Luke Chapter Ten

 

v.1 “AFTER THESE THINGS THE LORD APPOINTED OTHER SEVENTY ALSO, AND SENT THEM TWO BY TWO BEFORE HIS FACE INTO EVERY CITY AND PLACE, WHITHER HE HIMSELF WOULD COME.”

 

            Jesus had previously sent the twelve out to preach, teach and confirm their message by performing miracles, now he sends out seventy to go before him or in advance of his coming and do much the same job that John had done for the Jews in general, prepare the way for Jesus who would follow.

            Why did he send them two by two?  In order for one to be able to encourage the other, one would have talents that perhaps the other would not, there are many reasons.  Today, can we improve on the methods that Jesus used?  Are we really going out two by two today and working to teach others the will of God?  There are some doing some things but as a congregation of God’s people we are not doing nearly as much as we should be doing.

 

v.2 “THEREFORE SAID HE UNTO THEM, THE HARVEST TRULY is GREAT, BUT THE LABOURERS are FEW: PRAY YE THEREFORE THE LORD OF THE HARVEST, THAT HE WOULD SEND FORTH LABOURERS INTO HIS HARVEST.”

 

            The harvest is great and the laborers are few.  Has that changed today?  NO!  Pray to the Lord, Jesus says, that the Lord may send forth laborers into his harvest.  Just Pray?  What are we if we pray for God to do something, then do not follow through with action to support that prayer?  Aren’t we then like those who would gather to pray for rain and leave their umbrellas at home?

 

v.3.  “GO YOUR WAYS: BEHOLD, I SEND YOU FORTH AS LAMBS AMONG WOLVES.”

 

            As we go out to teach the world about God and his way will we always be welcomed and treated well?  No.  Neither were they, and their problems were much worst than ours would be.  They were to teach with the expectation of having trouble and persecution.  Those who are their real enemies would not hesitate to destroy them as cruelly as they knew how.  Satan will use his followers to discourage, harass, and if nothing else works, destroy them physically as happened to several of the apostles later.

 

v.4  “CARRY NEITHER PURSE, NOR SCRIP, NOR SHOES: AND SALUTE NO MAN BY THE WAY.”

 

            This is the same direction that he gave the twelve back in chapter 9; no purse or wallet, no money, no extra shoes, etc.  What does he mean by the words “SALUTE NO MAN”?  In II Kings 4:29, Elisha told his servant to “IF THOU MEET ANY MAN, SALUTE HIM NOT; AND IF ANY SALUTE THEE, ANSWER HIM NOT AGAIN:”  In other words he was not to speak to anyone on the road or in the way, and if someone spoke to him he was not to answer.  In the verses that follow they are instructed to make their salutation to those in whose house they would teach and perhaps that’s reason that Jesus told not to make give the common salutation to those that they met.

 

v.5-6 “AND INTO WHATSOVER HOUSE YE ENTER FIRST SAY, PEACE be TO THIS HOUSE.  AND IF THE SON OF PEACE BE THERE, YOUR PEACE SHALL REST UPON IT: IF NOT, IT SHALL TURN TO YOU AGAIN.”

 

            During this period of time they apparently were not teaching in the synagogues or to groups of people as Jesus did but rather to individuals and families in their homes.  When they entered their homes they were to give the common greeting that their culture demanded.  Perhaps this was even to teach them to work from house to house as they did when the church began in Jerusalem and as Paul did in his teaching. (Acts 5:42, Acts 20:20).

 

v.7 “AND IN THE SAME HOUSE REMAIN, EATING AND DRINKING SUCH THINGS AS THEY GIVE: FOR THE LABOURER IS WORTHY OF HIS HIRE.  GO NOT FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE.”

 

            Those that receive the gospel will also provide for those that bring the message.  It is not an act of charity but rather a debt of justice, just as it is not an act of charity to provide for our preachers today.  Some don’t understand that. Some may even feel envious of what some preachers may have been able to accumulate through careful management of what they are provided or means that they have received through other avenues, such as inheritance.  This should not be the mindset of the Christian.  So long as they are humble and don’t hinder their work it’s, quite frankly, none of our business.  At the same time they are to accept and be grateful for whatever is available.  Sometimes this isn’t easy.  Even preaching by appointment, I have eaten in homes where I had to just ignore the condition and lack of cleanliness of the kitchen.  It didn’t hurt me, I was usually by myself so didn’t have to be concerned about anyone else.

