Only Luke among the evangelists tells of this second mission of disciples. He probably means it to have special significance for the missionary activity of the church after the departure of Jesus. According to rabbinic teaching, there were seventy nations in the world. The disciples are to go “ahead of him,” therefore not announcing themselves or their own message, but preparing the way for Jesus. The missionaries are sent in twos in order to give a witness that can be considered formal testimony about Jesus and the reign of God. Jesus urges prayer for more harvest workers. The Lord of the harvest is concerned about its progress, of course, but he has made his own response to the need somehow dependent on the active concern of those sent into the mission. Because the proclamation of the gospel is the word of God, it is not to be treated as a merely human message—“take it or leave it.” There are harsh consequences for closing ears and hearts to the news of God’s reign. On their return, the seventy are amazed at the power that has been given them through the name of Jesus. They have driven out demons, furthering Jesus’ attack on Satan’s dominion in this world. Jesus envisions Satan falling from the sky through their ministry, another way of saying that the eschatological or final battle between good and evil is taking place now; the victory is being won in Jesus’ name (John 12:31; Rom 16:20). But the disciples must not lose their perspective. The prize is not human glory through feats of power but heavenly glory through following Jesus to Jerusalem, to Calvary.