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Thursday, July 18th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Luke 10

Hawker's Poor Man's CommentaryPoor Man's Commentary

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Verse 1


The Lord appoints other Seventy also to go before him. Christ pronounceth a woe upon Chorazin and Bethsaida. Jesus in sweet Communion with his Father. The Parable of the Samaritan. Martha reproved.

Verses 1-12

(1) After these things, the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place whither he himself would come. (2) Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. (3) Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. (4) Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. (5) And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. (6) And if the Son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. (7) And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire, go not from house to house. (8) And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you; (9) And heal the sick, that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. (10) But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, (11) Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding, he ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. (12) But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city.

I do not presume to say as much, but it doth seem not improbable that these seventy disciples were, in conformity to what is said, Num_11:16; Num_11:24-25 , or, perhaps more properly speaking, those of the Old Testament were figurative of the New. See Exodus 24:1-9 . And the twelve tribes of Israel were descriptive of the twelve apostles, Revelation 21:10-21 . But I beg the Reader not to overlook what is said of these men being sent into every city and place, whither Christ himself would come. Yes, without his presence, and his power, all their labours were nothing, John 15:5 . We have much of the same expressions in Matthew, to which I refer, Matthew 10:5-15 .

Verses 13-16

(13) Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. (14) But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgement than for you (15) And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shall be thrust down to hell. (16) He that heareth you, heareth me: and he that despiseth you, despiseth me: and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me.

There is somewhat very awful in these verses: to think that the preaching of Jesus himself should have no effect! And, Reader, it may well be supposed, that the heaviest judgments will light on those whose advantages have been greatest, but have rejected them: and, in this sense, we may be tremblingly alive for our British Chorazin and Bethsaida. The grace of God, it may be truly said, hath, in the outward ministry of the word, appeared unto all men; but, alas! who hath believed the report, or to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? Ordinances and means of grace do exalt our nation, as Capernaum was exalted to heaven; but will not the neglect and abuse of them sink down to hell?

Verses 17-20

(17) And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. (18) And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. (19) Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (20) Notwithstanding, in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you: but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.

I beg the Reader to pause over these verses; not so much to observe the joy of the seventy at the success of their ministry, as to behold the Lord Jesus in this almightiness of character. We are not made acquainted when it was that Jesus beheld the fall of Satan. Whether before the foundation of the world, when Satan was cast out of heaven, see Jude 1:6 ; Revelation 12:7-12 . or whether in the overthrow of his kingdom and influence, by Christ, and his Gospel in covenant promises, Psalms 89:19-23 . And the power Jesus communicated to his disciples, opens to the view a very blessed contemplation. For is it not so to all his redeemed? Mark 16:18 ; Act 28:5 ; 1 Corinthians 10:13 ; Romans 16:20 . But when the Reader hath paid all due attention to these scriptures, I would beg to call his notice yet more earnestly to what the Lord told his disciples, as opening to a much greater cause of joy, than even the devils being made subject to us through his name: namely, that the names of Christ's redeemed are written in heaven. Here, Reader, is a, subject of holy joy indeed; and which secures all the blessedness of the life that now is, and of that which is to come, see Revelation 13:8 . Nothing can more decidedly prove that the choice of God to eternal life, is special, personal, and particular. Names written, implies persons known, and everlastingly secured. So that the Father's gift, the Son's purchase, and the Holy Ghost's work of grace, are the result of everlasting love; and render the event of salvation and happiness as a thing not liable to any doubt or uncertainty. See those scriptures, Jeremiah 33:13 ; John 6:37-40 ; Philippians 4:3 ; Revelation 20:12-15 .

Verse 21

(21) In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

I desire to refer the Reader for my observations on this verse to Matthew 11:25-26 .

Verse 22

(22) All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son; and he to whom the Son will reveal him.

The subject contained in this verse, short as it is, is so infinitely great and sublime, that though I could not dare to pass by it altogether unnoticed, yet I know not how to presume the offering my faint and imperfect observations upon it. I shall, indeed, but barely touch on the deep things contained in it; and no farther than may, under the Lord's teaching, lead the Reader's mind, with my own, to the consideration of the very sweet and precious instructions which arise out of it.