            The laborer is worthy of his hire.  Thus the way of God is for his servants to live by their work, especially if that work is preaching and teaching the word of God.  Paul quotes both Jesus and the old law:

 

I Timothy 5:18 “FOR THE SCRIPTURE SAITH, THOU SHALT NOT MUZZLE THE OX THAT TREADETH OUT THE CORN.  AND, THE LABOURER is WORTHY OF HIS REWARD.”

 

v.8-9 “AND INTO WHATSOEVER CITY YE ENTER, AND THEY RECEIVE YOU, EAT SUCH THINGS AS ARE SET BEFORE YOU: AND HEAL THE SICK THAT ARE THEREIN, AND SAY UNTO THEM, THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS COME NIGH UNTO YOU.”

 

            Receive with thanksgiving what is offered, heal the sick and herald the coming of the kingdom of God.  His direction is simple, straightforward and to the point as are all of God’s instructions.  He also gives instructions regarding those places where they would not be received.

 

v.10-12 “BUT UNTO WHATSOEVER CITY YE ENTER, AND THEY RECEIVE YOU NOT, GO YOUR WAYS OUT INTO THE STREETS OF THE SAME, AND SAY, EVEN THE VERY DUST OF YOUR CITY, WHICH CLEAVETH ON US, WE DO WIPE OFF AGAINST YOU: NOTWITHSTANDING BE YE SURE OF THIS, THAT THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS COME NIGH UNTO YOU.  BUT I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT IT SHALL BE MORE TOLERABLE IN THAT DAY FOR SODOM, THAT FOR THAT CITY.”

 

            Even in the cities where they were not received they were still to proclaim their message; the kingdom of God is near.  Then they were to shake or wipe the dust of that city off their feet and go on their way.  Paul and Barnabas practiced the same thing didn’t they?

 

Acts 13:51 “BUT THEY SHOOK OFF THE DUST OF THEIR FEET AGAINST THEM, AND CAME UNTO ICONIUM.”

 

And Paul in a little different situation in Corinth where his own countrymen opposed him:

 

Acts 18:6 “AND WHEN THEY OPPOSED THEMSELVES, AND BLASPHEMED, HE SHOOK his RAIMENT, AND SAID UNTO THEM, I am CLEAN: FROM HENCEFORTH I WILL GO UNTO THE GENTILES.”

 

            Should we practice the same thing today?  What about those who we’re trying to teach who refuse to listen?  Some of my Bible correspondence students who quit when we teach something from Scripture that they don’t want to hear are an example.

 

v.13-14 “WOE UNTO THEE, CHORAZIN!  WOE UNTO THEE, BETHSAIDA!  FOR IT THE MIGHTY WORKS HAD BEEN DONE IN TYRE AND SIDON, WHICH HAVE BEEN DONE IN YOU, THEY HAD A GREAT WHILE AGO REPENTED, SITTING IN SACKCLOTH AND ASHES.  BUT IT SHALL BE MORE TOLERABLE FOR TYRE AND SIDON AT THE JUDGMENT, THAN FOR YOU.”

 

            Both cities are in the general vicinity of the Sea of Galilee.  Bethsaida was the home of Peter, Andrew, James and John, Chorazin was just a few miles away.  Were they receptive to the message of Jesus?  It appears that they, in general, were not.  What cities are he comparing them to and why is that significant?  These are seaports of Phoenicia, Gentile cities without God filled with people that lived by the sea trade with all of the evils that abound in cities of that nature.  If the signs and wonders performed in Bethsaida and Chorazin had been performed in Tyre and Sidon they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes.  A display of repentance that was common in those and earlier times.  Jonah didn’t have to perform a miracle to get the attention of Nineveh, the capital of Assyria.

