Chapter 10 verse 1 begins by saying, "after this",
meaning, after Jesus entered Samaria. At this point in time Jesus sends
out 72 people to prepare the way for his trip to Jerusalem. They went to
every town and village and surrounding countryside where Jesus would pass
Jesus has seen the crowds that have followed Him for the last 2
years and tells his disciples "that the harvest is plentiful but the
workers are few". Thousands of people had been part of the crowds but
those who truly followed Jesus as true disciples were much fewer.
Jesus then tells these disciples to "ask the Lord of the
harvest to send out workers into his field". Note that it was the job
of the disciples to ask. Also note that the harvest field belongs to the
Lord of the harvest, meaning, God Himself. God owns the harvest field.
This is fundamental in the Great Commission of Mat. 28. Because He owns
the field, He can send who He wants into the field. He has authority over
the harvest field, those lives who have not found salvation.
After Jesus tells these people to pray for workers He chose 72 to be
workers for Him. Verse 3 says, "Go, I send you out as lambs among
wolves". How did these 72 feel about those words? Lambs donít
survive in the presence of wolves very well. Jesus wasnít painting a
nice picture for these people.
In verse 4 Jesus tells the 72 not to take a purse, bag, or sandals.
I donít believe that Jesus is telling them not to wear the sandals they
already had on their feet. I donít think that Jesus wanted them to go
barefoot. He simply told them not to pack a bag with extra sandals, and
other things in it.
Then Jesus told them not to greet people they met along the way.
This could mean that these people were going to specific places and they
were not to get slowed down in conversing with people along the way.
Jesus then told them that if they find a house that allowed them to
stay a while, then stay there. Jesus did not want them to move from place
to place. He also told the 72 "that a workman is worthy of his
hire". This simply means that if someone is doing a job, they should
be paid for it. Therefore, this free lodging was pay for their preaching.
Jesus was the one sending these people out, but Jesus was not the
one paying their way, at least not in a direct way. Even when Jesus was on
earth, He used men to pay the wages of His messengers. Mind you, they did
not get a large salary. They got free food and lodging.
In verse 8 Jesus told them that "when they entered a town that
welcomed then, eat what is set before you". This is interesting in
the sense that the people living in this area were both Jews and Gentiles,
of which many were in mixed marriages, disregarding Jewish tradition. The
72 were not to ask where the food came from, if it was clean or unclean,
or if it had been offered to pagan gods. They were to eat what was set
before them and not get bogged down in discussions of kosher food.
What they were to discuss though was the Kingdom of God, the reign
of Jesus. They were also told to heal the sick. So like the Twelve
earlier, the 72 were given power over sickness.
Concerning the Kingdom of God, Jesus said in verse 9 to tell their
listeners "that the Kingdom of God is near them" What does this
mean? It could possibly mean that the Kingdom of God would soon come,
which it did on the Day of Pentecost. So in that sense of the word, it was
near. Jesus is also King of the Kingdom, and in that sense the Kingdom was
near as well, since Jesus was physically near these people.
Yet Jesus Himself just might well answer this question. The answer
might be found in Luke 11:20. In this verse Jesus said that if He
"drives out demons by the finger of God, then the Kingdom of God has
come near you". The demonstration of miracles by Jesus is really a
demonstration of the Kingdom of God. When the miracles were present, so
was the Kingdom. This most likely is that vest answer to the question I
have just asked.
The Kingdom of God is what salvation is all about. When one becomes
a Christian, he is not just getting his sins forgiven. He is entering
another Kingdom where Jesus is King and therefore is expected to submit
himself to King Jesus. This is salvation.
Again, as Jesus told the Twelve earlier, if a town does not receive
you and what you say, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against
them. Yet Jesus adds a phrase that we donít see when He sent out the
Twelve apostles. He said to tell that town the "the Kingdom of God is
near". So whether a town excepted or rejected these 72, they were to
announce the Kingdom of God was near. For those towns that rejected the
message, they were in fact rejecting the Kingdom of God, not merely these
Verse 12 is interesting. Jesus tells the 72 that those towns that
reject their message will be in worse shape on the Day of Judgement than
the wicked city of Sodom. Why do you think that will be? Sodom committed
many and various sins. These towns were not just sinning but were
rejecting Jesus. In the final analyses what condemns us is not our sin,
but our rejection of Jesus.
