If the greeting is accepted they are to stay in the house, accept the hospitality and proclaim that “the kingdom of God is very near to you”.
If the greeting is refused they are to move on. “We wipe off the very dust of your town that clings to our feet, and leave it with you. Yet be sure of this, the kingdom of God is very near”. Jesus predicts punishment for the towns that refuse the message, harder than the punishment of Sodom!!
The gospel records the return of the 72 and the excitement and feeling of success. “Lord, even the devils submit to us when we use your name”. Jesus teaches caution. He recalls his own experience that he saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. (This is a clear message about the pride of Satan and the fall of the angels). He reaffirms that he has given them the power ‘to tread underfoot serpents and scorpions and the whole strength of the enemy; nothing will ever hurt you’. What a promise! It is followed by a teaching to remember. “Yet do not rejoice that spirits submit to you, rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven”.