Luke 10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
In verse 1 Jesus sent seventy-two disciples to every town and place where he was about to go. Jesus sent them as workers to reap His plentiful harvest. Exactly how (among other things) were they to reap in His harvest field?
In verse 9 Jesus told them exactly what they were to do to reap.
Luke 10:9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
Jesus did not command the seventy-two to “pray for the sick”—as we do traditionally—but rather to “heal the sick” miraculously. Such unprecedented miracles would be the irrefutable evidence that the kingdom of God was near. Jesus had very likely trained them how to heal the sick in this way when He trained the Twelve in Luke 9.
Luke 9:1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. …6 So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.
In the following chapter of Luke 10, Jesus sent the seventy-two disciples and also commanded them to “heal the sick” as they proclaimed the kingdom of God. In obedience they went, and later returned to the Lord with joy.
Luke 10:17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
These seventy-two disciples, like the Twelve, had also been trained to use the supernatural power and authority over demons and diseases which Jesus had given to the disciples in Luke 9:1. The seventy-two also went out and healed the sick and cast out demons fruitfully.
But Jesus declared in Luke 10:2 that “the workers are few”. What did He mean by that? It is estimated that today there are hundreds of thousands of gospel workers around the world. So what did Jesus mean by “few”?
Gospel workers today are sadly not trained as Jesus trained His workers. Gospel workers today are not trained to heal the sick and cast out demons with supernatural power and authority as evidence of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead, they only “pray to God” for the sick and demonized—in direct disobedience to Jesus’ command to “heal the sick”. It is no wonder that very few miracles if any are witnessed on the mission field. What we witness on the mission field today is but a shadow (if even that) of what is recorded in Acts.
Therefore it is true today that workers who are trained as Jesus trained His disciples are very few indeed. But now during these Last Days for the Great Commission to be fulfilled, the Lord has graciously revealed to us how to train gospel workers to heal the sick and cast out demons exactly as Jesus trained His disciples in the gospels—leading to plentiful harvests in His field.