In verse 12 Jesus said woe to Korazin and Bethsaida. He compared
those 2 cities with Tyra and Sidon. These cities were coastal cities on
the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, and were very sinful cities. He says
that if His miracles had have been performed in those cities like they
were in Bethsaida and Korizan, then they "would have repented long
ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes". Note the seriousness of their
repentance. When Jesus spoke of repentance, he did not merely think in
terms of saying a quick "Iím sorry".
Verse 14 shows us something about the judgement of God. Jesus says
that Tyra and Sidon will have a more bearable sentence than Korizan and
Bethsaida. This shows us the justness of God. Both will be judged, but
because Tyra and Sidon did not have a chance to reject Jesus, then they
will be judged easier. This may answer, to a degree, the question that
some ask, "what about the person who has never heard about
Jesus"? One thing we know, and that is, God will judge justly.
Then in verse 15 Jesus spoke about Capernaum, the city where He
often visited, and some say actually lived. He said that Capernaum would
not rise to the sky but sink to lower depth. Why? Because that city
rejected Jesus after all the time He spent in that city.
We see something here in this discussion of cities. God does judge
cities and nations. He judges them now and will in the end. Cities and
nations rise and fall according to what they do with Jesus.
In verse 16 Jesus told the 72 that "those who receive you,
receive me, and those who reject you, reject me". You may ask why
this is. The simple answer is that the 72, like you or I who are
Christians, represent Jesus in all we do. So if we are Jesusí
representatives, you can see Jesusí thinking. As I have said before, we
do everything in "the name of Jesus". Doing things in Jesusí
name means to act on His behalf. Therefore, how people treat us reflects
back on to Jesus.
There is a gap of time between verse 16 and verse 17. We see the 72
returning to Jesus in verse 17 full of joy that even the demons had to
obey them when the 72 spoke in Jesusí name. Like when the Twelve were
sent out, these 72 were surprised and happy with the results.
In verse 18 Jesus says, "I saw satan fall like lightening from
Heaven". I am not quite certain exactly what Jesus meant here. Some
suggest that Jesus was seeing into the future and saw satanís defeat on
the cross. Some suggest (I tend to agree at the moment) that Jesus was
referring to satanís expulsion from Heaven to the earth.
Nevertheless, Jesus granted these 72 people authority to trample on
snakes and scorpions. Jesus told them that nothing the enemy threw at them
would harm them. Does this mean that these 72 people would now have an
easy life, free of trouble from satan? Not at all. Some of these people
would die at the hand of the enemy. So how do you put these 2 thoughts
together? Jesus knew that the enemy would be after them. That is why He
gave power to them, yet even with this power, God has final authority over
the devil. He allowed the devil to kill some of these people as a witness
to their faith. Once again, we should remember that God views death
differently than we do.
Sometimes Jesusí authority trumps ours. This means, that when the
devil harms us in any way, he can only do it with Jesusí permission.
Therefore in the cases where some of these 72 people were killed for their
faith, it was the will of their Lord. It is thus true that for some, Godís
will is death. Persecution can be Godís will. Such persecution normally
brings out good things in the Kingdom of God.
Even with all of the excitement over this new found power Jesusí
next words are meant to bring things into perspective. It is too easy for
man to get carried away with power and authority. So Jesus tells them not
to rejoice over the fact that demons are subject to them, but rather
rejoice that their names are written in Heaven.
The words "written in Heaven" refer to the "Lambs
Book of Life" that we see in Revelation. We should note that in Rev.
3:5 the suggestion is made that one can have his name removed from this
It is also interesting to note that as Jesus spoke these words,
these 72 people already had their names written in the Book of Life, and
this was before the cross, before Godís gracious sacrifice was made for
salvation. It was their trust in Jesus at that present time that allowed
their names to be written in the Book of Life, even before the cross. Thus
salvation has always been by faith, whether in Old Testament times of New
Verse 21 tells us that Jesus was very joyful. Luke says that this
joy came from the Holy Spirit. This joy was something that came upon Jesus
with the response to the 72ís joy that they had upon their return. All
Christians from time to time experience a joy that comes from the Holy
Spirit. There are a range of emotions that humans can experience from the
Holy Spirit. In fact all emotions that are common to man, are common to
God. So we can experience human joy and we can experience Godly joy.
