Saturday, February 27
Luke 10:1-24 — Sending out disciples & Praise
1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If the head of the house loves peace, your peace will rest on that house; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for workers deserve their wages. Do not move around from house to house.
8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.
16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
22 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
23 Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
Points of Interest:
- (v.3) “I am sending you out like lambs among wolves”—this isn’t an unfortunate necessity, but a purposeful strategy on Jesus’ part. He actually strips them of provisions so that they will seem even weaker and more defenseless.
- (v.6) “if not, it will return to you”—you don’t lose any peace by trying to give it away; it either multiplies, or simply returns to you. There’s no harm done if you try to bless someone who doesn’t want to be blessed.
- (v.7) “eating and drinking whatever they give you”—Jesus twice commands them to eat what they are given. At the feeding of the 5000, Jesus made clear that He expected His followers to be good hosts. Here, He adds that it’s also important for them to be good guests. Eating whatever is set before them could be difficult for the disciples for a couple of reasons: they don’t want to be a burden to their guests; or they won’t like what their guests offer. But Jesus tells them to accept whatever hospitality is offered. Here are a few reasons this might be important.
- To honor their hosts—by graciously accepting whatever is offered;
- To meet their own needs—without bread or money, it’s the only way they’re going to eat. Besides, they are offering something very valuable to these people; it’s reasonable to expect that they might receive something in exchange;
- To build a friendship—eating with someone is a great way to get to know them.
- Jesus’ repeated command to eat whatever they are given becomes particularly meaningful if they are actually being sent to non-Jews, who wouldn’t necessarily be serving kosher food. If it’s not relevant now, it will be in Luke’s sequel, the book of Acts.
- (v.13) ‘Woe to you, Bethsaida!’—Bethsaida, Chorazin, and Capernaum are all Jewish towns in Galilee, places where Jesus has spent much of his time. Tyre and Sidon are famous nearby Gentile cities. In the end, it may be a little surprising which towns welcome Jesus’ coming and which do not.
- (v.18) “Satan”—Satan is a name for the devil. It means, “enemy.”
- (v.20) “but rejoice that your names are written in heaven”—it’s exciting to have played a part in such great supernatural events, and it’s a good thing to see Satan defeated. But Jesus reminds them here that they haven’t been chosen because of the wonderful things that they can do. They are with him because they are sick with sin, and he is a sin doctor. As Jesus said in Thursday’s passage, ‘What good is it for you to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit your very self?’ They need to beware of getting so wrapped up in the powerful deeds they can do that they neglect being healed by Jesus themselves.
Taking it home:
- For you: Jesus tells us that there are huge spiritual rewards in being a good host and in being a good guest. Which role comes more naturally to you? For the next few days, try to pay attention to issues of hospitality. Consciously make an effort to stretch either your hosting muscles or your guest muscles. As you do so, are you experiencing any rewards? What are they?
- For your Six: Ask Jesus to give your Six more peace. Pray that they would be able to accept the peace that He gives them.
- For our church/ILTJ: Jesus sent out seventy-two of His followers ahead of Him, even into towns and places unfamiliar to them. He asks us to work with Him in bringing the kingdom of God near, not just in our hometown but all over the world. Pray today for our church missions program and global strategy. Pray for those from our church who will be sent out to El Salvador, Haiti, Swaziland, Turkey and Tecate. Pray that Jesus would also send us out into some new places this year.