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Bible Study Preview for Luke Chapter 10


Luke 10 - The Sending of the Seventy

A. Instructions at their departure

1. (1-3) Seventy disciples are appointed and sent out
a. Jesus knew that the time was short before His crucifixion, and that there were still many villages that had not yet heard His message. So, Jesus needs help getting the message out, and He turns to the larger group of His disciples
i. The harvest is great - still. If we believe that it is but a short time until Jesus comes back, we do well to make the principles of Jesus' commission to the seventy our own
b. The laborers are few means not only that there needs to be more workers, but that we have to be about our work for the Lord. When there is a lot of work and few workers, you have to get busy!
c. Jesus commands them to pray; the work in front of them is great and cannot be accomplished without much prayer

d. Jesus commands them to go, because God will use them to answer their own prayers

e. Jesus commands them to go with a certain kind of heart, that trusts in God and doesn't seek to abuse and manipulate people: as lambs among wolves; this doesn't sound very attractive to us! Yet, it is exactly as Jesus was sent, and how the power of God worked through Him mightily

2. (4-8) Specific guidelines for their ministry
a. After Jesus had got them praying; after He had got them going; and after He had put their hearts in the right place, He next gives them specific instructions for ministry
b. They were not to be distracted either by material concerns (Carry neither money bag, sack, nor sandals) or by tedious ceremonies of etiquette (greet no one along the road)

c. They were to trust that God would provide for them through the generosity of others, and they were to thankfully receive what was offered to them

i. Jesus told His disciples to not regard the support given to them as charity, but as justified payment for their work on behalf of God's kingdom
3. (9) What Jesus wanted the seventy to do: to heal and to preach
a. The healing was important because it showed that though the Kingdom of God was coming with power (as everyone expected it would), the power would be shown in acts of mercy and kindness (which was not expected)
b. Say to them, "The kingdom of God has come near to you": this means that the healing was a part of their preaching; they would then describe what the kingdom of God was all about, from what Jesus had taught and shown them

4. (10-16) What would happen to those who would reject the message of the seventy
a. When we are truly preaching Jesus' message, and doing Jesus' actions, we can trust that if it is rejected, it is because people are rejecting the message of Jesus, not rejecting us
i. Unfortunately, sometimes through our own obnoxiousness or lack of love, people reject Jesus because of us! May it never be so!
b. Sodom, Tyre and Sidon were all notoriously sinful cities; Jesus says that the cities that reject His message are in more trouble before God, because they have seen a greater work of God than all of those sinful cities, yet they still reject Him
i. The more we know God's truth, and the more we see Him move, the more we are accountable for. Since the people of Chorazin and Bethsaida and Capernaum had received such convincing signs, they are held to greater account for what they have seen
ii. The Bible never specifically mentions Jesus' miracles in Chorazin; this is an indication that the gospels are sketches of Jesus' life, not full biographies - even as John admitted, it would be impossible to say everything Jesus did (John 21:25)

B. Joy at the return of the Seventy
1. (17-20) The joy of the seventy and Jesus' warning
a. When we look carefully at the commission Jesus gave these seventy (10:9), we see that Jesus had not originally commissioned them to cast out demons (as He did the twelve disciples in 9:1-2); so this was an unexpected blessing of their ministry
i. When we step out and do what Jesus tells us to do, we should expect that He will bless us with even more than He told us to expect
b. Jesus responds by noting that He saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven; what is Jesus talking about? There are actually four falls of Satan:
i. From glorified to profane (Ezekiel 28:14-16)
ii. From having access to heaven (Job 1:12; 1 Kings 22:21; Zechariah 3:1) to restriction to the earth (Revelation 12:9)

iii. From the earth to bondage in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-3)

iv. From the pit to the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10)

c. Here, Jesus is either speaking of Satan's "first" fall, from glorified to profane; what Jesus has just seen in the disciples is evidence that Satan had already lost his position of power. He is a conquered enemy, and when we act in the name of Jesus, victory is assured
d. He is also warning them against pride - after all, if Satan could fall from his place of high spiritual status and privilege, so could they

e. Jesus then warns them to rejoice in what God has done for them (because your names are written in heaven), not in what they had done for God (that the spirits are subject to you)