From this spirit of joy, Jesus prayed, "I praise you Father,
Lord of Heaven and earth". There are a few things to note here. One
is that Jesus called God His Father. He is now becoming more public in the
claims of being Godís son. He said these words in front of the disciples
and others as well.
Jesus said that the Father is "Lord of heaven and earth",
and indeed He is. Yet Jesus Himself also becomes Lord of heaven and earth.
From a reading of 1 Cor. 15 we see that the Father has given all authority
over to Jesus, and at some future date, Jesus will return all things back
to His Father.
What Jesus is rejoicing over is the fact that God has not revealed
"these things" to the wise and learned men of that day.
"These things" refer to the things Jesus has taught His
disciples, and especially the things He has just been talking about.
Jesus actually said that these things have "been hidden"
from these wise and learned men, meaning the Pharisees, teachers of the
Law, and other rulers of the Jews. It is not that these men cannot seem to
understand these things. God Himself has actively hidden these things from
these men. Instead, He has chosen to "reveal" them to
"children". Notice the word "reveal". It is important
to note that any understanding that originates from God can only come to a
personís understanding through revelation by the Holy Spirit. Carnal man
cannot understand spiritual things.
The children refer to the disciples. Jesusí disciples were men and
women for the most part that had little or no education. They were
unlearned. It is interesting to note that the choice of these unlearned
men and women was by Godís design. One does not need great intelligence
to be chosen to serve in Godís Kingdom. Yet since the cross, we need to
understand that salvation is for all men, both wise and unwise. Paul makes
this clear in 1 Cor. 1:26. Yet the fact still remains that God can and
will use whom He wills, and His choice is not necessarily based on oneís
Jesusí very words, "yes Father, for this was your good
pleasure", confirms the point that God has no problem choosing
unlearned men. He gets great joy in doing so. The Father, or Jesus is not
constrained by worldly thinking. They do things the way they want, no
matter how strange it may appear to human reasoning.
Verse 22 is the clearest example yet of the relationship between
Jesus and His Father. Jesus expressed this to all in ears shot of His
words. Jesus said, "all things have been committed to me by my FatherÖ"
We have touched on this point already. All things have been committed into
the hands of Jesus until such time when He has put all things under His
feet, and then returns all of these things back to His Father. At that
point, Jesus Himself will submit Himself under His Fatherís rule in a
new way. Once again read 1 Cor 15 for a further understanding of these
Jesus continued to say that "no one knows who the Father is
except the Son and to those whom the Son chooses to reveal Him". Only
Jesus knows God in the full sense of knowing. Yet Jesus can choose to
reveal God to anyone He wants. He did that with His disciples and has done
the same for us who are Christians. Yet with our finite minds we can only
grasp so little of who God really is. That is why Jesus came to earth in
the first place. We can understand Jesus much better than we can
Verse 23 tells us that Jesus "turned to His disciples" and
spoke to them "privately". The words above were spoken openly to
the crowd. The next words Jesus speaks are private words, meant only for
His true followers.
Jesus called His disciples "blessed". Because He had
turned to them and privately spoke these words, this suggests that these
words were meant to be very meaningful. Jesus was most likely still filled
with the joy of the Spirit as He told the oneís He loved that they were
very blessed. Did these men and women know that they were so blessed?
Probably not to the same extent as Jesus knew it.
Jesus told them the Kings and Prophets of old all wanted to see and
hear all that these people had seen and heard. People such as King David,
and the great prophet Isaiah all hoped that they could be a part of the
days of the Messiah, but all died before these days came. Yet these men
and women stood with, and lived with the very Messiah the men in Old
Testament times spoke about. They were blessed indeed.
This section in Luke concerns Jesusí conversation with an
"expert of the Law", a lawyer, who asked Jesus a question merely
to tempt Him. Often you will see the word "scribe" in the KJV
Bible. Scribes were "men of the Law of Moses". They were
translators, teachers and lawyers.
It is quite possible that this exchange between the lawyer and Jesus
took place right after Jesusí words to His disciples. Yet on the other
hand, Luke is not so concerned with chronological order in his account, so
he says this exchange took place "on one occasion".
