When Did Jesus First Send Out His Disciples?

Jesus’ ministry was not a solo endeavor. He selected twelve disciples to accompany him on his mission, and he sent them out to preach the Gospel as well.

But when did Jesus first send out his disciples Let’s explore this question.

The First Commissioning

The first commissioning of the disciples is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew:

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. “

(Matthew 10:5-8 ESV)

This occurs after Jesus has been preaching and healing throughout Galilee. He sees that there are many people who are lost and in need of salvation, so he commissions his disciples to go and spread his message.

The Second Commissioning

Later in Jesus’ ministry, he sends out his disciples again:

After these things the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.

Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. “

(Luke 10:1-2 ESV)

In this instance, Jesus sends out seventy-two (or seventy in some translations) other disciples in addition to the twelve. He gives them a similar message and empowers them to heal and cast out demons.

What Can We Learn

Jesus’ commissioning of his disciples teaches us several important lessons:

  • The Gospel is for everyone. While Jesus initially tells his disciples to focus on the lost sheep of Israel, he later sends them out to all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). The Good News is not just for one group of people, but for all.
  • We are called to be laborers in the harvest. Just as Jesus sent out his disciples, he also calls us to go and share the Gospel with those around us.

    We may not perform miracles like healing or casting out demons, but we can still show God’s love in tangible ways.

  • We must rely on God’s power. In both commissionings, Jesus gives his disciples power and authority to do miraculous things. Similarly, we must rely on God’s power and not our own strength as we share the Gospel with others.


Jesus first sent out his disciples early in his ministry, and he continued to send out more as his message spread. We can learn from these commissionings that the Gospel is for everyone, that we are called to be laborers in the harvest, and that we must rely on God’s power. May we go forth with boldness and confidence as we share the Good News with those around us!