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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Luke 10

Verses 1-24

  1. Intro:
    1. There once was a popular expression, "He was a brick!" The term implied all that is brave and loyal. Plutarch, in writing about the king of Sparta, tells how the phrase was coined. - An ambassador on a diplomatic mission visited the famous city. Knowing that its strength was acclaimed throughout all of Greece, he had expected to see massive fortresses surrounding the town, but he found nothing of the kind. Surprised, he exclaimed to the ruler, "Sir, you have no fortifications for defense. Why is this?" "Ah, but we are well protected," he replied. "Come with me tomorrow and I will show you the walls of Sparta." The next day he led his guest to the plain where the army was drawn up in full battle array. Pointing proudly to his soldiers who stood fearlessly in place, he said, "Behold the walls of Sparta -- 10,000 men and every man 'a brick'!"
      1. I believe this is how God sees his Church!
      2. Each believer a brave & loyal brick…as He constructs His Kingdom.
    2. 1st Jesus was limited to only 12 bricks to work with in God’s building(9:1-6).
      1. Now he had 70 others that obeyed Him, & would help to reap the harvest.
    3. The Galilee ministry is now closed, & the long slow journey to Jerusalem begun.
      1. This takes place either Samaria or in Perea(Gk. for “beyond”, area east of the Jordan River, i.e., ‘beyond the Jordan’; Trans-Jordan),
      2. Either one typify’s foreign missions.
    4. Chapter 10-18 is only here in Luke(except 11:14-32).
  2. SENDING OUT THE 70! (1-16)
    1. PRAY & GO! (1-4)
    2. The Lord appointed – this is the foundation of all true Christian work.
    3. 70 – or some manuscripts say 72.
    4. 70 others – i.e. not the 12!
    5. 2 by 2 – “two are better than one” - “by two or more witnesses…”
      1. Moses & Aaron; Joshua & Caleb; David & Jonathon; Peter & john; Paul & Barnabus; Luther & Melanchthon; John & Charles Wesley; Moody & Sankey;… (Griffith Thomas; Luke; pg.176.)
    6. Pray – A.J. Gordon said, “You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.”
    7. They were to go ahead of Him to every town & place He was about to go.
    8. Note Jesus’ urgency…2000 years ago!
    9. In a nut shell – Pray before going; travel fast & light; heal the sick; & preach the gospel!
    10. The laborers are still few –
      1. 9:57-62 told us why - (ministry is difficult & even dangerous)
        1. But of course also very rewarding!
    11. Labor Shortage – (History)
      1. In the East most worked for themselves.
        1. They had to 1st take care of their own harvest before caring for others.
      2. The owner of the field would order his servants to start harvesting.
        1. He would like to see them do it w/o having to hire others.
      3. The servants feared they’d be caught by the rainy season.
        1. So they’d beg their master to hire laborers.
        2. When the master sees the servants cannot finish cutting the wheat, he rushes to hire men, & goes to other towns & market places searching for idle laborers.
      4. Jesus has 12 men to preach the gospel.
        1. The field was too great for them!
      5. Jesus said to pray/ask the Father to send more men into the field.
        1. This prayer started to be answered at Pentecost (3000/5000).
      6. Mission work has gone on 2000 years now.
        1. The harvest is still great & the laborers are still few!
    12. (3) Go – notice the relationship between prayer & work.
      1. Often, “God wants a thing done; moves a believer to pray that it may be done; & then God does it in answer to that prayer.”[Evan Roberts, of Welsh Revival]
    13. (3,4) Notice we can go:
      1. Confidently – “behold I send you” – He was behind them.
        1. All their authority is found in these 4 words.
      2. Mildly – “lambs” – to show gentleness & inoffensiveness.
      3. Realistically – “among wolves” – expect contrast & opposition.
        1. Lambs among wolves? isn’t that like goldfish amongst piranha’s? Little pinky mice amongst a big Boa Constrictor?
      4. Unencumbered – “carry neither ” – sacrifice even of traveling necessities, to show sincerity & trust.
      5. Seriously - “greet no one along the road” – (not true politeness) speaking of long drawn out empty compliments. (Ibid. pg.177)
    14. (4) Greet no one along the road - Yiddish word “shmoose” conveys the sense here.
      1. “Talk in a friendly way, chit-chat, engage in idle conversation, gossip.”
      2. Don’t waste time, hasten to your destination & get on with your work!
    15. SHALOM! (5-9)
    16. (7,8) 1st duty is to think of our Master, last to think of self; but it helps when we win them to self 1st, & then to Him.
    17. (8) Eat whatever is before you – How else would they reach the Gentiles?
      1. To refuse to eat the host’s bread is a breach of hospitality.
      2. Remember, Jewish disciples going to reach Gentiles.
    18. Sounds like God wants us up close & personal to those we minister to?
    19. (9) Heal – Easterners are often more impressed by what people do than by what hey say, thus religious men are thus expected to have extraordinary powers.
