are recorded as having been given powers that John the Baptist is not recorded to have had, or to have used (from what is recorded of him, John was an intense, but at the same time very humble, man; the power of his personality may well have been enough - see also John's Last Days).
"And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy Name."