The all things delivered to Christ, of his Father, is a comprehensive expression, to denote the office and authority of Christ, as mediator. This part I do not allude to in respect to the depth of mystery contained in this verse; for though such, is the infinite fullness of Christ, that neither men nor angels can have capacities competent to conceive, yet this is not the most wonderful doctrine which this verse calls the church to contemplate. No man knoweth who the Son is but the Father: and, in like manner, who the Father is but the Son. Here are depths indeed of mystery. We are told by the Evangelist John, that no man hath seen God at any time , but that the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him, John 1:18 . So that nothing can be more plain, than that it became impossible for the creation of God to know anything of Jehovah, in his three-fold character of persons, but by the immediate act of the Son, begotten into his mediatorial character, God-Man in one person, thereby to reveal him. By this voluntary act of the Son of God, and by this humbling himself, in order to make this revelation through the medium of the manhood, he hath done that, which, without this union of nature, never could have been done. And by this act, he hath brought in a new glory to the Godhead, in that his creatures have now a knowledge of the Father, Son, and Spirit; and which opens to the felicity of God's intelligent creation to all eternity. Our Lord's expression is striking: No man knoweth who the Son is but the Father: that is, as Son of God. It is God only, that can know God. For though the persons in the Godhead are revealed, sufficiently plain in proof, as articles of faith, yet none knoweth how the Son is Son but the Father. It is the Father only who knoweth the Son, as a person of equal dignity and glory with himself. And so, in like manner, No man knoweth who the Father is save the Son. The personal apprehension of each is to each, Father, Son, and Spirit, can be known only as such in their essential nature and Godhead, by each other. And when Jesus adds, and he to whom the Son will reveal him: that is, in making such a revelation of him, as he came purposely to make, and the enlightened soul, by grace, is capable of receiving.

Reader! ponder over the wonderful mystery; and, while looking into the vast depth, rather feel astonishment at the condescending grace of the Lord, in that we are enabled to apprehend so much, instead of marvelling that we know no more. It is very blessed that the Son of God hath come to make known such stupendous things, which, without his having taken upon him our nature, and in that nature made such gracious revelations of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ, never could have been discovered to all eternity. Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift!

Though I passed by the consideration of the all things, delivered by the Father to Christ, at the opening of this verse, in order to attend the more particularly to the momentous doctrine contained in the latter part of it, yet let not the Reader overlook either the sweetness or the fullness of the blessed expression. Jesus, in his Mediator-character, here considers himself as the Great and Almighty Trustee of heaven; and that he is thus full in himself, and by the Father's appointment, in order to give out, in all the departments of nature, providence, grace, and glory, to the supply of all. And Christ's invitation is founded upon his ability, see Matthew 11:27-30 . So that as all the promises, all grace, all the blessings of the covenant, all government; in short, the whole, and every part of supply for all things, can only be found in Christ; there, can be no possibility of obtaining anything either for time or eternity, but in him. And what tends to endear this state of things still more, is, that as all things are delivered from the Father to the Son, in seeking all things from Christ, we honour the Father by seeking for the Son. For as the Father puts honour upon Christ, in thus constituting him universal and everlasting Lord, so every poor needy creature, who looks by faith to Christ for his supply, puts honour upon him also. Reader! think of this in all approaches to Christ: and depend upon it, that whenever your poor heart is made joyful in Christ, and enriched by supplies from him, Christ is glorified in you, in giving out of his fullness, and gets praise from the riches of his grace in making all his people happy in him. Thanks be unto God, who always causeth us to triumph in Christ! 2 Corinthians 2:14 .

Verses 23-24

(23) And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: (24) For I tell you, That many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

I beg the Reader to notice the grace of Jesus. With what tenderness and affection the Lord Jesus marks his own! It was the longing of the Old Testament saints to see Christ's day. Moses was both prophet and king in Jesurun: and how he earnestly desired even but to see the hallowed spot, where he knew, by faith, Christ, his dweller in the bush, should one day come, and accomplish salvation. Deuteronomy 3:23-27 . And as Peter told the Jews in his sermon, All the prophets, from Samuel, and those that followed; with David, and the good Kings of Israel, who foretold of Christ, desired to see his day: and, like Abraham, in the prospect rejoiceth, and was glad. Acts 3:24 ; John 8:56 ; Hebrews 11:13 . Reader! hath Jesus ever said the same privately to you, as he did here to his disciples?