    20. Say – The kingdom of god has come near to you.
    21. REJECTION! (10-12)
    22. Radical responsibility of hearing the message & not responding.
    23. The message of truth is to be proclaimed whether it is welcomed or not.
    24. CITIES OF DOOM! (13-16)
    25. Christian workers don’t need to be surprised if no results follow your faithful witness.
    26. (16) Why acceptance of Jesus is so important! – It’s why you can’t just believe in God the Father!
    27. They were sent out to represent Him, & represent God.
  3. RETURNING OF THE 70! (17-24)
    1. THEIR JOY! (17-20)
    2. Joy & rejoice are the keys to this passage.
      1. Spiritual victory most satisfying in life.
    3. (17) The 70 returned with joy after their successful short term mission’s trip.
    4. (18) While they were expelling the subordinates Jesus was noticing the chief of demons.
    5. Jesus was not speaking of Satan being cast out at that precise moment, but that his power had been broken and that he was subject to Jesus’ authority. (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible knowledge commentary)
      1. ​​​​​​​Language describing the triumph over Satan & all evil.
    6. (19) Christ’s biddings are His enablings!
    7. (20) Jesus shared in their joy, but reminded them to rejoice primarily not in being empowered for service, but in having been saved by grace. (Shepherd’s Notes, pg.39.)
      1. After all, their work might not always be successful…but their salvation would never change!
        1. Written - Perfect tense, which means the believers name stands written in heaven, & always will be written in heaven.J
      2. This verse completes the description of the responsibilities & privileges of discipleship begun in 9:51.
    8. JESUS’ JOY! (21-24)
    9. If the 70 rejoiced in the privileges of service & salvation, Jesus rejoiced in the sovereignty of the Father & the privilege He had of submitting to Him. (www)
    10. Jesus rejoiced because the father’s will was being accomplished in their lives.
      1. Q: What brings joy to your heart?
    11. Note the enlarging of the circle of workers…the 12; the 70; ultimately the entire church, the body of Christ!
      1. Today I’d like to talk about the 2000! (approx # of adults on a Sunday morning)
  4. SENDING OUT THE 2000!
    1. ​​​​​​​How does this apply to CCM?
      1. Let me 1st answer a question…
    2. How’s the building Project coming?
    3. Multi Species Act – still affecting our property.
    4. Too costly for us to build – debt would be too many millions.
    5. God’s direction for us now regarding finances?
      1. Conviction to Pay off Debt. [approx. 5, but appraised for 40]
      2. Conviction to pay our staff an adequate wage to live in our area.
    6. Now, we’re still in a building project…just a different kind!
      1. ​​​​​​​1 Cor.3:9 “you are the building of God.”
      2. Jude 20 “build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.”
      3. The purpose of a building is to be used!
      4. I believe God has shown our leadership team very clearly, He wants us to be used in our community, & to touch our world!
      5. An example of God confirming this, this week!
        1. Harvest Festival – Any area, but not Harvest Festival!
        2. Property across the street. Starting grading in Sept.
        3. No parking. Must do off-site.
        4. How about joining our City’s?
          1. Dean – talked w/parks & rec & they talked to the city attorney. Said ok to our booths. Can’t put our name on flyer(don’t want you to).
          2. Pray – Mtg. Tues 9am.
      6. My heart – I’m not trying to make it a “Christian event”.
      7. Then I’d love to see about 400 workers from CCM to love on our city/community by serving them!
      8. Then I’d love to see 6-7000 attendees to go their & just be “living, breathing, real, authentic, genuine followers of Jesus Christ!”
    7. Remember the King of Sparta when he said, "Come with me tomorrow and I will show you the walls of Sparta." The next day he led the ambassador to the plain where his army was drawn up in full battle array. Pointing proudly to his soldiers who stood fearlessly in place, he said, "Behold the walls of Sparta -- 10,000 men and every man 'a brick'!"
    8. I’d like to say to our community "Come with me and I will show you the walls, not of Sparta, but of CCM!"
      1. Behold the walls of CCM…a few thousand men & women, & every one a brick!
    9. Jesus sent out the 70…I believe we have the opportunity & responsibility to send out 70 x’s 30! (2100)
    10. The Lord expects His followers to work, especially in view of the great need(white Harvest) & scarcity of helpers(laborers are few).
      1. 1st by prayer, then by effort!

Verses 25-42

  1. Intro:
    1. Welcome: Mike & Lorie, Jillian & Josh, home from the Philippines.
      1. Mike will be coming on staff with us as the Pastor of Missionary Care.
    2. Update Harvest Festival: (Sat before Oct.31 {Oct 28th})
      1. We are in charge of food & all our booths. - Name not on flyer(we didn’t want it to be); - Paint over verse reference(no problem).
