Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two
10 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
Woe to Unrepentant Cities
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more bearable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades.
“The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
The Return of the Seventy-Two
The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Jesus Rejoices in the Father’s Will
In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, 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 such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
Martha and Mary
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10 Commentary
by Hank Workman
“At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. 22 All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”Luke 10:21-22
Jesus lifts His head and praises the Father in joy as He witnesses and hears the work of God in His people. The ancient word used here reflects genuine excitement; literally He was thrilled with joy at the report from the 70 who returned to Him. It’s a ‘breakout moment’ of praise for these whom His Word has gone out through to the highways and byways, the neighbors and towns proclaiming the work of Jesus.
There were far more than 12 who had been following Jesus. These 72 who were sent had been given specific instructions. They were to prepare those they met for the visit of Jesus coming their way. None were unique in their qualifications. They weren’t elite, not better educated or even of a high status other than followers of Jesus. Yet, what Jesus praised God for was they were equipped for this mission, that let’s be honest must have been scary, because they were aware of Jesus’ power and had a vision to reach people.
Not much has changed today. Jesus doesn’t look at our pedigree or social status. He looks for those who are Followers of Him and are willing to go where He directs. Through our own experience with Jesus, He has us use what we have learned, observed and experienced as we prepare the way for Him to come to them. As I love this picture of Jesus raising His head toward the Father in praise with genuine joy for the work the 70 did, I can’t help but believe He does the same today as we go where we’re sent; speak what He’s told and rely on the Holy Spirit to empower us through every conversation.
Luke 10 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
The kingdom of God was sent out and manifest itself through the power of the 72 that Christ chose. What was their purpose?
“Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat what is set before you; 9 and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’Luke 10:8-9 NASB
Jesus had sounded the alarm. The kingdom of God has come near to you. City after city would have been tapped with this good news that God’s Son was here. The kingdom was near. No one knows how long this mission lasted, but at the end, the report was given.
The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”Luke 10:17 NASB
This mission produced joy in Christ’s followers as they were empowered by Jesus with bold acts that surpassed even demonic powers. The people rejoiced in the fact that through Christ, the demons were subject to them. However, look at what Jesus says next.
And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. 19 “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. 20 “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”Luke 10:18-20 NASB
In some ways, the 72 may have become prideful in their actions. Jesus reminds them that Satan himself fell victim to this attitude and was cast out of heaven like lightning. “I have given you authority…” Jesus then reminds them. It’s not you, it’s Me! And through me, He says, you are protected. The same power that cast Satan out of heaven is the power that enables you to tread on scorpions and serpents.
However, my favorite part of this story is found in verse 20. The joy was not to be found in the works. Christ reminds them that the reason for all of this is the good news being proclaimed. The miracles, healings, signs and wonders all point to the message. They point to Jesus. Do not rejoice in the works, but rejoice in the fact that your names are recorded in heaven.
I know many people today that put the emphasis on the acts. They boast about being able to do great works in the name of Christ, or about how His power has manifest itself in their life. The real source of joy is not the power of Christ or His gifts, but rather, the sacrifice paid at the cross so that we can be saved for eternity.