 

Jonah 3:5 “SO THE PEOPLE OF NINEVEH BELIEVED GOD, AND PROCLAIMED A FAST, AND PUT ON SACKCLOTH, FROM THE GREATEST OF THEM EVEN TO THE LEAST OF THEM.”

 

v.15 “AND THOU, CAPERNAUM, WHICH ART EXALTED TO HEAVEN, SHALT BE THRUST DOWN TO HELL.”

 

            Capernaum, the city that Jesus lived in for months at a time, taught many people, healed the sick, and performed all manner of miracles, had exalted itself, thought too highly of itself; but it would be brought down.  Just like Babylon in Isaiah 14:13 and

 

Jeremiah 51:53 “THOUGH BABYLON SHOULD MOUNT UP TO HEAVEN, AND THOUGH SHE SHOULD FORTIFY THE HEIGHT OF HER STRENGTH, yet, FROM ME SHALL SPOILERS COME UNTO HER, SAITH THE LORD.”

 

And Jerusalem in Ezekiel 26:20.  The same fate will be visited upon those among our brethren today who develop the same mindset and attitude toward God and his commandments.

 

v.16 “HE THAT HEARETH YOU HEARETH ME; AND HE THAT DESPISETH YOU DESPISETH ME; AND HE THAT DESPISETH ME DESPISETH HIM THAT SENT ME.”

 

            This is the other hand of what Jesus taught earlier:

 

Matthew 10:40 “HE THAT RECEIVETH YOU RECEIVETH ME, AND HE THAT RECEIVETH ME RECEIVETH HIM THAT SENT ME.”

 

            Whatever our attitude is toward the word of God, whatever our attitude is toward the words written by the inspired writers, whatever our attitude is toward the Son of God; that is our attitude toward God himself.  It is foolishness for men to say that they honor Jesus but not the plan of salvation, that they honor God but reject his Son’s commandments.  They neither understand nor honor either one.

 

v.17. “AND THE SEVENTY RETURNED AGAIN WITH JOY, SAYING, LORD, EVEN THE DEVILS ARE SUBJECT UNTO US THROUGH THY NAME.”

 

            The disciples return with joy and success from their mission.  They are amazed that even the demons or devils are under their control through the name of Jesus.  They are feeling the euphoria of being able to exercise power over these demons.  Jesus confirms the power that they will have to carry out the great commission that was to come.

 

v.18-19 “AND HE SAID UNTO THEM, I BEHELD SATAN AS LIGHTING FALL FROM HEAVEN.  BEHOLD, I GIVE UNTO YOU POWER TO TREAD ON SERPENTS AND SCORPIONS, AND OVER ALL THE POWER OF THE ENEMY; AND NOTHING SHALL BY ANY MEANS HURT YOU.”

 

            Jesus confirms and encourages them in their confidence.  They are going to need that confidence when he is crucified and few will stand until the Holy Spirit is received that will guide them.  The power of Satan will be overcome.  John records it this way:

 

John 12:31 “NOW IS THE JUDGMENT OF THIS WORLD: NOW SHALL THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD BE CAST OUT.”

 

Revelation 12:9 “AND THE GREAT DRAGON WAS CAST OUT, THAT OLD SERPENT, CALLED THE DEVIL, AND SATAN, WHICH DECEIVETH THE WHOLE WORLD: HE WAS CAST OUT INTO THE EARTH, AND HIS ANGELS WERE CAST OUT WITH HIM.”

 

            At this point in time, I’m talking about today, has Satan been cast down?  Has his power been broken?  I submit to you that it has.  At the time that Jesus spoke it hadn’t because all men were still in sin.  Satan owned all men’s souls but that power was broken when Jesus died on the cross.  We no longer suffer under the control of Satan.  If we are citizens of the kingdom of God, Satan’s power over us has been broken.  Oh yes, we can be tempted and sin, but we can repent and petition God to remove that sin and it will be removed and we can be continually cleansed.  Mankind no longer has to remain under the power and control of Satan as they did before Jesus died, without hope in this world.