      2. We not be doing shirts – we thought it would look like us vs. them!
      3. It’s not a project but it’s about People!
      4. We want to earn the right in our community to share the love of Christ
      5. Q: If you couldn’t speak how would you communicate God’s love?
    3. Q: How would you answer someone if they asked you, “What do I have to do to go to heaven?”
      1. I wouldn’t have answered the way Jesus did here…which reminds me to pray before I answer. So, the H.S. can direct with His answer, & not my pat answer!
  2. WRONG QUESTION! (25-37)
    2. THE LAWYER’S QUESTION! (25) “what shall I do to inherit eternal life!”
    3. Lawyer – a specialist in Jewish Law. (both written & oral Torah)
    4. JESUS’ QUESTION! (26)
      1. In good rabbinical form, answers w/a question.
    5. THE LAWYER’S ANSWER! (27)
      1. An Adequate summary of the Law? Yes, he nailed it! [Deut.6:5 & Lev.19:18]
      2. Heart(the emotional nature); soul(the willing nature); strength(the physical nature); mind(the intellectual nature).
        1. i.e. the whole person is to love Him!
    6. JESUS’ RESPONSE! (28)
      1. His emphasis was on “do” it then, & not just “believe” it!
        1. Note “do” in vs. 25,28,37.
      2. Lev.18:5 “You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the LORD.”
      3. The difference between Law & Grace is this:
        1. The Law says, do this & live. Grace says, live & do this.
    8. This is one of the most popular parables:
      1. Many have taken this name: Hospitals; We even have a Good Samaritan Law exists to protect from liability those who choose to aid people who are seriously ill or injured.
    9. THE LAWYER’S 2ND QUESTION! (29) “And who is my neighbor!”
      1. Note motive now comes out.
      2. He wanted to vindicate himself w/a question, implying he did not know precisely what his duty was.
    11. Background: From Jerusalem to Jericho is 17 miles.
      1. It drops more than 1000’.
      2. It is wild country w/many places for robbers to hide. (describe)
      3. The man was attacked, robbed, beaten, & left to die. [Highway robbery!]
    12. God permits 3 men to pass his way, testing their compassion in helping one in need
      1. 2 Fail the test, 1 passes!
      2. Q: Does God still run this test today?
    13. TWO FAILED THE TEST! (31,32)
      1. Priest – came alongside, & then he stepped over to the opposite side of the road to avoid ceremonial contamination with a stranger. (RWP)
        1. He had both opportunity & knowledge…but indifference!
      2. Levite – did the same.
      3. Both were obligated according to the Law to help a neighbor in need. But also were obligated not to defile themselves by touching a dead body.
        1. Defilement prevented their service in the temple & eating of the tithe. They both chose to pass by on the other side instead.
        2. They passed by on the other side of the street, known also as the “safe side”!
      4. He also had opportunity & knowledge…but curiosity preceded indifference! (came & looked)
      5. Note: Religious work does not make the worker religious!
    14. Poem: I was hungry and you formed a humanities club to discuss my hunger. Thank you. I was imprisoned and you crept off quietly to your chapel to pray for my release. Nice. I was naked and in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance. What good did that do? I was sick and you knelt and thanked God for your health. But I needed you. I was homeless and you preached to me of the shelter of the love of God. I wish you’d taken me home. I was lonely and you left me alone to pray for me. Why didn’t you stay? You seem so holy, so close to God; But I’m still very hungry, lonely, cold, and still in pain. Does it matter? [anonymous]
    15. Q: Have you ever acted as the priest or Levite?
      1. We are all guilty as charged!
    16. ONE PASSED THE TEST! (33-35)
    17. Here we have a “foreigner”, not included in the Jewish definition of a neighbor, is the one who showed himself neighbor to the unfortunate Jew. [LKGNT]
      1. He must have shocked his audience with the hero of the story being a hated Samaritan.
        1. Q: Where did Jesus just travel through? (Samaria)
        2. Q: What was James & Johns desire for the Samaritans? (fire)
      2. You know the relationship between Jews & the Samaritans was strained.
        1. To tear down these walls Jesus: rebuked their hostility towards them (9:55); He healed a Samaritan Leper(Lk.17:16); He honored this Samaritan here for his neighborliness; He praised a Samaritan for his gratitude(Lk.17:11-18); He asked a drink from a Samaritan women(Jn.4:7) & preached to the Samaritans she returned with; then in Acts 1:8 he challenged His disciples to witness in Samaria; Philip started a mission in Samaria (Acts 8:5)
      3. So here he: dressed the victims wounds; let the man ride on his donkey while he walked in this dangerous territory; he paid money to the Inn keeper for extended convalescent care; he even promised credit for the additional funds if needed. {Sight, Sympathy, & Service!}
        1. Note everything is touched in this man! - {his eyes, heart, feet, hands, thought, time, beast, speech, & money}
      4. The Samaritan showed by his actions what love is!
        1. James 2:17,18 “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
      5. This is what we call “Practical” Christianity…but is there any other?
      6. His compassion is seen in what in what he DID to help the man.
        1. Christian love is acting for the good of the other persons – whoever they are, whatever the cost, & however we feel! (Shepherd’s Notes; pg.41)
        2. Sympathy is suffering with the victim.
    18. (37) I wonder if he couldn’t say the word “Samaaarrrritan”!
