Bible Study: Luke, Chapter Ten
Transcript: Today we are going to continue our interactive Bible study and we are going to cover Luke Chapter 10. After the meeting today, or sometime this week, please take the matching Quiz that I have prepared on the website. Thanks to all that have taken last week’s quiz. Let’s get started:
Luke Chapter 10 beginning in verse 1 reading from the World English Bible: Now after these things, the Lord also appointed seventy others, and sent them two by two ahead of him into every city and place where he was about to come.
In Luke 9, Jesus had sent out the 12 to minister. Now he chose 70, and sent them out. They were to visit the towns and prepare the people for His coming visit. These 70 were unnamed here and are only known to God. Where there was a Judas among the 12, we never hear about one being in the 70.
This is area that Jesus was sending them out to minister in. There were many small cities scattered around the Sea of Galilee. Jesus sent them out two-by-two for three reasons:
1. To teach them to work together with other ministers.
2. That in the mouths of two witnesses every thing might be established.
3. So they could comfort and support each other when they faced difficulties.
2 Then he said to them, “The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few. Pray therefore to the Lord of the harvest, that he may send out laborers into his harvest.
Jesus used an analogy of a ripe field of grain to explain the urgency of their work. He saw a lot of human need, these people needed God. It was like a farmer looking over His fields, golden and ready to harvest, but there is no one to help bring it in. Without help, the grain would rot in the fields. That is what Jesus felt, so He sent out the 70.
The laborers are few:this is a harvest that needs laborers. A harvest can go to waste if there are not enough laborers to bring it in. Jesus felt that opportunities to meet human need, and to bring people into His kingdom, may wasted because there were not enough laborers. Jesus told us to pray that the Lord would send out laborers. The Greek is much more forcible, and means that he would push them forward, thrust them out. It is the same word that is used for casting out a devil.
I can tell you from experience that when the Lord wants you to go, He has ways of motivating you. Before we began Refreshing Hope, I had a very vivid dream where the Lord took Sylvia and me to a seven-acre field and explained that He needed the crop that this particular field produced. It was very important to Him, He needed it. Then He told me that if we would take care of this field, and raise this crop for Him, that He would provide everything that we needed. About a year later, we were pushed into ministry, and now here we are farming. I don’t know how this works, I don’t know where this is going, but I do know this was His idea, and that is all that matters.
3 Go your ways. Behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves.
There is huge difference between a lamb and a wolf, but Jesus came as the Lamb of God. He was gentle, meek, and lowly. Paul said in Acts 20:29 “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.” The savage wolves were false teachers, and Jesus was sending His disciples out among them. After the cross, His disciples were beaten, imprisoned, and killed.
4 Carry no purse, nor wallet, nor sandals. Greet no one on the way. 5 Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’ 6 If a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you.
They were to trust God to provide for their needs, and not waste their time. During that time, the Eastern greetings were so tedious, and so full of flattery, that it usually lead on to gossip and it could take a long time. The men that Jesus sent out ran the risk of seeming unsocial at times in order to get on with their work.
“Peace to this house”: The customs of that time meant that the disciples would probably stay in the home of hospitable people. The inns, if any were available, were often houses of prostitution, and they were unsuitable for godly messengers. They were instructed to bring a blessing of peace to each house, if the home would receive it.
“If a son of peace is there”: “In the Jewish style, a man who has any good or bad quality is called the son of it. In John 17:12, Jesus called Judas “the son of perdition.” Here the “Son of peace” means a peaceable, quiet man, one of good report. They were to remain in whatever house that took them in, and eat and drink the things they were given. God would provide for them through the generosity of others, and they were to thankfully receive it.
7 Remain in that same house, eating and drinking the things they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Don’t go from house to house. 8 Into whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat the things that are set before you.
Jesus spoke a lot about the “laborer”, said that the laborer is worthy of his wages, and that moment He was speaking of the 70 disciples that He was about to send out. This meant that His disciples were not to see the support given to them as charity, but as wages for their work in God’s kingdom. They worked, they got paid, and it came from the people that they were ministering to. The difference was their Boss was God.
Some who dismiss tithing or giving, try to say that Jesus sent His disciples out without any money in order to teach them to trust God, and that you shouldn’t give them anything either. But when God’s laborers went out that day, God provided for their needs through the giving of others. It is always people helping people, for God works through His people.