The lawyer asked Jesus, "what must I do to inherit eternal
life"? This is often the question asked when people begin to hear the
gospel. We often think in terms of "what can I do"? Yet the
gospel should be first thought of in terms of "what did Jesus
do"? The religious man, as this lawyer was, always thinks in terms of
what Paul calls works. This man was used of the idea that he needed to do
many things in order to obtain favour with God. Now he wants to hear what
Jesus has to say about this, hoping to trick Jesus and catch Him saying
something against the Law of Moses.
Jesus does not directly answer the lawyerís question. As in times
past, Jesus answered the question with a question, actually 2 questions in
this case. Jesus asked, "what is written in the law", and
"how do you read it? He is making this man answer his own question.
Jesus knows that this man is out to trick Him. He also knows that this man
wants an answer based on the Law. So Jesus merely asked him what his
understanding was, based on the Law.
The lawyer answered by quoting Duet. 6:5 and Lev. 19:18. The intent
of these verses was to love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, mind
and strength, and also to love your neighbour as yourself.
One debate in Christian thinking over the years is whether man is
made up of 2 parts, that is, "body and soul", or 3 parts,
"body, soul and spirit". For me, this is a hard debate to solve.
Here the Bible speaks of heart, soul, mind and strength, almost suggesting
that these parts are all distinct and separate. I donít take these words
I see these 4 words as all being part of the inner man. It is this
inner man that has been placed in a physical body to express itself. The
heart, soul, mind, and strength are all intertwined with each other. The
heart suggests the centre of who we are. The mind suggests our
intellectual capacities. The soul suggests the religious nature of man,
while the strength points to the conviction of our wills.
The simple point of this statement is that all of who we are, that
is found in our real inner self, should love the Lord God. With this same
love, we should love those around us. All that we do should be motivated
from the inner driven love we have towards God.
Who can argue with the lawyerí s answer? The lawyer asked a tricky
question. Jesus asked the lawyer to answer his own question. The lawyerís
answer cannot be argued against by Jesus, eliminating the attempt to trick
In verse 28 Jesus answered the lawyer by saying, "you have
answered correctly" and, "do this and you will live". Jesusí
answer implies that if we really want to live, both now and into eternity,
then love God, and those around you. Once again I say, the mark of a
mature Christian is how he loves and serves others.
Indeed Jesusí response to the lawyer did end the attempt to trick
Him, but the lawyer was not finished with the questions. Jesus agreed with
the lawyerís answer about how one inherits eternal life. The answer was
so simple that the lawyer had to justify himself by asking a question that
might be a little harder to answer. It is typical for the educated mind to
turn a simple answer into a more complicated one.
So the lawyer asked Jesus in verse 29, "who is my neighbour"?
With this question Jesus replied with a parable, unlike the answer
to the first question. The parable goes like this. There was a man
traveling on a road. He was beaten, robbed , and left for dead by robbers.
Both a priest and a Levite (Jewish religious rulers) saw this man on the
side of the road. They both passed him by. They actually walked on the
opposite side of the road to avoid him.
A Samaritan passed by and took interest in the beaten up man.
Remember, Samaritans were half Jew and half Gentile, hated greatly by the
pure Jews. This half bread of a man stopped and helped the poor man, fixed
his wounds, put him up in an inn over night, and paid for the room. He
asked the inn keeper to look after him until he returned. This Samaritan
went out of his way to help this poor man.
In verse 36 Jesus asked the lawyer which one of the 3 men was acting
as a neighbour to the man in need. The lawyer responded by saying,
"the one who had mercy on him". Notice how the lawyer answered.
He did not say, "the Samaritan was the true neighbour". He could
not bring himself to say that a Samaritan could actually do something so
In Jesusí parable there was a secondary suggestion. The 2
religious leaders did not act lovingly according to their own law, yet a
Samaritan did act as the Law required.
Jesus then tells the lawyer, "go and do likewise", as to
say, "the intellectual discussion is over. Just start doing what you
know is right to do". We as Christians like to discuss and debate,
and there is nothing wrong with that, but discussion without action is
It is interesting to me that Jesus entered into dialogue and debate
with this lawyer, but He didnít continue and dragging the discussion on
for ever. He used it as a tool to teach, and once the lesson was over, He
was not going to waste His time and efforts in a mere intellectual