Luke 10 (1-42) as told in New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
Jesus sends out the seventy-two
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 someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
8 'When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal those there who are ill 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.
For your reflection: Here we see Jesus appointing seventy-two followers with authority and power to proclaim the Kingdom of God, to heal the sick and drive out demons. We see not just words, but actions of deliverance. First, they had to be "welcomed". How do you respond to others? Do you welcome them? Do you welcome God's work in your life and your world?
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 to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades.
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.
For your Reflection; We see Jesus emphasising Repentance. Repentance is the turning away from sinful behaviour, which is essentially serving yourself, and turning towards God and serving him. It is the necessary first step to receiving the goodness of God's kingdom, the restoration of relationship with God and with each other. What thoughts, words or actions do you have, that are separating you from Jesus or from other people? You can offer those things to Jesus right now and let him take them off you. Simply pray this prayer and be specific of the things you are repenting of. "Dear Jesus, I acknowledge these things before you. Please forgive me, and give me the ability to think and live in a way that pleases you, as you gave that ability to your followers in this story."
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 is what you were pleased to do.
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.'
An explanation: The "Father, Lord of heaven", who Jesus refers to, is the Creator God, who started the Universe as we know it. He is the one you might pray to. Jesus refers to himself as both the Son of God, and the Son of man. Remember he was born with God as his Father, and Mary as his Mother. Jesus is therefore God who became human as well. God took on a body and became human just like us. Therefore Jesus represents the merging of God and humanity. Jesus talks here about "revealing God". What do you understand about God. From where do you get your "revelation"?
The parable of the good Samaritan
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. 'Teacher,' he asked, 'what must I do to inherit eternal life?'
26 'What is written in the Law?' he replied. 'How do you read it?'
27 He answered, ' "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind"; and, "Love your neighbour as yourself."'
28 'You have answered correctly,' Jesus replied. 'Do this and you will live.'
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, 'And who is my neighbour?'
30 In reply Jesus said: 'A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half-dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. "Look after him," he said, "and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have."
36 'Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?'
37 The expert in the law replied, 'The one who had mercy on him.'
For your reflection; Here we see an expert lawyer challenging Jesus about Salvation - inheriting eternal life with God. Both the lawyer and Jesus agree that the most important task for us is to "Love God first". When we do this, we are then able to "love our neighbour". Jesus tells this story to demonstrate how we can do this - unconditional care to others who are different to us. How can you show this kind of love to others in your local community? What preparations can you make for this kind of love today?
Jesus told him, 'Go and do likewise.'
At the home of Martha and Mary
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, 'Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!'
41 'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, 'you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed - or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'
For your reflection; Here we see Jesus emphasising that relationships with people are more important than "work". Mary sat listening to Jesus. Martha did the house work. Have you felt hostility towards other people because they were not doing what you thought they should? What are your priorities?
To be continued...
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Other parts in this series:
PART10 - Jesus sends out the seventy-two - Luke 10 (1-42) as told in New International Version - UK (NIVUK)