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The Lord chose another seventy-two men. [A few manuscripts say seventy.] Only Luke tells this. It must have taken place after the events already given. Seventy-two may have been a symbolic number, and Grotius, et. al., connect it with the seventy-two members of the Sanhedrin. Since Jesus had already sent out the Twelve (Luke 9:1), it proves the deep influence of his teaching that he could find seventy-two more capable of being sent out. Two by two. So each could give the other “moral support.” Also, at least two witnesses were required to establish truth under the Law. To every town and place. It was perhaps six months before his death. He wants to go to every town in person, and he sends these ahead as “advance-men” to prepare the people for his message.
There is a large harvest. See note on Matthew 9:37, where he said this at a different time.
Go! He gives them roughly the same instructions as the twelve. See notes on Matthew 10:0. Matthew gives the most detail, but Luke adds: “Don’t stop to greet anyone on the road. “ The Jews had a ritual for greeting people, and it took a lot of time [sometimes as much as three hours!]. They cannot spare the time to do this, because there is work to be done. Peace be with this house. They are to greet people with this blessing. [It was the custom for a guest to do this.] If a peace-loving man. The one who deserves this blessing accepts these messengers as guests in his home [he is receptive].
How terrible it will be for you. See notes on Matthew 11:20-24. He seems to be repeating what he had said at a different time, to point out the sin of rejecting the Lord’s messengers.
Whoever listens to you, listens to me. The Lord works by proxy through his people. See note on Matthew 10:40.
The seventy-two men came back in great joy. Luke seems to emphasize the work of these seventy-two. How long they had been out on their mission is not known. Even the demons obeyed us. Jesus gave a promise to the Twelve (Matthew 10:8), and must have repeated it to the seventy-two. They used the power of Christ’s name. See note on Mark 9:38-40. I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. It may be that Christ refers to the original fall of Satan. But it may also be prophetic, speaking of the fall of Satan which will take place in the victory of the Cross. See 1 John 3:8 : Revelation 20:1-3. So that you can walk on snakes and scorpions. This sounds a lot like the language of Mark 16:17-18. It is a promise of victory. And over all the power of the Enemy. This shows the snakes and scorpions are symbolic. But don’t be glad. Pride causes Satan’s original fall, Because your names ate written in heaven. The most important reason to be glad is that we are God’s people!
Father . . . I thank you. He said this more than once. See notes on Matthew 11:25-27.
23–24. How fortunate you are. See notes on Matthew 13:16-17. He probably said this more than once.
25–29. A certain teacher of the Law. Only Luke tells the Parable of the Good Samaritan, the Lost Son, and the Rich Man and Lazarus. Tried to trap Jesus. His motive was not right. What must I do? Jesus told people to turn from sin. This man did not think he had any sin. What do the Scriptures say? This is the place to find God’s answers. You must love the Lord your God. This teacher knew the Scriptures and gave the correct answer. Do this and you will live. True worship to God includes “practicing what you preach.” Jesus said: “Whoever loves me will obey my message” (John 14:23). Wanted to put himself in the right. He had a “guilty conscience.” He does not love his fellow man, so, he asks: Who is my fellow man? Jesus gives a parable in answer.
There was a man. A Jew, from Jerusalem. Who was going down. The road from Jerusalem to Jericho descends over 3,000 feet in eighteen miles. When robbers attacked him. This road was dangerous to travel, for just that reason. Stripped him, and beat him up. They took everything he had, and left him in serious condition from the beating. That a priest was going down. Jericho was a city of priests. A priest ought to be a holy man, and the Law commanded mercy and help. In the same way a Levite. A Levite served in the temple as an assistant to the priests. He even goes over and looks at the wounded man, before going on his way. But a certain Samaritan. To get the full impact of this, you must remember that Jews and Samaritans hated each other! “Jews will not use the same dishes that Samaritans use” (John 4:9). If anyone had an excuse to pass this man by, it was the Samaritan. His heart was filled with pity. Note the contrast between the Samaritan and the others. His “pity” makes him go out of his way to help this man. He gives him “first aid,” puts him on his own animal [and perhaps has to walk himself], takes him to an inn, stays the night with him, and pays the bill out of his own pocket. [Inns are described in note on Luke 2:7.] Two silver coins. This was two day’s pay at this time. And he promised to pay more. Which one of these three. Clearly, the one who was kind. The teacher of the Law cannot escape this. You go, then, and do the same. The teacher of the Law MUST show this same spirit of help to everyone! All who need help are our “fellow man.” Christianity must submit to no barriers of race or sect or political ideology.
He came to a certain village. This is Bethany, home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. We do not know the exact time this happened. It might have been on his last trip to Jerusalem.
Who sat down at the feet of the Lord. We see Martha “rushing around,” preparing the meal; while Mary sits at his feet, listening to his teaching. But there is not as much difference between the two women as seems to be.
Lord, don’t you care? Martha thinks she has a problem, and she “lets this grow” until she speaks sharply to Jesus. Sometimes we can bear the heaviest sorrows, and then stumble over some little thing. Martha was a good woman.
You are worried and troubled over so many things. The Africans have a proverb: “Don’t sell your elephant to buy medicine for your cat. “ But just one is needed. The important thing was the “bread of life.” Mary has chosen the right thing. Jesus can be with them only a short time, and it is not too important whether he gets a feast or a piece of bread. But his teaching will stay with them all their lives, and so it has the greatest importance! We must learn to classify things according to their importance. If something must go undone, it ought to be of less importance.
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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Luke 10". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent