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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Luke 10

Verses 1-24

82. The mission of the seventy (Luke 10:1-24)

Earlier Jesus had sent twelve apostles into the northern areas because the work was more than he could do by himself in the short time available. Now, for a similar reason, he sent a much larger number into the southern regions through which he was travelling (Luke 10:1-2). The instructions Jesus gave to the seventy were similar to those he had given to the twelve (Luke 10:3-12; see also notes on Matthew 10:5-42). Being reminded of the earlier mission in the north, Luke records Jesus’ announcement of judgment on certain northern citizens who would not believe (Luke 10:13-16; see notes on Matthew 11:20-24).

Luke goes on immediately to record the success of the seventy, though many months probably passed before they returned. Jesus saw this success as a triumph over Satan and a guarantee of his ultimate destruction. But the servants of God should always remember that their greatest cause for praise is not what they have done for God, but what God has done for them (Luke 10:17-20).

Because Jesus is the Son of God, his power in the lives of his humblest disciples gives them a knowledge of things of which the wise in this world know nothing. Through Jesus, believers have a knowledge of God the Father (Luke 10:21-22). Godly people of former ages wanted to know things that have now been revealed to Jesus’ disciples, but they were unable to, because in those days the Messiah had not yet come (Luke 10:23-24).

Verses 25-37

83. Who is my neighbour? (Luke 10:25-37)

A Jewish teacher of the law came to Jesus to test him with a question about eternal life. His question showed that he thought of eternal life as something to be obtained by some special act. Jesus’ reply showed that obtaining eternal life is inseparably linked with the way people live their daily lives. If they do not put God before all things and their neighbour before themselves, they can have no assurance of eternal life (Luke 10:25-28).

The teacher was disappointed with this answer and, in an attempt to excuse his own failings, asked how anyone could know who was or was not his neighbour (Luke 10:29). In reply Jesus told a story in which a traveller was beaten, robbed, and left to die. Two Jews, one a priest and the other a Levite, deliberately passed him by, but a Samaritan stopped and helped him (Luke 10:30-35). Jesus then forced the questioner to answer his own question. The example that he had to follow was not that of the religious purists, but that of the despised foreigner. If a person loves his neighbour as himself, he will act kindly towards anyone that he happens to meet, even enemies (Luke 10:36-37).

Verses 38-42

84. Jesus in the house of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42)

There must have been much tension in Jesus’ heart as he steadily moved closer to the climax of his work. But with his disciples in need of his teaching and people everywhere in need of his help, he had little time for relaxation. Therefore, to get away from the crowd, he stopped for some quiet fellowship at the house of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38). (Mary and Martha, along with their brother Lazarus, lived in the village of Bethany, just outside Jerusalem; John 11:1,John 11:18.)

Martha busied herself preparing a large meal, determined to provide the best possible hospitality for their distinguished guest. Jesus did not want a lavish meal, especially when it was prepared in such a complaining spirit as Martha showed. A simple meal was sufficient, as he was looking only for some quiet fellowship with his friends. Mary understood this, and as a result she benefited from the Lord’s instructive conversation (Luke 10:39-42).

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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Luke 10". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". 2005.