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We shall start this study with a scandal! Yes, we will, and you are going to think I am nerd for bringing this up. Alright, so what exactly is the issue? Well some of you will immediately come upon it depending on what version of the Bible you are holding. As most of you know I prefer to use a King James version. By the way NASV (New American Standard Version); one of the best translations in my humble and totally bias opinion. So let’s read the first verse.
1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.Luke 10:1 KJV
Alright appointed seventy. Oh, yes you in the back? Oh it says seventy two for you. Huh, so which is it? I am sure there is a fair number of you that have seventy written and another number of you that has seventy two. Well that is because of the different translations of the Bible. There are two main camps, the LXX (Septuagint Greek) lists seventytwo and the other texts which list seventy.
Does it matter? I am going to argue it really does not. For those that believe that there is divinity in scripture itself, it may be a problem. However, I believe scripture is a record of events. There can be errors and it does nothing to diminish the events they record.
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.Luke 10:2 KJV
This is Jesus’s way of making a point to these appointed people that they were to be his laborers. That they are being sent in to do works for the Lord.
3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.Luke 10:3 KJV
This is also a point that the work is dangerous. There are many that wanted to harm the disciples. After all Herod had beheaded John and most likely had persecuted his disciples. Not only that but Jesus had already become under attack from the religious leaders who no doubt would seek to stone them.
4 Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.
5 And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.
6 And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.
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.Luke 10:4-7 KJV
Notice he does not tell them to go from house to house. I believe this was for a few reasons. One it gives the disciple time to speak and give good conversation educating the residents. It also protects them from being noticed.
Overseas Christians must still act in this fashion today. When they enter a building they sometimes have to stay there for days to avoid the government noticing them. It is illegal for them to spread the message of God and to organize to worship. So in similar fashion others bring food to them and take care of them and they share the good news in return.
We very well may be heading into similar times ourselves as westerners. If we are not careful that is.
8 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:
9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.Luke 10:8-9 KJV
They are to bless those that have received them. It is always important for us Christians to be in a position of power in order to bless others. That is why we are to practice good stewardship and be upright and moral people so that all that come into contact with us may be blessed by us. If we bare not the means to do so then we are of no blessing at all but rather a burden.
Christ is also pointing out to them that the Kingdom of God is fast approaching. So their work is urgent and must be done in haste. The kindness given from a city was witness to whether or not the people among them believed the message. If those that spread the message were treated well, they knew that the people of the city for the most part had accepted and received the message.
10 But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,
11 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.Luke 10:10-11 KJV
Those that rejected the message were not to be fought but rather warned that the Kingdom of God is coming for them too. Although it may not be a blessing for them.
12 But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.
13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if 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.Luke 10:12-13 KJV
These two cities are located near Capernaum, the headquarters for Jesus’s early ministry. The comparison to Sodom is rather striking. Sodom met its end by fire falling from heaven upon it.
24 Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven;Genesis 19:24 KJV
So these two cities were singled out to have a worse fate than that?
14 But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.Luke 10:14 KJV
Tyre was the throne of Lucifer for a while. He ruled as King of Tyre, above the physical Prince of Tyre. So once again the judgement upon that city is less than the judgement facing Chorazin and Bethsaida? Why? What did they do?
Well they had ample opportunity to repent and be the ministry to the world. Instead they rejected God and turned the world on another timeline. Most likely God wanted his message to be spread and go out from there but the people in their free will managed to divert from the blessing they could have had.
I believe God has plans and blessings for all of us. However, we often foil those blessings because we stray from the path God had in store for us. In his love he allows us to walk out of line in our free will. These cities very well may have foiled God’s intended timeline for them.
15 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.Luke 10:15 KJV
Furthermore we are told that God had exaulted Capernaum to heaven, however because they had failed in their duty, they will be thrust to hell. Hell here is Adou (ᾅδου) otherwise called Hades or the abode of departed spirits. This may be the same as the Jewish concept of Sheol. However, I think this is a specific place among the many places mentioned as part of the afterlife. Likewise heaven is ouranou (οὐρανοῦ) which is heaven proper as in the dimentional kind of heaven and not the sky kind of heaven.
Here is a scary thought. Does this mean everyone in those cities are damned to be forced down to Hades? That there is no more hope for them as they are cursed before the Lord. For if God had more mercy on those in Sodom, who ultimately parished in flames, what does that say for those who resided in those cities?
16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.
17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.Luke 10:16-17 KJV
So the disciples are given the power to deal with demons and authority over them through Jesus’s name. The Bible makes a great point of this. In our modern era we look at such things as fairy tales and nothing to worry about. However, God very much intended for us to understand these things. You should take the supernatural seriously and recognize a lot of our modern issues may be related to such things.
Do not seek out those who claim to have supernatural powers but rather seek out good Christians who act in the name of the Lord alone. Jesus gives us the power, they hold no powers of their own. All our authority is heaven given from the throne of all authority alone. No angels, no saints, no spirits, nothing other than Christ himself gives us authority.
18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.Luke 10:18 KJV
Christ here is illustrating he holds authority over Satan. This could be at that moment, it could have been in history, or it could have been future, or perhaps I am going to suggest since Christ is a being beyond time itself it could be all of the above.
19 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.Luke 10:19 KJV
Now there are a few ways this scripture can be accepted. One camp takes it most literally. Among that camp are two general sections. One is this was given to the disciples alone for this particular situation. Then the other holds it to be universal of all Christians. You will see weird churches handle poisonous snakes and scorpions because of this verse alone. Ok… well, that is one view. I disagree with both views.
