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Now in chapter 10, we read of this commissioning in the sending forth of the seventy, in the contrast to the twelve of chapter 9.
After these things ( Luke 10:1 )
Now He is on His way towards Jerusalem.
and the Lord appointed another seventy also, and he sent them two by two before him into every city and place, where he himself would come ( Luke 10:1 ).
So they were to go as advance teams in the villages that He would be passing through, as He is on His way to Jerusalem.
And therefore he said unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would sent forth laborers into his harvest. Now go your ways: and behold, I sent you forth as lambs among wolves. Don't carry a purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: nor greet any man in the way. And into whatsoever house you enter, first say, Peace [or shalom] be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: and if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking the things that they give: for the laborer is worthy of his hire. And just don't go from house to house ( Luke 10:2-7 ).
Remain in the house, and eat and drink what they give you. The laborer is worthy of his hire.
And whatsoever city you enter, and they receive you, eat the things that are set before you: and heal the sick that are there, and say to them, The kingdom of God is come near unto you ( Luke 10:8-9 ).
They were advanced messengers to go before Him, to do His work. The work of the kingdom, and the healing of the sick, and the proclaiming of God's good news to men.
And whatsoever city you enter, if they receive you not, go your way out into the streets of the same city, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaves on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding, be sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come near to you ( Luke 10:10-11 ).
There are people who have come near to the kingdom of God and have never entered in, and that is always to be a tragic thing. That Herod Agrippa should say to Paul, "Almost thou persuadeth me to become a Christian." He came near to the kingdom of God, but He didn't enter.
And the Lord said, "If they don't receive you, just go out into the street, dust off your shoes in front of them, and say, 'We dust off the dust of the city that it might remain, but know this, the kingdom of God came near to you.'"
And I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day [that is, the day of judgement that is to come] for Sodom, than for that city ( Luke 10:12 ).
The sin against light is the greatest sin that man can commit. God holds us responsible for the knowledge that we have. God does not hold a man responsible for knowledge that he does not have. To whom much is given, much is required. To whom little is given, little is required. God is fair in judgement.
Now for this city, it would be more tolerable than Sodom, because the kingdom of God came near. They had the exposure, but they did not enter in. And thus, for that city it would be more tolerable for Sodom than for that city, because Sodom did not have the same exposure to the truth.
Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee Bethsaida! ( Luke 10:13 )
These are two cities around the Sea of Galilee where Jesus had ministered, where His light did come, who rejected that light. They rejected the kingdom.
for if the mighty works that had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which were done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes ( Luke 10:13 ).
Instead of being destroyed by subsequent nations of Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander the Great. But it will more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.
Interestingly enough, the cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida are both totally obliterated. In another denunciation Jesus also said, "Woe unto thee Capernaum." It also was obliterated. They just recently in the last view years even found the sight of Bethsaida. It was so totally obliterated. Woe unto you, and judgement surely came upon the Bethsaida, on Chorazin, upon Capernaum.
And thou, Capernaum, which are exalted to heaven, shall be thrust down to hell. He that heareth you ( Luke 10:15-16 )
Now He is talking to His disciples, still commissioning them as they are going.
He that hears you hears me; he that despises you despises me; and he that despises me despises the one that sent me ( Luke 10:16 ).
Now this is true for everyone that the Lord commissions to go out and do His work. If the person hates you, you should not take that personally. They only hate you because of the one that you represent. Because you are a representative of Jesus Christ, they actually hate Him, and thus, they vent their hatred of Him upon you. But if they hate Him, then they hate God. They hate the one that has sent Him.
"Now he that hears you hears me. He that despises you despises me." We are so identified with the One who has sent us.
And the seventy returned again with joy ( Luke 10:17 ),
He had sent them out in advance, and now they were coming back, and they said, "Lord, it was neat."
even the devils were subject unto us through thy name ( Luke 10:17 ).
In the name of Jesus we have authority of power over the demon spirits.
And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy ( Luke 10:18-19 ):
God help us, let that sink into your heart. You as a child of the kingdom, the power that God has made available to us, over all the power of the enemy. That's why Martin Luther wrote, "The prince of darkness grim, we tremble not at him, one little word will fell him." That name, or that word above all words, the name, the power of the name of Jesus. And yet, we see the church so often trembling before the forces of darkness. We need not to tremble. The Lord has given us authority and power over every power over the enemy. But it's time that we start exercising this power and using it.
and nothing shall by any means hurt you ( Luke 10:19 ).
You remember when Paul was there cast up on the shore after the shipwreck, and they were building the fire, and this poisonous viper fastened on Paul, and the natives said, "Wow, he must be a murderer, or something, because even though he escaped the storm, the god's aren't going to let him live." And Paul just shook the thing off into the fire. And they kept watching him, because they knew that he should soon go into convulsions and die. And as he just kept sitting there, warming himself, talking and all, then they changed their mind, they said, "He must be a god. Nothing will hurt you."