Money rarely appears out of thin air, it is given by people. A simple fact is that if you have never given to support the ministers that God has sent across your path, then you are not really that involved in what He is doing today, and it is doubtful that Jesus or His disciples would have stayed at your house, for they would have starved.
9 Remain in that same house, eating and drinking the things they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Don’t go from house to house.
The mission of the disciples was heal the sick and preach the good news, that God’s kingdom has come near to you. When you have been miraculously healed, it is safe to say that you have encountered the kingdom of God in a measure. Also, asking people to believe in a religion without signs and wonders isn’t really biblical. The Holy Spirit always worked with the disciples and confirmed their words through signs and wonders.
Today, a lot of the church has lost sight of this truth. The Power of the Holy Spirit is what brought the healing to the people and it is what helped them believe. When we strip away the power of the Holy Spirit, and make excuses as to why He isn’t doing that anymore, it leaves us with a weak, watered-down gospel, one that Jesus never intended. Lets look at a few scriptures:
Mark 16:19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.
1 Corinthians 2:4 - And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power
1 Corinthians 4:19 - But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power.
1 Corinthians 4:20 - For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.
1 Thessalonians 1:5 - For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.
Jesus never intended us to preach a powerless gospel with “words only” but to work hand-in-hand with the Holy Spirit every day. As we follow His prompting, miracles happen in our wake. It’s all Him. The more that we align with Him, the more power there will be in our lives. As an example of how this works:
When Sylvia and I were first pushed into this ministry, we sent out an email devotional each day. It was a very small ministry and we were about the only ones that supported it. Then we felt led to start an online church, and we sat down together and discussed if it was possible, and what it would cost to get started. We took a spreadsheet and calculated that it would take about $2500 to get it online, if we used the old equipment that we had left over from our computer business.
We didn’t really have it, but felt that we should start, so I pulled an old computer out of the closet and began formatting it on our kitchen table. Within thirty minutes, someone came to our website and donated exactly $2500. A single person, and the exact amount that we needed. Also, this person wrote us later and said that God had blessed them so much that they had lived for one year on the return of that gift. Their words were: “Giving to your ministry was the best investment that I ever made.” It is a circle: God speaks, we step out in faith, He provides through His people, and then He multiplies their gift back to them. I am not saying this because we want your money, but because this is a real example of how God finances His kingdom. It is through His people listening to Him.
10 But into whatever city you enter, and they don’t receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust from your city that clings to us, we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that God’s Kingdom has come near to you.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city.
At the time, when Jews passed through gentile cities, they stopped and shook the dust off their feet when leaving to say: “we do not even want your dust on us.” The disciples would treat the cities that rejected Jesus the same way. They had done their part and preached the good news. The people were now responsible for the message they had heard.
13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon which were done in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you. 15 You, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades.
Sodom and Tyre and Sidon were notoriously sinful gentile cities, but they were in the dark spiritually, while Capernaum was Jesus’ home base. He preached and healed there for years, but there was apparently little change. Capernaum had seen God’s Light, and mostly rejected it. Those gentile cities had never seen the miracles that they had experienced in Capernaum and Bethsaida. So in the final judgement, the gentile cities would be better off.
For example: Moses was one of the closest people to God in the Bible. He was special. Exodus 33:11 tells us that Moses talked with God face-to-face like a friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his face shone so bright with the glory of God that he had to wear a veil. Then in Numbers 20:8 God told Moses to speak to a rock and water would come out of it, but instead Moses struck the rock twice with a staff, and that cost him entering the promised land. The more we hear God’s truth, and the more we see Him move, the more we are accountable for.
An interesting thing here is that Jesus said that it would be more tolerable for some in the day of judgment than for others. This means that on that day, some people will receive worse judgment than others. No one will have it good in hell, but apparently some will have it worse than others. Now this is speaking of the people that rejected Jesus. As I understand it, those that accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will not face that judgement at all for our sins are forgiven. I believe that we do have to give account for what we have done with what He has given us as the parable of the talents speaks of, but that determines our reward. According to Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:14, some will get rewards, and others will just make it through the door.
Another thing is that the Bible never mentions Jesus’ miracles in Chorazin. This means that the Gospels give us sketches of Jesus’ life, but not a full biography. The Apostle John said that it would be impossible to recount everything that Jesus did, that the books of the world could not contain it all, John 21:25.
16 Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me. Whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
Jesus sent His servants out as messengers under His authority. When they were rejected, Jesus was rejected. As servants of the King, we should not hold onto praise or rejection too tightly. We only need to focus on representing Jesus properly. When we have spoken the truth in love, the response is directed to the One that sent us.
