Why Did the 70 Disciples Leave Jesus?

The story of the 70 disciples leaving Jesus is one of the most intriguing and puzzling incidents in the New Testament. It raises questions about faith, loyalty, and commitment.

The precise reasons why they left are not explicitly stated in the Bible, but scholars have suggested various possibilities. In this article, we will explore some of these theories and try to understand why the 70 disciples deserted Jesus.


To understand why the 70 disciples left Jesus, we need to first examine the context in which this incident happened. According to Luke 10:1-24, Jesus had sent out 70 disciples in pairs to go ahead of him and prepare the way for him in every town and place he was about to go.

He gave them specific instructions on what to do and what not to do, such as carrying no money bag or sandals. The disciples were successful in their mission and returned with joy, reporting that even demons were subject to them in Jesus’ name.

Theories on Why They Left

Despite their initial success and enthusiasm, something happened that caused the 70 disciples to leave Jesus. Here are some possible explanations:

1. Fear of Persecution

One theory is that the disciples left because they were afraid of persecution. In Luke 10:3-4, Jesus warns them that he is sending them out like lambs among wolves and that they will face opposition and hostility. Perhaps when they encountered this resistance, they panicked and fled.

2. Disillusionment with Jesus’ Message

Another possibility is that the disciples were disillusioned with Jesus’ message or teachings. It is possible that some of them did not fully understand or accept his teachings on love, forgiveness, and nonviolence.

3. Conflicts Among Themselves

A third theory is that there were conflicts among the disciples themselves, which led to their departure. It is possible that they had different ideas about how to carry out their mission or that some of them were more committed than others.

4. Misinterpretation of Jesus’ Words

Finally, it is possible that the disciples misinterpreted Jesus’ words or actions and thought he was asking them to do something they were not prepared to do. For example, when Jesus told them not to carry a money bag or sandals, they may have taken this literally and thought he was asking them to live in poverty permanently.

The Significance of Their Departure

Regardless of the reasons why the 70 disciples left Jesus, their departure has significance for us today. It reminds us that faith is not easy and requires courage and commitment. It also teaches us that even those who are closest to us can betray us or abandon us when we need them most.


In conclusion, the 70 disciples leaving Jesus is a poignant reminder of the challenges and difficulties that come with following a path of faith. While we may never know for certain why they left, we can learn from their example and strive to remain steadfast in our own beliefs, even in the face of opposition or uncertainty.