I think that until God is through with us, that not much can happen to us. I really feel that God has a purpose for my life, and until that purpose is complete, God is going to preserve me. Now I don't go out and just live recklessly, and drive one hundred miles an hour down the freeway, saying, "Oh God has got a purpose, nothing can happen to me, nothing can hurt me, until God's purposes are fulfilled." That's stupid. God also gave us brains and prudence. But I do feel that there is sort of a divine protection over a person who is walking according to the purposes of God, and that nothing can happen to you until your purpose is fulfilled.
In the book of Revelation it tells us about the two witnesses whom God sends to bear witness during the time of the great tribulation, and it said, "And when the days of their testimony were complete, the antichrist had power over them to slay them." He didn't have that power until their days were complete.
I feel that until the days of my testimony and witness are complete, that I am sort of indestructible. That God is going to keep me, God is going to preserve me until His purposes are fulfilled. And the minute the purposes of God are fulfilled, and I have finished my testimony, I believe God is going to be gracious, and good to me, and take me home immediately. The minute He is through with my witness here upon the earth. Why would He want to leave me here any longer once I have finished those purposes. So I have that confidence. My life is in God's hands, and until His purposes are complete, I am going to be around. Not necessarily around here. I don't know that God wants me to always be around here. It would appear that way right now, but who knows. I don't know, I live from day to day. And you see, I am not my own to say where I am going to preach, or in what manner, or whatever. I am His servant. And as His servant I have to wait upon Him for instructions. And He is the one who guides me. And He has a plan and a purpose, and He is working in me to prepare me for those works that He wants me to do for Him. And when they are finished, I am going home.
So Jesus said that I have given you power over all the power of the enemy. Nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Oh interesting, because the twelve apostles, with the exception of John and Judas, were all martyred. Some of them in very vicious ways for their witness of Jesus Christ. But not until they finished their testimony.
Now Herod stretched forth his hand against the church, and he beheaded James, one of these that Jesus was talking to. And when Herod saw that it pleased the Jews, he had Peter thrown in prison intending to bring him forth on the next day, and no doubt to execute him. But that night an angel of the Lord came to Peter in prison, and woke him up, and said, "Peter, put your sandals on, let's get out of here." And Peter followed the angel as the doors automatically opened in front of them, and closed behind them. And Peter walked right out of the prison. And when he was out on the street, the angel left him. And Peter said, "I guess it isn't a dream, it's real, I am out, wow." And he headed for the house of John Mark's mother, where the church was having a prayer meeting. Praying that the Lord would help poor Peter in prison. And he knocked on the door, and the young girl came to the door and she said, "Who is it?" He said, "It's Peter." And she got so excited, she didn't even unlock the door. She ran back and told those who were praying, "Oh God help poor Peter. Peter is at the door." And they said, "Oh, you've seen a ghost."
Don't tell me it was their prayer of faith that released Peter. It was God's sovereign work. God wasn't through with Peter yet. Yet there came a day when God was through with Peter's witness, and Peter, when they came to execute him, said, "Fellows, please do me one favor." They said, "What is it?" He said, "Well, you're going to crucify me, but don't crucify me in an upright position. I am not worthy of that. That's the way my Lord was crucified. Crucify me upside down." And so Peter was crucified upside down. But not until he had finished his testimony. God will preserve you. Nothing will hurt you. He's got a purpose and a plan for your life.
But Jesus said:
You rejoice in that the devils are subjects to you ( Luke 10:20 );
Don't rejoice in this, not that the spirits are subjects unto you. Don't rejoice in the phenomena. Don't get all excited over the phenomena that you see.
but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven ( Luke 10:20 ).
If you want to rejoice over something, rejoice over the fact that, hey, you're a citizen of the kingdom. Your name is written on the rolls of the heavenly kingdom. That's what you need to rejoice in.
And in that hour Jesus rejoiced in the spirit ( Luke 10:21 ),
Now that's an interesting phrase. He rejoiced in the spirit. Have you ever rejoiced in the spirit? It's an exciting experience to rejoice in the spirit. When God's Spirit is moving upon your heart, and just to be rejoicing in the spirit. It's a beautiful experience.
And Jesus rejoiced in the spirit,
and said, I thank you, Father, the Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hid these things from the wise and the prudent, and you revealed them unto these babes: even so, Father; for it was good in your sight ( Luke 10:21 ).
Jesus is looking at these simple people. He sees their excitement, as they are saying, "Oh Lord, it was glorious. O, we had such a neat time, the devils were subject to us, and we were doing this . . . oh, you should have seen that, and all." And the Lord will say, "Oh, that's good, but don't rejoice really in these things, rejoice that your name is written in heaven. You're part of the kingdom." And then He just says, "Oh, it's so beautiful, see these simple people," they weren't the Pharisees, they weren't the rulers. They were just plain, simple people. And He says, "Oh Father, it's so great that You hid these things from those self-important people. You've revealed them unto these babes, because it seemed good to You."
I am glad that I am just a simple person. God is so good to make me just a simple person. I hate complexities.