 

            At the same time Jesus gives them a warning about their enthusiasm and feeling of power.

 

v.20 “NOTWITHSTANDING IN THIS REJOICE NOT, THAT THE SPIRITS ARE SUBJECT UNTO YOU; BUT RATHER REJOICE, BECAUSE YOUR NAMES ARE WRITTEN IN HEAVEN.”

 

            Don’t rejoice in that you have power over devils.  Don’t let this power go to your heads and loose sight of your ultimate objective.  Rejoice because you are God’s people, rejoice because you  are citizens of the kingdom, rejoice because your name has been entered in the book which will be opened at that day of judgment and who will be allowed to enter that heavenly kingdom.

 

Revelation 21:27  “AND THERE SHALL IN NO WISE ENTER INTO IT ANY THING THAT DEFILETH, NEITHER whatsoever WORKETH ABOMINATION, OR maketh A LIE: BUT THEY WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE.”

 

            Be like those that Paul commended to the brethren at Philippi:

 

Philippians 4:3 “AND I ENTREAT THEE ALSO, TRUE YOKEFELLOW, HELP THOSE WOMEN WHICH LABOURED WITH ME IN THE GOSPEL, WITH CLEMENT ALSO, AND with OTHER MY FELLOWLABOURERS, WHOSE NAMES ARE IN THE BOOK OF LIFE.”

 

v.21-22 “IN THAT HOUR JESUS REJOICED IN SPIRIT, AND SAID, I THANK THEY O FATHER, LORD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, THAT THOU HAST HID THESE THINGS FROM THE WISE AND PRUDENT, AND HAST REVEALED THEM UNTO BABES: EVEN SO, FATHER; FOR SO IT SEEMED GOOD IN THY SIGHT.  ALLTHINGS ARE DELIVERED TO ME OF MY FATHER: AND NO MAN KNOWETH WHO THE SON IS, BUT THE FATHER; AND WHO THE FATHER IS, BUT THE SON, AND he TO WHOM THE SON WILL REVEAL him.

 

            So here we have one of the Lord’s prayers.  Most people wouldn’t recognize it as such, most people don’t seem to think that there are several prayers offered by Jesus that are recorded, they think only of the model prayer that he taught his disciples.  He rejoices that God’s powerful truth will not be revealed to men who are wise in terms of the world.  Men who would be resistant to accepting it as it is and preserving it faithfully in their hearts, but rather to men who are simple people, trusting, not blinded by man’s wisdom and learning.  Oh, how we need more men of this mind and attitude today.

 

v.23-2423And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: 24For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

 

            Jesus disciples were blessed indeed.  They were eye-witnesses to the fact that the Messiah promised by God came; they witnessed his miracles, the confirmation of his deity and his word.  They were taught by him personally, guided unto all truth (John 16:13), and privileged to be the men who began the great work of his kingdom.  They were the men who were allowed to see what the great prophets and men of God and sought for so many generations:

 

I Peter 1:10-1110Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

 

v.2525And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

 

            A certain lawyer, a man versed in the law given through Moses is questioning Jesus.  Luke gives us no indication whether his question was an honest one or they were trying to trap him again but Matthew does indicating that this question was asked by a Pharisee after the Sadducees had been put to silence by Jesus’ answers (Matthew 22:35).

 

v.26-2826He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.”

 

            As we have noted in other studies, Jesus answer is a model for us today.  What is written, how do you read, what does the Word of God, our highest standard, our law that is above all others, say?  This man, knowing that law, answers correctly and Jesus tells him that if he would but practice these two greatest laws he would live.  Jesus is not talking about living in this world but living in the next, he would live with God eternally.  With all of the other things that we are commanded, how could this be true?  Because when we love God with all of our heart, soul and mind; we will die for the privilege of doing all of his other commandments.  And if we love our neighbors as we love ourselves we will carry the same good news to them and never have a lasting problem with anyone.

 

v.2929But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

 

            This man understood Jesus perfectly but he wanted an out didn’t he?  Well, if I have to love my neighbor as I love myself, then just who is it that I must love in this manner?  In other words, can I pick and choose?  Do I have to love these Gentiles who are ruling our city? 