i. Some people get "drunk" on the idea of spiritual power; after God uses them in some way, they take on an arrogance that is very impressed with all they do for God. God wants us to always see that what He has done for us is far greater than what we could ever do for Him
2. (21-22) The joy of Jesus in seeing the work of God in His people
a. Jesus is genuinely excited here; literally, it says He is thrilled with joy. God delights in using the weak and foolish things of this world to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)
i. Geldenhuys on the Greek word for rejoiced: "referring to exceptional rejoicing and exultation."
b. Jesus' joy makes Him break out into prayer; He praises God the Father for His wisdom, for His plan, and for His unique relationship with God the Father
i. Jesus highlights His unity with the Father (All things have been delivered to Me by My Father), His special relationship with the Father (no one knows who the Son is but the Father, and who the Father is but the Son), and how God allows us to have some part in that special relationship (and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him)
3. (23-24) Jesus tells the disciples of the unique blessing the have
a. How the greats of the Old Testament would have longed to see Jesus' ministry and to minister for Him! How David would have loved to see Jesus do the things He did; how Isaiah would have longed to hear what Jesus said! We have these privileges, but they did not
C. Summary of the work of the Seventy: how we go forth with the gospel
1. The harvest is great: knowing how big the job is
2. The laborers are few: knowing that we have a key job

3. Pray the Lord of the harvest: with a lot of prayer

4. Go your way: we are to actually go

5. Like lambs among wolves: making ourselves vulnerable, letting God be our strength

6. Carry neither . . . : without reliance upon anything except the gospel and power of God

7. Greet no one: not allowing social obligations to hinder our work

8. Whatever house you enter: expect that God will bring help and provision to you

9. Eating and drinking such things as they give: not being hung up on minor points

10. Heal the sick: look to minister to the whole person with the power of God

11. Say to them, "The kingdom of God has come near to you": preach that the King and His kingdom is here

12. But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, go out into its streets: don't waste your time on those who are rejecting the gospel

13. He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me: remember who you are representing

14. The seventy returned with joy: expect God to do more than you expect

15. Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit: Jesus has so much joy when we do His work

D. The story of the Good Samaritan
1. (25-29) A lawyer asks a question
a. The lawyer (an expert in the Jewish Mosaic and Rabbinic law) tested Jesus; but the idea behind tested isn't necessarily mean or evil. This may have been a sincere question from a sincere seeker
b. The lawyer asked about eternal life; eternal life, in the Biblical understanding of the idea, doesn't refer to a duration of life (every person is immortal, either in heaven or hell), and it doesn't refer to a life that begins when we die. Eternal life is a particular quality of life, a life that comes from God, a life we can have right now

c. Jesus points the lawyer back to What is written in the law; if the question is what shall I do to inherit eternal life, the answer is simple: keep the law of God, and keep it perfectly

d. The lawyer was wise enough to know what was the essence of the law - that we love God with all that we are, and that we love our neighbor as ourselves. Now all the man has to do is to live it!

i. It is clear enough what it means to love God with all we are (though exceeding difficulty to do!); but there has been much confusion about what it means to love your neighbor as yourself. This doesn't mean that we must love ourselves before we can love anyone else; it means that in the same way we take care of ourselves and our concerned about our own interests, we should take care and have concern for the interests of others
e. The lawyer measured himself against both commands; he figured that he met the first one well enough, but his keeping of the second commandment depended on how you defined "neighbor"
i. His first, and perhaps greatest mistake was in assuming that he had fulfilled the first commandment. When we really consider what the words mean, who among us has loved God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind? It is easy for us to distract any one of these areas even when we worship God!
ii. His second mistake was in thinking that he could fulfil the commandment to love God with all he had and still possibly not fulfil the command to love his neighbor. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. (1 John 4:20-21)

iii. His third mistake was in the way that he wanted to narrowly define neighbor. If only our friends and those who are easy to love are our neighbors, then perhaps this man fulfills it. It all depends on how broad the definition

is. The Jews in Jesus' day did believe that you had to love your neighbor; but they also taught that it was a duty before God to hate your enemy. It all depends on who your neighbor is and who your enemy is!
2. (30-35) Jesus defines neighbor with an illustration
a. The road from Jerusalem to Jericho was infamous for crime and muggings; it wasn't surprising to Jesus' listeners that He sets the story on this particular road
b. The priest and the Levite (both categories of religious officials) see their Jewish brother lying in his terrible state; but neither of them do anything. They both passed by on the other side

