460 – The Seventy “Apostolic Ministers”

460 – The Seventy “Apostolic Ministers”



Read Lk. 10:1-249:1-6Mat. 10:1-23 and Mk. 3:13-21.


1. Please notice that I refer to these men as apostolic ministers. Their ministry, like that of the twelve, is totally unique.
2. To understand the dimensions of the ministry of the seventy; you must know the nature of the ministry of the twelve.
3. The purpose of the calling of the seventy was to extend the work of the twelve, who were to extend the work of Christ. (Lk. 10:1,2)
4. The purpose of them all, at this point, was to extend and expedite the personal, pre-crucifixion ministry of Christ.


1. It is essentially the same as that of the first twelve who were sent. Notice the words other and also in Lk. 10:1.

i. They were to go to the cities where He would later come. (Lk. 10:1)
ii. They were sent because laborers were few, only twelve. (Lk. 10:2)
iii. They were not to provide for their journey. (Lk. 10:4)
iv. They were not to go from house to house. (Lk. 10:7)
v. They were to heal the sick and preach the kingdom of God. (Lk. 10:9)
vi. They were to give a city only one chance. (Lk. 10:10-11)
vii. They were then to depart declaring that the kingdom had been offered. (Lk. 10:11)

4. A careful comparison of Lk. 9:2 and Lk. 10:9, along with a con­sideration of Lk. 10:17, should lead you to suspect that there was no difference between the gifts and the commission of the twelve and the seventy.

i. Luke, who alone reveals the call of the seventy, mentions only healing the sick and preaching the kingdom in each commission.
ii. Their report in Lk. 10:17 declares their power to cast out devils.
iii. Matthew alone, who gives much more detail in this area, includes raising the dead in Mat. 10:8, but I expect the commis­sions were uniform.


While there is considerable speculation, and relatively little Bible revelation, I think Scripture clearly places several of them in the early Jerusalem Church. I arrive at this conclusion by at least five evidences.

1. At least one man, besides Paul, is specifically called an apostle which is not named among the twelve. (Acts 14:12-14)
2. I expect that Matthias was among those Jesus had given “gifts of apostle” and was not given these gifts by men. (Acts 1:21-26)
3. There was definitely a category of gifts peculiar to the apostles. (II Cor. 12:12Acts 2:43Acts 5:12)
4. These gifts were exercised by other men in the early church, besides the twelve. (Acts 6:5-8Acts 8:5-13Acts 14:3Acts 15:12)
5. Conversely, you see no biblical revelation of any miracle being performed by any man, such as Luke, Mark, Timothy, Titus, etc., whose early position in the church is not established.

Therefore , I conclude that:

i. At least some of these men were in the church at Jerusalem. Indeed, there was room in the number of 120 for them all.
ii. There were only eighty-three followers of Christ who were given the gift of healing, casting out devils, raising the dead, etc.
iii. They were the twelve, the seventy, and the Apostle Paul.

Note: You will not read of cases, after the apostolic age, in the early churches’ history, of public miracles, even during the periods of great martyrdom.