17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”
All 70 of the disciples returned with joy. Though He had sent them out as lambs among wolves, not one of them were lost. Scripture does not mention that Jesus gave the group of 70 power over demons as He had the 12, because Jesus sent them to preach and to heal, but they found that they had the power of deliverance as well. The power was using the name of Jesus as one under authority.
18 He said to them, “I saw Satan having fallen like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I give you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. Nothing will in any way hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, don’t rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Through their preaching, teaching, and healing, the Kingdom of God was advancing, and the kingdom of evil was retreating. But also, this could be a warning because Isaiah 14:12 tells us that satan fell because he was lifted up in pride. Jesus saw him fall, and He warned the disciples to not rejoice because the spirits were subject to them. If an anointed Cherubim that attended God could fall, so could they. It is important to not become too lifted up after God uses you in some way. It can be all too easy to become impressed with what you have done for God, and then have Him move on and use someone else instead. We have be wary of being overjoyed in over our talents, our gifts, and our success, even when doing His work. It all came from Him.
I take the reference to serpents and scorpions spiritually because of “all the power of the enemy”, though Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake in Acts 28:3 and suffered no harm. I know that some Christians practice holding snakes as a show of their faith, I prefer to take my shotgun and blast them into several parts. I. Hate. Snakes.
21 In that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in your sight.”
Jesus is known as the “Man of Sorrows” but here He was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit. The ancient Greek says “He was thrilled with joy” over the work of His servants. Jesus rejoiced in the success of His friends. Jesus was so happy that He burst into spontaneous prayer and began thanking the Father for all that He had done for them.
1 Corinthians 1:27 tells us that God delights in using the weak and foolish things of this world to confound the wise. Great education usually turns people away from faith. According to Acts 4:13 The disciples of Jesus were “uneducated” men, but they spoke with boldness and performed miracles. Jesus sent the simple, because the wise of this world would never go out as lambs among wolves, because they would not change the message, and because He wanted to reach the simple. The unlikely people of the world are the ones that God chose to use to carry His message.
22 Turning to the disciples, he said, “All things have been delivered to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is, except the Father, and who the Father is, except the Son, and he to whomever the Son desires to reveal him.” 23 Turning to the disciples, he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things that you see, 24 for I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see the things which you see, and didn’t see them, and to hear the things which you hear, and didn’t hear them.”
The disciples lived during a blessed time and actually walked with God on earth. They ate with Him, went on boat rides together, and watched Him raise the dead. The great Kings and Prophets of the Old Testament like David and Isaiah would have loved to see and hear Jesus, but did not get to.
25 Behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
A lawyer means that this man was an expert in the law of Moses and he tested the knowledge of Jesus. Now test here does not necessarily mean the man had evil intent, but they often tried to trap Jesus in something that He said.
Eternal Life: The Biblical understanding of eternal life doesn’t necessarily refer to duration of life, because the spirit of every person is already immortal, and will end up in heaven or hell. It doesn’t refer to a life that begins after we physically die. Eternal life is a particular quality of life, a life that comes from God, and a life we can live right now.
For instance, in Luke 9:60 Jesus said “Let the dead bury the dead”. Well that is impossible, unless it means that people who are physically alive, can be spiritually dead - or the zombie apocalypse has happened. I believe the former. We who are spiritually dead, can become alive. That is the concept of Eternal Life: life beyond the natural, life from the Eternal realm.
26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”28 He said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this, and you will live.” 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”
The lawyer felt that he fulfilled the first part well, but the second part hinged on defining the neighbor. So Jesus explains who his neighbor was using an illustration.
30 Jesus answered, “A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
Josephus, a Jewish historian, wrote that the road from Jerusalem to Jericho was well known for crime and robbery. So it wasn’t a surprise to Jesus’ listeners that He set the story on this particular road. The road from Jerusalem to Jericho is about 17 miles long and it is a steep descent of about 3,300 feet. The road winds through desolate wild country where robbers could hide safely. Most people traveled that road in groups or caravans. This man traveled alone and was robbed, stripped, beaten, and left for dead.
31 By chance a certain priest was going down that way. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 In the same way a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side.