Verses 25-37

(25) And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? (26) He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? (27) And he answering, said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. (28) And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. (29) But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? (30) And Jesus answering, said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. (31) And by chance there came down a certain priest that way; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. (32) And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. (33) But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion on him. (34) And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. (35) And on the morrow, when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him: and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. (36) Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? (37) And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

There can be no doubt but that this lawyer's question was not with a view to learn from Christ, but to confound Christ; for it is said that he tempted him. And what a body of such critics have the servants of Jesus been tempted with ever since! How admirably our Lord sends the man to the law for conviction! When the law is used as Christ here useth it, the Holy Ghost makes it a school-master to Christ. By the law is the knowledge of sin, Romans 3:20 ; so that Jesus sent this lawyer to the law for self-condemnation. But how the man aimed to evade the force of it! He saith nothing about the love of God, but questions about his neighbour. The method the Lord took with this lawyer is both beautiful and striking: and though we have no authority to conclude the discourse ended in any saving work upon his heart, yet it could not but silence him with confusion. But, leaving the lawyer, it will be more for our purpose to observe some of the many precious things contained in this most interesting account of the wounded traveller and the kind Samaritan. Reader! we shall do no violence to the subject before us, if we behold, in this certain man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, our own nature in every individual instance of it, leaving the holy city, which Jerusalem represents, and going down to the cursed city, Jericho, so declared in the Scriptures of God, Nehemiah 11:1 ; Joshua 6:26 ; 1 Kings 16:34 . As then this man, leaving the holy city, fell among thieves, which stripped him, wounded him, and left him half dead, so our nature, by the fall, is robbed by Satan, stripped of original righteousness, is made a whole mass of disease with the wounds of sin, and left more than half dead by the great enemy of souls. In soul - that is, spiritual death, truly dead in trespasses and sins. Ephesians 2:1 . And in body, exposed to natural death, certain and sure: and unless relieved, as this poor man was, during the present life, as certain of eternal death, both of body and soul forever. Such is the awful state of every man by nature.

Our Lord describes the passing, by of a Priest and a Levite, beholding the wounded traveller. The former immediately went on, seemingly regardless of his misery. The latter went and looked on him, but passed by on the other side. Probably, by these different characters, both equally unfriendly, might be meant, in allusion to our fallen helpless nature, the inability of either law or sacrifices, under the law, to heal the wounds of sin. But a certain Samaritan, Jesus describes as doing all the needful offices, nor departing from the wretched creature until he had brought him to an inn of safety. All commentaries, without hesitation, have considered this Samaritan as representing the Lord Jesus Christ. And there can be no doubt but that he, and he only, proved the divine Samaritan to our ruined nature. Yet, in the first view of the subject, Christ, in his human nature, was not a Samaritan, but a Jew. And moreover, if we trace the subject higher, and look at the Son of God, when first assuming our nature, he was indeed no Samaritan, that is, not a stranger, but from being the head, and husband of his Church, when he stood up as such, at the call of God, before all worlds, he, and he alone, was the nearest of all relations from all eternity. And his journeying, as is here represented, might be supposed to mean his coming down from the Jerusalem above, which is the mother of us all, to the Jericho of this world, brought under the curse by reason of the fall. But be this as it may, he proved the Samaritan to our nature. It is said that he saw him. Yes! Jesus beheld his Church from all eternity. Christ saw the Church when presented to him by his Father, before all worlds, in her native glory, in excellency in him. She was, from all eternity, a king's daughter, all glorious within, being God the Father's gift to his dear Son. Jesus saw her, loved her, delighted in her, for so the Scriptures speak: see Psalms 21:1-2; Psalms 21:1-2 ; Proverbs 8:30-31; Proverbs 8:30-31 . But the seeing our nature in the deplorable state of a robbed and wounded man here described, is in allusion to our Adam-nature , and time-state of sin and ruin, into which, by Satan, we are involved. And here comes in all those precious blessed offices the history represents, which so exactly corresponds to the mercies of Christ. If the Samaritan went to the wounded man, and poured in oil and wine, and bound up his mangled body, set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him, Jesus still more. The Son of God, in our nature, hath remembered us in our lowest estate, for his mercy endureth forever. He hath indeed not barely poured in the oil and wine, to heal the wounds of sin, but the precious balsam of his own blood. He hath set us not on his own beast, but borne us in his arms, and carried us in his bosom. He hath brought us to his Church, to the richest inn of plentiful provisions, in means of free and sovereign grace and ordinances of gospel worship; and having washed our wounds in the fountain he hath opened for sin and for uncleanness, he hath took care of us with all this care. And now, though as on the morrow of departure he is returned to glory, he hath commanded all his servants, who minister in his name, to be attentive to our wants, assuring them and us, that at his return, which he will assuredly make good his promise in coming, he will make ample amends to recompence all done for us during his stay. The two-pence spoken of , is in allusion to a Roman coin, about fifteen-pence in value, to our English money. Some have considered this two-pence as in allusion to the two Testaments; and some to the two ordinances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. But perhaps this may be fanciful. Yet though it were not necessary, nor perhaps proper, to strain the history to every minute, point, it may be well to gather from the whole, under divine teaching, what the Lord Jesus evidently intended from such a striking illustration of our ruin, and his mercy over us; so that every poor sinner, made sensible by grace of his lost estate by nature, and his wounded, ruined condition by Satan, may cry out, when contemplating Christ in the display of such mercy as is here set forth, and say, Lord Jesus! thou divine Samaritan, pass by and behold me, in my desperate circumstances, like this poor traveller. Pour in the precious balsam of thy blood, take me to thy Church, and heal me! The confession of the lawyer could be no other than what the Lord extorted from him. But it is not said that any other effect was wrought by it upon his mind.

