Verses 1-16 The mission of the seventy.
In Chapter 9 the twelve were sent forth to preach. This is the only account in the Gospels of the Lord sending forth seventy disciples. These seventy disciples were sent along the route the Lord would traverse on His way to Jerusalem.
He sent them forth by two’s. “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.”
Verse 3 Note what the Lord of the harvest says:
The harvest is great.
The laborers are few.
Pray that the Lord will send forth laborers.
In praying this we too must be willing to go.
Verse 4 “Go your ways.” To all outward appearances they were as lambs among wolves.
1. Their conduct on the road is described Verses1-4.
2. Their conduct in their place of lodging is described Verses 5-7.
3. Their conduct in the city that receives them is given in Verses8-9.
4. Their conduct in the city who does not receive them is given in Verses 10-12.
Verses 16-19 The Lord mentions three cities in which He had taught and performed miracles. They had refused Him. He describes the judgment that would befall them. Chorazin and Bethsaida have been so thoroughly destroyed that their exact location is not known today.
Capernaum became the home of Jesus after He moved from Nazareth. This city was exalted to heaven. But it despised the Lord Jesus, and it was cast into hell.
Verse 16 He who listens to the Word through God’s servant—listens to God speaking. They who refuse to hear, not only refuse to hear the Lord, but also God. Awesome thought.
Verses 17-20 At the end of their mission the seventy returned. They were elated that the demons had been subject to them, through the name of Jesus.
Verse 18 Our Lord’s reply is significant but difficult. It could mean that He saw in their victories over the demons a preview of the eventual fall of Satan from heaven.
J.F. Brown paraphrases the words. “I followed you on your mission, and watched its triumphs; while you were wondering at the subjection to you of demons in My name, a grander spectacle was opening to My view; sudden as the darting of lightning from heaven to earth, lo! Satan was beheld falling from heaven.”
This fall is still future Rev 12:7-9. This will take place during the tribulation and prior to the coming of the Lord to earth.
A second explanation is interesting. These words are a warning against pride. “Yes, says Jesus, you are quite proud because demons were subject to you. But just remember the first sin. It was pride that caused the fall of Lucifer and his subsequent casting out from heaven.” See that you avoid this sin.
Verse 19 Quote.
God’s servants are immortal until their work is done.
Verse 20 His final admonition to them was: Rejoice not, that the demons are subject unto you. Only time Jesus said “Rejoice not.” Rather rejoice that your names are written in heaven.
Verses 21-24 “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit.” Jesus was being rejected by the masses, and He looked with gratitude upon His humble followers and rejoiced in the Spirit.
Then He thanked the Father that He had revealed the truths of the kingdom to them. They were not the intellectuals or the scholars of the day. They were babes with faith-devotion-who gave unquestioning obedience.
Verse 22 “All things are delivered unto Me by My Father.” God has put the entire universe under the authority of His Son.
“No one knows who the Son is but the Father.” There is a mystery connected with the incarnation that no one but the Father can fathom. See how spiritual and far above human understanding all this is. The Father only knows the Son-the Son only knows the Father.
To varying degrees we can understand the Father, because the Son has revealed Him. What a privilege the disciples had and we have, in that prophets and king desired to see these things, but were not permitted.
Verses 25-37 The Lawyer and the Good Samaritan.
Lawyers were men who were experts in the teaching of the Law. This man tried to trap or trick the Lord. “Master what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Perhaps he expected the Lord to repudiate the Law.
Jesus replied, “What is written in the Law?” Verse 27 conveys the lawyer’s answer. Verse 28 Jesus replied, “Do this and you will have eternal life.”
If the lawyer had been honest he should have replied, “I am lost and helpless with no hope of eternal life for I cannot keep the Law.” Instead, he sought to vindicate himself by asking: Who is my neighbor?
To answer the question the Lord told the following story. Verses 30-37. The victim probably was a Jew. He lay half dead on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho.
Verse 31 By chance a certain priest came down this road. When he saw the unfortunate man he kept on walking.
Verse 32 A Levite also came down, he showed a little more interest in that he looked at the man, but he too kept on going.
Verse 33 introduces us to a certain Samaritan. He was hated by the Jews. He had compassion on the Jewish victim.
Verse 34 He took care of his wounds, and brought him to an inn.
Verse 35 He made generous provision for his care.
Verse 36 Jesus virtually asks, Who was neighbor to this man? The priest, the Levite or the Samaritan?
Verse 37 The lawyer replies “the Samaritan,” for he showed mercy to him. The Lord replies, “Go thou and do likewise?”
The wounded man is a picture of the sinner. The priest and Levite represent the inability of the Law to help. This could be applied to religion today.
The Samaritan represents Christ. The Jews called Him this in derision. John 8:48. He was the one who brought help. He took him to the inn—this represents the local church. Then he said, “When I come again I will repay.”
Verses 38-42 Mary and Martha.
Our Lord wants our love more than our service. Our Lord wants us to sit at His feet. He wants to convert us from Martha’s to Mary’s in the same way as He wants to convert us from lawyers to neighbors.
The Lord does appreciate our service—but our service should be the product of our love and worship. See John 12.