    19. Jesus showed the Lawyer…he asked the Wrong Question!
      1. The question shouldn’t have been, “who is my neighbor?” But, “to whom can I be a neighbor?” (29 vs.36)
      2. The answer to who is my neighbor? is Anyone I can help!
      3. Q: Who is my neighbor? A: “well, be a neighbor, & the moment you are a neighborly person, you will find your neighbor in the one that needs your help!” (G. Campbell Morgan; pg.139.)
      4. If your spirit is right there is no need to ask, who is my neighbor!
      5. Love actually makes a neighbor!
        1. If you want to know who your neighbor is…BE ONE!
    20. The story defines two people:
      1. Lawyer – I’d keep the Law if I could, but I can’t because it’s unclear!
      2. Neighbor – I see the need, recognize it, am able to meet it, & respond to it.
    21. It is not difficult to discuss neighborliness in the abstract, but it costs something to be a real neighbor.
    22. Q: Do we pause to help when we see injustice & hurt? Or do we look for an escape, like the priest & Levite?
    23. You are never more Christlike than when you feel another’s hurt & seek to help! (Warren Wiersbe; With The Word; pg.676)
  3. MARY & MARTHA! (38-42) [Luke alone records this]
    1. Note: Great picture, Jesus sitting at a friends house, resting.
      1. “The heart ought not to be an Inn where the Lord sometimes comes, but a home where he always abides!” (Griffith Thomas)
    2. She wasn’t in trouble for serving too much.
      1. It wasn’t wrong action, but right action in wrong spirit & at wrong time!
      2. May we be engaged in the Master’s service in everything we do.
      3. Her fault was that she grew distracted with much serving, so that she forgot Him & remembered only her service!
      4. She overrode her union with Christ by her service to Christ. (Spurgeon at his Best; pg.283.)
      5. Distracted = to be pulled or dragged away. [LKGNT]
        1. She was drawn about in many different directions. [Plummer]
    3. Maybe Martha could have just served Him one dish, & then been able to relax & join her sister.
      1. But serving love shows itself by always multiplying itself.
      2. Ex: She went to do something & on her way found 2 other things…& she moved a little more quickly. And while she was going to do those, 4 more were suggested. And then 8 crowded in. Then 16, & she became distracted.
        1. Illus: I need to cut down 2 trees in my back yard & a friend was coming by to give me a quote yesterday morn. I thought I’d blow off my patio in my backyard before he arrived. I did, & thought I should rake the leaves off my grass. In doing that I almost stepped I dog-doo. So I went around the whole yard & picked it up. I saw some trees hanging down too far so I started trimming all trees in my front yard. Which then I saw my front walk way to our door needing trimming…3 hours later I stopped.
      3. Martha, whose #1 purpose was to make Jesus welcome, snaps & comes running in complaining about Jesus’ carelessness (don’t you care?) & complaining about her sister.
    4. Also? (39) – If it means Martha sat at His feet also, then we loose the whole story.
      1. It must mean Mary had taken her part in service…who also sat at Jesus’ feet.
      2. Mary knew the 1 deep secret, that love cannot finally express itself in service. It must take place in devotion.
      3. He didn’t say many things were wrong, He said you have not added to the many, the one!
        1. You must not only give, you must also receive!
    5. Here is the basis for all ministry, taking time to sit at the feet of Jesus & hear His Word. [purpose we require our children’s church workers & other ministry’s to sit in a service]
      1. He tells Martha she must 1st be ministered to by the Savior, before she can effectively minister for the Savior.
    6. Martha, Martha – joins in the 7 other in her name doubled!
      1. [Abraham; Jacob; Moses; Samuel; Jerusalem; Simeon; Saul]
    7. Are you too busy serving Him that you have no time to love Him & listen to Him?
      1. See being right with God must come before working for God!
      2. “I will not work my soul to save, For that my Lord has done; But I will work like any slave For love of God’s dear Son.”
    8. Charles Wesley, “Faithful to my Lord’s commands, I still would choose the better part; Serve with careful Martha’s hands & loving Mary’s heart.”
    9. Quiet dependence on Jesus is more important than bustling service!
    10. “The heart ought not to be an Inn where the Lord sometimes comes, but a home where he always abides!” [Your heart?]
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Luke 10". "Bell's Commentary". 2017.