Luke 10:1–20—Our Lord desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). But how are people to believe in Jesus Christ, if they have not heard of Him, if they have not had the Gospel proclaimed to them? (Romans 10:14) In our Gospel reading for Sunday, we hear how Jesus sent out 72 men to proclaim the Good News of salvation in Christ Jesus. Likewise, He still calls pastors to labor in His harvest fields. As in the days of Christ, their labor is met by different responses: some people are eager to hear of the forgiveness of sins wrought by Christ’s death on the cross, whilst others reject it. The Day of Judgment will be a horrifying one for those who have refused the forgiveness Christ offers, but a glorious one for us who are in Christ, who gratefully receive His gift of salvation.
“After this” (V.1) refers to the incidents in the preceding chapter. “The Lord appointed seventy others,” in addition to the twelve disciples who had already been sent on a similar mission. (Luke 9:1-2) “I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves,” (v. 3) is a picture of the risks Christian preachers take, for they are seemingly weak and defenseless. Yet they are not to worry about their livelihood but are to work with a joyous abandon (v.4a) nor are they to dally in aimless conversation with individuals they meet. (V.4b)
“Peace be to this house!” (Friedheim!) is more than a common salutation. It is an offer of divine peace, as is evident from V. 6 which describes the peace spoken of as resting on a son of peace. “And remain in that some house,” (v.7) indicated that one house and family were to be selected as the center of the work.
The missionaries were also to eat whatever was set before them without fussing about clean or unclean foods. (Vv.7-8) To attest that they had been sent by the LORD with an offer of divine peace, they also headed the sick. (V.9) God saw that this miraculous power was needed in the early days of the church. Those appointed hardly believe that they had such power, even after Christ had announced the gift to them. (V.17) The reception of their message reflects the attitude of the hearers toward Christ Himself. (V.16)
A prayer for pastors and their people: Almighty God, by Your Son, our Savior, You have always given to Your Church on earth faithful shepherds to guide and feed Your flock. Therefore we pray, make all pastors diligent to preach Your holy Word and to administer Your means of grace, and grant Your people wisdom to follow in the way that leads to life eternal; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.
Prayer for Friday of the week of Pentecost 4: Deliver us, O God, from our little fears, and spoil for us whatever confidence we have left in anything but Thy victory.  01 July, 2022
 Lift High the Cross, copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things
 Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
 Prayer for Friday of the week of Pentecost 4, For All the Saints, A Prayer Book For and By the Church, Vol. II © 1995 The American P=Lutheran Publicity bureau, Delhi, NY