The priests and the levites are both categories of the religious officials of the time. A priest came along, but he passed by on the other side. Touching a dead body would make the priest ceremonially unclean. The only way to tell if the man was alive would have been to go to him. The priest chose to follow the law and crossed to the other side of the road to avoid any chance of contact with the man. There may have been other reasons that we do not know, but he left the man there. Then a levite came along. He was also interested in ceremonial purity, so he passed by on the other side of the road, and left the man there.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he traveled, came where he was. When he saw him, he was moved with compassion, 34 came to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. He set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the host, and said to him, ‘Take care of him. Whatever you spend beyond that, I will repay you when I return.’
Now the people listening probably thought that Jesus would say a normal Jewish man came along and helped the man, but Jesus said a Samaritan came along.
Who are the Samaritans? Well, all twelve tribes of Israel were happily united under the rule of King David. Then he passed it down to his son Solomon. A lot backsliding happened during this time. Solomon loved foreign women and he took for himself 700 wives and 300 concubines, and he began “experimenting” with their gods.
So when the kingdom passed from Solomon to his son Rehoboam, ten tribes split off and became the northern kingdom, while two tribes (Judah and Benjamin) remained loyal to David’s line and became Judah, or the southern kingdom. The king of the northern tribes was Jeroboam, and he led them into all kinds of idolatry and made them golden calfs to worship. This is covered in 1Kings 11 onward. Eventually the Northern tribes were carried off to Assyria and intermixed with them. The two kingdoms were at war on and off for hundreds of years. That is Samaria in a nutshell.
Generally speaking, Jews and Samaritans despised each other both racially and religiously. The culture of the day gave that Samaritan man plenty of reasons to hate this Jewish man and to pass him by. To show you how far this goes, at the time, some rabbis taught that a Jew was forbidden to help a Gentile woman who was in distress giving birth because if they succeeded, all they did was to help one more Gentile come into the world. They also thought that Samaritans were worse than the other Gentiles.
The samaritan was moved with compassion, came to him and bound up his wounds using wine as an antiseptic and oil to sooth the pain. He then placed the man on his own animal, walked to an inn, and continued to take care of him until the next day. Overnight room and board cost about 1/32 of a denarii then. When he left, he gave the inn keeper 2 denarii, which would have been two months board. Then he offered to pay the inn keeper whatever he spent beyond that when he returned. This man did far more than the minimum. When he saw a stranger in need, he did all that he could to help him without being blinded by racism or hatred.
36 Now which of these three do you think seemed to be a neighbor to him who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Jesus asked the man which of the three seemed to be a neighbor to the injured man. Of course, the samaritan was the only real choice. Jesus then told him to go and do likewise.
38 As they went on their way, he entered into a certain village, and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
This story is only told in the gospel of Luke, though we can learn more about Mary and Martha in the other gospels. John 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. So we know they lived in Bethany, and had a brother named Lazarus, who Jesus raised from the dead. Luke 24:50 tells us that Jesus walked with His disciples to Bethany and then ascended, so it was His last place on earth.
The town of Bethany is about a mile and half east of Jerusalem. It has always been a small mountain village with nothing to offer but seclusion, and that may be why Jesus went there to rest at times. It is located on the eastern side of the mount of olives. Martha welcome Jesus to their house. Staying at people’s houses were how the disciples lived when Jesus sent them out, and He lived the same way.
39 She had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she came up to him, and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister left me to serve alone? Ask her therefore to help me.”
Jesus was apparently teaching and Martha, who had invited Him to the house, wanted everything to be perfect. She was working hard to serve them. While her sister Mary “also” sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. This was the common way to listen to a Rabbi, by sitting and listening. Paul said in Acts 22:3 that he was brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, his teacher.
Martha’s problem was not that she was too busy serving, but that she was “distracted with much serving” and was too busy to listen to Jesus, while Mary served but “also” sat and listened. Martha’s frustration is typical of those who diligently serve with good intent, but don’t take time to sit at Jesus’ feet. “The Martha spirit says, if the work is done, isn't that good enough?” Jesus said that it’s not.
41 Jesus answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
The one thing needful evidently is that which Mary chose - that good part which would not be taken away from her. Very clearly this was to sit at Jesus’ feet, and to hear his word. The thing is, that if Martha would have sat at the feet of Jesus for a few moments, she would have peace that would made her life much less stressful. There are three types of people we can gather from this story:
1. There are people like Mary: Those who know how to serve and also sit at Jesus’ feet.
2. There are people like Martha: Those who diligently, and with the best intention serve God, but without adding the one thing—a continued focus on Jesus—and it results in great frustration.
3. There are people who don’t do either. They are not even in the house with Jesus, for they are too busy with their own pursuits.