We have to deal with people who are not very lovable, in fact, sometimes we may not be very lovable ourselves.  Yet this commandment applies to us as well as to those to whom Jesus was speaking.  So Jesus gives them this wonderful example that no one can misunderstand without help.

 

v.3030And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.”

 

            A certain man, a particular man, we can surmise that he was probably a Jewish merchant, at least someone who had enough to be worth robbing.  He falls among thieves; they wound him, strip him and leave him on the side of the road half dead.  The journey from Jerusalem to Jericho is less than 20 miles, you can probably walk it in a day going down; it may take longer coming back because Jerusalem is in the mountains above Jericho.  This terrain would also provide places where thieves and robbers could hide and work their trade.

 

v.3131And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.”

 

            A priest, a man dedicated to serving God; but when he sees the wounded man who has been robbed and stripped he crosses the road and passes by on the other side.  He doesn’t want to get involved.  He has no compassion for this man who needs help.  He’ll let him lay there and die before he will lift a finger to help him.

 

v.32 32And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.”

 

            Another man does the same thing.  This time he wasn’t a priest but was a man of the tribe from which the priests were chosen.  He was a man who, even if he did not have the compassion for this victim that he should, knows his duty to the Law.  He even came and looked on him, stopped to see what the trouble was but we can see in our mind’s eye, him scampering away because he didn’t want any part of this man’s problems.

 

v.33-3533But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.”

 

            Jesus example is a Samaritan, a man of mixed nationality that the Jews despised, wouldn’t have anything to do with, looked down upon as dogs (Mark 7:27-28).  That has to cut these Jews to the quick, a despised Samaritan begin held up by Jesus as an example.  He has true compassion on this man who is near death.  He binds up his wounds, administers what remedies he has available, puts him on the beast that he has been riding, carries him to a place of rest and comfort and makes sure that he has everything that he needs.  Not only what he needs at the moment but also whatever he will need to get him back on his feet and on his journey.  Then Jesus asks the question:

 

v.3636Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?”

 

            Which of these three was this man’s neighbor?  Which one should you be like?  Which one should you imitate in order to be a true servant and follower of God?  The lawyer knew, just as we know today.

 

v.37  37And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.”

 

            The man who showed compassion was the neighbor, the example that God’s law for all time would demand we follow.  And Jesus’ instruction to the lawyer is plain, simple and direct; you go and do just as the Samaritan did.  Instruction that we should follow today, just as diligently as the one commanded by the Messiah directly and in person.

 

v.3838Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.”

 

            Now we have Luke’s account of Jesus becoming acquainted with Mary and Martha.  Even though he isn’t mentioned, common sense would include Lazarus as well.  Luke say a certain village, a village that we know from other studies is Bethany, close enough to Jerusalem that Jesus spent his nights there during the time just before his crucifixion.  Mary sits at Jesus feet listening and absorbing his teaching but that’s a problem to Martha.

 

v.4040But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.”

 

            Mary sitting at Jesus feet leaves all of the work of serving as hostess to this crowd to Martha.  She has a houseful, Jesus and the twelve and, without doubt, even more than that.  Consequently Martha wants Jesus to send Mary to the kitchen where she belongs, where all the work is being done for serve the guests in their house.  And what is Jesus’ response?

 

v.41 “41And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

 

            Martha, Martha, you’re doing a wonderful job for which we are grateful; you’re taking care of your guests; you’re doing it with great diligence and care showing your hospitality.  But Martha you are worried about things of this world, there is one thing that is needful in our lives, something that will never be taken away from us and Mary has chosen to concentrate on that one thing.  Mary is focused on her ultimate goal, spending eternity in heaven with her God; that one thing that should be the overriding priority in our lives as well.  She was of the same mind as David:

 

Psalms 27:4 “ONE thing HAVE I DESIRED OF THE LORD, THAT I WILL SEEK AFTER, THAT I MAY DWELL IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE, TO BEHOLD THE BEAUTY OF THE LORD, AND TO INQUIRE IN HIS TEMPLE.”