God’s Renewing Word of Love
Luke 10:1-24: Jesus commissions seventy-two followers to undertake missionary work in his name. He sends them forth with specific instructions and describes the judgment that will befall unrepentant towns. Upon their return, Jesus tells his followers that he has given them authority to overcome the powers of evil. He then thanks God that the relationship between him and God has now been revealed to his followers.
Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two
1After this the Lord chose another seventy-two men and sent them out two by two, to go ahead of him to every town and place where he himself was about to go. 2 He said to them, “There is a large harvest, but few workers to gather it in. Pray to the owner of the harvest that he will send out workers to gather in his harvest. 3 Go! I am sending you like lambs among wolves. 4 Don’t take a purse or a beggar’s bag or shoes; don’t stop to greet anyone on the road. 5Whenever you go into a house, first say, ‘Peace be with this house.’ 6If someone who is peace-loving lives there, let your greeting of peace remain on that person; if not, take back your greeting of peace. 7 Stay in that same house, eating and drinking whatever they offer you, for workers should be given their pay. Don’t move around from one house to another. 8Whenever you go into a town and are made welcome, eat what is set before you, 9heal the sick in that town, and say to the people there, ‘The Kingdom of God has come near you.’ 10 But whenever you go into a town and are not welcomed, go out in the streets and say, 11‘Even the dust from your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. But remember that the Kingdom of God has come near you!’ 12 I assure you that on the Judgment Day God will show more mercy to Sodom than to that town!
The Unbelieving Towns
13 “How terrible it will be for you, Chorazin! How terrible for you too, Bethsaida! If the miracles which were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, the people there would have long ago sat down, put on sackcloth, and sprinkled ashes on themselves, to show that they had turned from their sins! 14God will show more mercy on the Judgment Day to Tyre and Sidon than to you. 15 And as for you, Capernaum! Did you want to lift yourself up to heaven? You will be thrown down to hell!”
16 Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”
The Return of the Seventy-Two
17The seventy-two men came back in great joy. “Lord,” they said, “even the demons obeyed us when we gave them a command in your name!”
18Jesus answered them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Listen! I have given you authority, so that you can walk on snakes and scorpions and overcome all the power of the Enemy, and nothing will hurt you. 20But don’t be glad because the evil spirits obey you; rather be glad because your names are written in heaven.”
(Matthew 11.25-27; 13.16,17)
21At that time Jesus was filled with joy by the Holy Spirit and said, “Father, Lord of heaven and earth! I thank you because you have shown to the unlearned what you have hidden from the wise and learned. Yes, Father, this was how you were pleased to have it happen.
22 “My Father has given me all things. 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.”
23Then Jesus turned to the disciples and said to them privately, “How fortunate you are to see the things you see! 24I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see, but they could not, and to hear what you hear, but they did not.”
Today’s Key Verse: Luke 10:22
[Jesus said:] “My Father has given me all things. 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.”
What instructions did Jesus give his followers? Are they relevant for missionary work today? Why or why not? Reread verses 13-16. Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum were Jewish towns on the northern end of Lake Galilee; Tyre and Sidon were non-Jewish port cities on the Mediterranean seacoast. What did Jesus say about these towns? What can be learned from Jesus’s words in these verses?
Lord Jesus, help me to be a bold witness for you in proclaiming to those who do not yet know you that the Kingdom of God has come near. Send me forth empowered by your Holy Spirit. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Luke 10:25-42: Jesus teaches about what it means to love one’s neighbor.