i. Think of all the excuses that they could have used: "This road is too dangerous for me to stop and help the man"; "He might be a decoy for an ambush"; "I've got to get to the temple and perform my service for the Lord"; "I've got to get home and see my family"; "Someone really should help that man"; "If I'm going to serve at the temple I can't get my clothes bloody"; "I don't know first aid"; "It's a hopeless case"; "I'm only one person; the job is too big"; "I can pray for him"; "He brought it on himself, he should have never been alone on such a dangerous road"; "He never asked for help"
ii. "I never knew a man refuse to help the poor who failed to give at least one admirable excuse." (Spurgeon)

c. When Jesus' listeners heard about the priest and the Levite, the probably expected Jesus to say that a common Jewish man came and helped, that the story would be another way Jesus showed how lacking the religious leaders were in his day. But Jesus shocks them by saying that the man who helped was a Samaritan
d. What was special about a Samaritan? Generally speaking, Jews and Samaritans despised each other both racially and religiously; the culture gave the Samaritan plenty of reasons to hate this Jewish man and pass him by

i. Some rabbis taught that a Jew was forbidden to help a Gentile woman who was in distress giving birth; because if they succeeded, all they did was to help one more Gentile come into the world. They often thought that Samaritans were worse than other Gentiles
e. Instead, the Samaritan loved him with a sacrificial love; he didn't wait to be asked, for to see the need right in front of him was enough to compel him to action. He also gave freely of both his time and his resources
i. The wine, containing alcohol, would have had an antiseptic effect on the man's wounds. The oil would have been helpful to soothe the wounds, easing the pain. To set him on his own animal means that the Samaritan himself walked
ii. It seems that two denarii would have provided for the man's needs in the inn for at least two or three weeks

3. (36-37) Jesus applies the parable
a. According to the thinking of the day, the priest and the Levite were neighbor to the man who had been mugged. But they didn't act like neighbors at all
b. The Samaritan (the lawyer can't even bring himself to say that name), who we might have expected to be an enemy, was instead a neighbor - who showed mercy on him

i. Obviously, the lawyer knew that he could no longer justify himself. He did not have this kind of love, a love that would go beyond what he wanted to think of as "neighbor"
c. So, who is my neighbor? Who is the one I have to love? The one who others might consider my enemy. The one with a need right in front of me
i. This doesn't mean running after every need that might present itself (the Samaritan didn't establish a hospital for unfortunate travellers), just a concern for the ones plain before us (both social and spiritual needs)
ii. "The world would be a changed place if every Christian attended to the sorrows that are plain before him" (Maclaren)

4. What if you don't have this kind of love, either for God or for man?
a. Stop trying to inherit life by doing - instead, believe on Jesus; trust God that Jesus paid the penalty you deserve for every time you have fallen short of loving God or loving others the way you should
b. When you receive eternal life - God's kind of life in you - God will give you the resources to love Him and others as you should. You can't do it apart from having His life in you

i. "Let it never be forgotten that what the law demands of us the gospel really produces in us." (Spurgeon)
E. Mary and Martha
1. (38-40) Martha's appeal to Jesus
a. Martha and Mary, along with their brother Lazarus, were two dear friends of Jesus who lived in Bethany. You can imagine how Martha wanted everything perfect when Jesus came to visit!
b. But Martha didn't get the help she wanted from her sister Mary. It wasn't that Mary lazy - she prepared as well as Martha, but she also sat at Jesus' feet

c. Martha is doing nothing wrong in working hard for Jesus - that is good. Her problem is that she has become distracted with much serving - distracted from who? Distracted from Jesus

i. There are many people who become crabby and irritable in their service for the Lord like Martha. It is easy to look at all we do and to criticize those who aren't doing as much. But Martha's real problem wasn't Mary; it was Martha. She had become distracted and had taken her eyes off Jesus
ii. Martha's frustration is typical of those who diligently serve with good intent, but forget to also sit at Jesus' feet

2. (41-42) Jesus' reply to Martha
a. We can almost read the love in Jesus' voice as He says this! Martha was doing good (she wanted to serve Jesus!) but she had not added the one thing [that] is needed
i. One thing have I desired of the Lord, that I will seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple (Psalm 27:4)
ii. When Jesus heard these things, he said to him, 'You still lack one thing . . . come, follow Me' (Luke 18:22)

iii. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14)

b. This story shows us three types of Christians
i. People like Mary - those who know how to serve and also sit at Jesus' feet
ii. People like Martha - those who diligently, and with the best intention serve God, but without adding the one thing (a continued focus on Jesus) resulting in great frustration

i. Those who aren't doing either; they are not even in the house with Jesus, for they are too busy with their own pursuits

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