Often times there are scriptures who mentioned scorpions and serpents idiomatically of spirits of one kind or another. I further this with it extending that to “and over all the powers of the enemy:” I do not believe God considers species among his creation enemies. Unless for some reason scorpions and serpents are somehow unintended genetic abominations then they surely are not our enemy.
Our enemy however is told to be a spiritual enemy.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.Ephesians 6:12 KJV
So, I am going to advise against mocking yourself by lifting up snakes to the Lord. A serpent is many more things than a snake as well.
20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.Luke 10:20 KJV
Christ is telling us that the greater blessing is having your name written in heaven.
22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
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.Revelation 21:22-27 KJV
Christ is the Lamb of God. Jesus is telling them that he has placed their names in his book of life. It means it is about an intimate and personal relationship. Christ has to write your name in his book. He has to know you and you have to know him.
21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, 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.Luke 10:21 KJV
It is important to remember this. The people who were following Christ were not the rich and learned people. They were not the religious experts or even the righteous or noble. They were real people like you and me. Nothing special about them. Humble, and good in spirit and heart. They loved Jesus and he loved them.
22 All things 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.Luke 10:22 KJV
Christ is saying if you want to know God, who you assume you know, look to him. Because Christ is like God and so the Father (God) is like the son Jesus and Jesus is like God. He is telling you he is the same.
23 And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see:
24 For 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.Luke 10:23-24 KJV
Basically Christ saying that they are very blessed to have lived in the time that they were living. Sometimes I think we forget too why our times are so great to be living in. Not because of our comforts either but rather that we live in the age of Grace. We shall not be judged to our works but rather our relationship with Christ. The same can not be said for the generations before or the ones to come after.
25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?Luke 10:25 KJV
Make no mistake this lawyer was not being sincere. He was testing Christ.
26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?Luke 10:26 KJV
Instead of being tested Christ reverses this test onto him.
27 And 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.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.Luke 10:27-28 KJV
This statement is from Deuteronomy and Leviticus.
5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.Deuteronomy 6:5 KJV
18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.Leviticus 19:18 KJV
Jesus attest that he is correct in his answer. However, we all know that we will break this. In order to obtain the right of this one must have kept it always. At no point in your life could you have eternally kept yourself from a moment of not loving your neighbor. Just pointing that out.
29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?Luke 10:29 KJV
See this guy recognized that point already. Who is his neighbor? He is a lawyer, looking for loopholes. This once again to justify himself instead of finding out the truth. You will find the majority of our issue is admitting we have an issue in the first place.
30 And 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.Luke 10:30 KJV
Fun facts about this road. It is infamously dangerous. Why? Well there is a stretch of the road which rapidly descends. Not only that but it is desert, a desolate path with many dangerous critters. It got the nickname the bloody pass because of the rocky terrain. See the issue is that provided robbers the ability to hide and spring out. It would be impossible to avoid them if they wanted to plunder you. Not to mention the risk of falling off the cliff side.
This parable, was a common occurrence.
31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.Luke 10:31 KJV
This is not merely because he would have been inconvenienced. Helping someone is a direct danger, one it suggested bandits could be around, two it could have been a bandit pretending to have been injured, and three it most likely was dangerous just to assist the guy.
However, a priest is expected to love others, especially his own people. This most likely is a fellow Jew in the story for reasons I will explain later.
32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.Luke 10:32 KJV
Once again a priestly assistant and he fails to perform his duty most likely for similar reasons.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,Luke 10:33 KJV
Ok, you might remember that those two groups did not like each other. This is why I suspect it was a Jew. If he was it gives emphasis to the Samaritan’s compassion because the man’s Jewishness gave him reason to ignore his plight but because of his good heart chose not to.
34 And 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.
35 And 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.Luke 10:34-35 KJV
Basically left an open tab for the guy to insure all his needs were taken care of.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?Luke 10:36 KJV
Everyone in need is our neighbor. This is the point Christ was making. We are to love everyone regardless of locality to us.
37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.Luke 10:37 KJV
The point of the parable is that the ceremonies of the priests nor the laws or statutes which the two people who passed by the dying man represented, can save a life. It takes another to come and by his credit he is the one who saves. The Samaritan in this parable is Jesus. Not that he was nationally a Samaritan. Jesus was a Jew lets not get our wires crossed but idiomatically he was the Samaritan character in the story.
38 Now 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.Luke 10:38 KJV
The village is Bethany.
39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
40 But 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.Luke 10:39-40 KJV
Martha is busy holding to convention. While Mary is breaking convention and instead listening to Christ’s teachings. Martha was a stickler for what the world found important. The majority of the things we hold dear or find to be proper manners is absolutely useless. They are personal trinkets and are not important to God at all. Yet, we invest so much care into them that they bother us when not adhered to.
The majority of arguments people get into are over useless things that really don’t matter the least bit. Yet still they are reason to argue and yell and fight. Now I am not suggesting this is what was happening but Martha is clearly frustrated with the situation.
41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.Luke 10:41-42 KJV
The message here is that you should never be so busy in service to God that you forget to listen to his word. This is not a verse to get out of doing the household chores however. Sorry kids, but you still got to do the things around the house. However, this is an important charge to make sure you are listening to God when he is telling you something.
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