Verses 38-42

(38) Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman, named Martha, received him into her house. (39) And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. (40) But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. (41) And Jesus answered, and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: (42) But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

It should seem, that after this conversation with the lawyer, our Lord and his disciples moved onward in their walk. According to the account given by John, Jesus and his disciples were returning from Jerusalem, at this time after the feast of tabernacles: and they were now entering Bethany, the town of Lazarus and his sisters. See John 7:10 . The conversation here recited is but short, but it is very striking. The contrast between these sisters, in their different pursuits, is finely set forth by the Lord himself. Oh! what a folly is the diligence of even the most inoffensive employments, bounded by the prospects of this life, when compared to the desire of the one thing needful. The Reader will not fail to remark, that Christ himself is that good part alluded to, which never can be lost. All else may: all else will. God, our Father, hath given the Church nothing to have, and hold forever, but his dear Son. And this first, and best, and comprehensive gift, which includes every other, is given never to be recalled. Mary's choice of this is not to be supposed as if resulting from her own natural affection. If we love him, it is because he first loved us. Nature untaught, uninfluenced by the grace of God, would never make choice of Christ to all eternity. But when the Lord's choice of his redeemed, which is always accompanied with the grace of the Lord in the heart, directs the soul to Jesus; then, like Mary, our choice flowing from the Lord's choice, and our love issuing as a stream, from the fountain of his love, we are made everlastingly secure in the grace of God in Christ; and Christ, with his fulness, becomes a portion to live upon in time, and to all eternity, and which can never be taken away.

Verse 42


Reader! in pondering the several weighty and important things contained in this chapter, let us both look again and again to the Almighty Author of his holy word, to accompany our reading of it with his gracious teaching. Jesus, when he sent forth the seventy disciples here spoken of, to the work to which he called them, sent them forth only to the city, or place, whither he himself would come. And without the Lord's presence with us, what can we hope to enjoy of the Lord's grace and blessing? We see in Chorazin and Bethsaida the awful event of Gospel Ordinances, unaccompanied with the divine favour. Lord! in mercy grant the doom of Capernaum may never fall on our British Israel!

Amidst this awful view, help me, thou dear Lord Jesus, help every truly regenerated Reader to rejoice in what thou hast said of Satan's fall, as lightning from Heaven. Oh! for a heart renewed by grace to sing that song which John once heard in vision: Now is come salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And oh! the greater joy still, than that of treading on serpents and scorpions, to know our names are written in Heaven. Secured by this in God the Father's everlasting love, we are One with Christ, and Christ with us; and sealed by God the Holy Ghost, unto the day of eternal redemption. Oh! Holy Father! taught by thy dear Son, let every renewed soul praise thee, that though these things be hidden, from men who are worldly wise, and prudent in their own eyes, yet hast thou revealed them unto babes. All which we humbly and thankfully refer unto thine own sovereign will and pleasure. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight!

Precious Lord Jesus! give us grace to hail thee, thou great Samaritan! Surely it is thou, and thou alone, which fully answereth to the character, thou thyself hast drawn, when from heaven thou camest down to this our world, to seek and save that which was lost. Lord! thou wilt bring thy whole redeemed home, though wounded by Satan, and dead in trespasses and sins! And oh! for grace, that until that hour comes for thy return, thy people may not be found like Martha cumbered with the many things of this unsatisfying, dying, sinful state; but through thy grace giving the power, like Mary, we may choose that good part which cannot be taken away.

Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Luke 10". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/luke-10.html. 1828.
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