I had a lady in my church one time that use to call me up and say, "Now Pastor Smith, the other day when you said, good morning, what did you really mean by that?" When I say, good morning, I mean, good morning. I don't mean anything else. I don't have hidden meanings. I don't try to use subtleties, and complexities, and hide the true meaning. I say what I mean, and I mean what I say. I am not smart enough to speak in these subtle kind of things, and say one thing, and really mean another. You can't really know what I mean, until you discern it, and study it, and find the hidden meaning in what I said. I am not that way. Jesus wasn't that way. And it's tragic that a lot of people try to make Jesus that way in their interpreting of the scripture.
Now what did Jesus really mean by this? And then they get into the spiritualizing of the scripture, where they lose the sense of it all. Because Jesus meant what He said. And He said what He meant. And you can just believe it, and trust it.
"Father, I thank You, that You've hid these things from those big shots, and You've just revealed them to these babes, so it seemed good in Your sight."
And then He said:
All things are delivered to me of my Father ( Luke 10:22 ):
Quite a statement, isn't it?
All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knows 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 ).
No one really knows who God really is, except those to whom Jesus has revealed the truth of the Father to. No man can come to the Father, except he is drawn. So if you have been drawn to God through Jesus Christ, be thankful, because unless there was that work of God's Spirit in your life, you would have never made it.
And he turned again to his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that you see ( Luke 10:23 ):
How blessed it is for a person to see, to understand the things that you see. To have the same understanding. To perceive these things.
And I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see the things which you see, but they didn't see them; and to hear those things which you hear, but they have not heard them ( Luke 10:24 ).
Many important people would give everything to have what you have, in that glorious relationship with God, through Jesus Christ.
"Oh," He said, "you're blessed that you have seen these things."
Now, there was a certain lawyer who stood up, tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, What is written in the law? how do you understand it? And he answered saying, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy strength, with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And Jesus said, That's correct: do it, and you'll live. [But he wasn't satisfied.] He was wanting to justify himself in front of the others, and he said, Well, who is my neighbor? And Jesus said, There was a certain man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among thieves, which stripped him of his clothes, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise also a Levite was at that place, and he came and looked at him, and he passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and he saw him, and he had compassion on him, and he went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring oil in and wine, and he set him on his own beast, and he brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the next day, when he was leaving, he took out two pence, and he gave it to the host, and he said to him, Take care of him: and whatsoever you spend more than this, when I come again I will repay you. Now which of these three, do you think, was his neighbor to the man who fell among the thieves? And he said unto him, The one who showed mercy on him. And Jesus said unto him, Go and do likewise ( Luke 10:25-37 ).
Who is your neighbor? Whoever is in need. Love your neighbor as yourself. Who is my neighbor? The man who is in need.
Now, of course, suddenly Jesus is again making an outsider the hero of the story. You see the priest and the Levite do nothing in all of their self-righteousness, they do nothing. Who is the one that helps him? A hated Samaritan. He becomes the hero in the story. The one that they have such strong, racial prejudice against, is the one that Jesus lifts up in the hero's role, knowing good, and well that it would irritate them. But He didn't care.
Now it came to pass ( Luke 10:38 ),
That's an interesting phrase, Luke uses it over and over again. Have you noticed that whenever he introduces a new little scene, he usually introduces it with the phrase, "and it came to pass"? One of Luke's special little phrases.
Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman name Martha received him in to her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, listening to his words ( Luke 10:38-39 ).
Now we know from other gospels that this is Mary and Martha, who lived in Bethany with their brother Lazarus. So Luke doesn't identify this village, nor does he identify the sisters anymore than Mary and Martha, but we know from other accounts that it is Mary and Martha from the city of Bethany, the sisters of Lazarus.
And Martha was cumbered about with much serving. Now the big crowd came in. Jesus you remember traveled with a lot of people. And here were at least seventy traveling with Him, because He sent them out two by two, to go into the villages ahead of Him. So imagine this crowd coming in for lunch.
And Martha was cumbered with much serving [and frantic], she came to him, and said, Lord, don't you care that my sister is left me to serve alone? order her to help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Oh Martha, Martha, you are so full of care and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her ( Luke 10:40-42 ).
What was it? Sitting at the feet of Jesus and learning. You know, so often we get so concerned about our serving God. And we get so busy in activities. And we get so worried, and encumbered in our service for God, that we forget the better part of just sitting at the feet of Jesus and learning. God help us, that we don't fall into that trap of over-involvement in service, to the extent where we don't have time to just sit and worship at His feet as we learn of Him.
Next week we'll go on to chapters 11 and 12.
May the Lord be with you. May the Lord bless you. May the good hand of our Lord be upon your life. May you experience that power in your life. And may you experience the rejoicing in the Spirit, and above all, may you have that joy of just sitting at His feet to learning to worship rather than being encumbered about, and full of care and troubled about what I'm going to get Aunt Jane and Uncle Charlie. It's an easy time of the year to be a Martha. You better take time to be a Mary, because you never can be a good Martha until you learn to be a good Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus. May that be your joy, your strength, your delight this week. In Jesus' name. "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Luke 10". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29