Luke Chapter 10
Luke 10:1 “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.”
“Seventy also”: The commissioning of the 70 is recorded only in Luke. Moses also appointed 70 elders as his representatives. (Num. 11:16, 24-26). The 12 disciples had been sent into Galilee (9:1-6; the 70 were sent into every city and place where He was about to go, i.e., into Judea, and possibly Perea.
“Two and two”: As the 12 had been sent (Mark 6:7; Eccl. 4:9, 11; Acts 13:2; 15:27, 39, 40; 19:22; Rev. 11:3).
These seventy who Jesus choose from among His followers were like missionaries. They were sent two at a time, because by two a thing shall be established, and if any two of you shall agree as touching anything on this earth; it will be done of the Father.
They were to go into all the villages and get them ready to receive Jesus. In the case like what happened in Samaria, Jesus would not bother to go there. Jesus’ time is now very precious, because this is the last part of the last year of His ministry. Every moment must count. By doing this, 35 cities could be prepared at once.
Luke 10:2 “Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly [is] great, but the laborer’s [are] few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborer’s into his harvest.”
This means that the people are open to receiving the Lord Jesus. There are thousands of souls out there who would come to Jesus if they could just hear the gospel message. Jesus is saying in this, get busy and get the people into God’s kingdom. This message was earlier repeated to the twelve when they went forth. It is for the seventy and is also true today.
Luke 10:3 “Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.”
“Lambs among wolves”: I.e., they would face hostility (Ezek. 2:3-6; John 15:20), and spiritual danger (Matt. 7:15; John 10:12).
The world is an angry cruel place. Those who will not receive the gospel will try to tear you to shreds. If they are not physically attacking you, they will try to tear you apart with that most vicious weapon, the tongue. The truth is that a Christian is not supposed to repay a wound for wound. We are told to love our enemies, to pray for those who despitefully use us.
If they want what we have, we are to give it to them, no questions asked. We are to be wise as a serpent, but harmless as a dove. You see, we are vulnerable to their attack. We truly are as a helpless lamb, and they are like the wolf.
Luke 10:4 “Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.”
“Neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes”: I.e., travel without luggage. This does not mean they would be barefoot.
“Salute no man”: A greeting in that culture was an elaborate ceremony, involving many formalities, perhaps even a meal, and long delays. A person on an extremely urgent mission could be excused from such formalities without being thought rude. Everything in Jesus’ instructions speaks of the shortness of time and the great urgency of the task.
In this, we see that these disciples were not to weigh themselves down with extras. They are in a rush to get the message out. Their only concern is to preach the gospel. This: “salute no man” just means to me that they were not to stop and visit along the way. Their purpose was to preach and that alone. They were to prepare the people to receive Jesus.
Luke 10:5 “And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace [be] to this house.”
In almost all of these little towns, they were setting up churches in the homes. These two disciples are to go into an area and find who seems to be worthy and go to that one house and stay, not moving around. As they entered the house, they were to speak a blessing of peace on the house.
Luke 10:6 “And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.”
This is speaking of whether this is a Christian home or not. If not, the blessing shall return to the disciple.
Luke 10:7 “And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.”
“Go not from house to house”: I.e., for lodging. They were to establish headquarters in a village and not waste time moving around or seeking more comfortable housing.
This is to establish home churches, as we said before. A laborer for the Lord should be able to live off the ministry. That is what is intended here and bears true even today. This house would be the center of the work in this town. It would profit nothing to jump from house to house.
Luke 10:8-9 “And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:” “And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.”
There is a double message in eating whatever is set before you. One of the meanings I believe, is don’t check to see if it has been offered to idols. Prayer makes all foodstuff clean to eat. The other meaning would be to be content with whatever the family has that is feeding you. Don’t ask for special dishes.
When they were dealing with someone who had not been favored with knowing the Lord before, it would be easy to win them over by healing their sick. After they believe you are from God, preach the gospel and get them into the kingdom.
Luke 10:10-11 “But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,” “Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.”
It was common for Jews to shake the dust off their feet, as an expression of disdain, when returning from Gentile regions. Paul and Barnabas also did this when expelled from Antioch (Acts 13:51). This was a visible protest, signifying that they regarded the place as no better than a pagan land.
The priority was to preach that the King had come and His kingdom was near. The message was the main thing.
These people were not refusing these disciples, but were in all reality refusing the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ the righteous. This “shaking of the dust off their feet” shows that they will not have anything more to do with this city. It will be left for God to punish.
Luke 10:12 “But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.”
Just as Sodom deserved the punishment inflicted upon it, the city or even person that rejects the Lord Jesus Christ deserves the punishment it will receive from God. He tells them here: You have been offered the kingdom of God and you refused. It is your own fault.
Luke 10:13 “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.”
“Woe unto thee, Chorazin … Bethsaida”: Both were cities very close to Capernaum, near the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. They had every opportunity to turn from their wicked ways to Jesus and they did not, even though He did numerous miracles there.
“Tyre … Sidon”: Phoenician cities on the shore of the Mediterranean. The prophecy about the destruction of Type and Sidon (in Ezek. 26-28), was fulfilled in precise detail.
There were no miracles in Sodom and Gomorrah. Chorazin and Bethsaida had their opportunity and failed to receive it so their punishment would be great. These woes are great to those who will not repent.
Luke 10:14-15 “But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.” “And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.”
“Capernaum … exalted … thrust down”: Capernaum, chosen by Jesus to be His headquarters, faced an even greater condemnation. Curiously, there is no record that the people of that city ever mocked or ridiculed Jesus, ran Him out of town, or threatened His life. Yet the sin of that city, indifference to Christ, was worse than Sodom’s gross wickedness (Matt. 10:15).
Capernaum was the city where Matthew was called. It was the home of Peter, James, and John. This was a thriving city in the time of Jesus and had its own synagogue where Jesus taught. It was on the side of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus called Capernaum home during His ministry. Even though He was raised in Nazareth, He headquartered in Capernaum.
This city had many miracles done here by Jesus. The people still did not accept Jesus as Messiah. Jesus said a prophet is not without honor but in His own country. This was true of Capernaum. Just as these woes have been spoken on these cities, they have been destroyed. The whole city of Capernaum is in ruins.
Luke 10:16 “He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.”
“These words elevate the office of a faithful minister of Christ, and magnify the guilt and the condemnation of those who reject the message.
This is just saying the rejection is not of the disciple but of Jesus and the Father.
Luke 10:17 “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.”
“Returned again with joy”: How long the mission lasted is not recorded. It may have been several weeks. The 70 probably did not return all at once, but this dialogue appears to have occurred after they had all reassembled.
This seventy, on their return were delighted to report to Jesus, that the power over devils that He had given them to use in His name worked. They had never been privileged to use this power before and are amazed at the effectiveness. It is not their power but Jesus’ power transferred through them.
Luke 10:18 “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”
“I beheld Satan as lightning fall”: In this context, it appears Jesus’ meaning was, “Don’t be so surprised that the demons are subject to you; I saw their commander cast out of heaven, so it is no wonder if his minions are cast out on earth.
After all I am the source of the authority that makes them subject to you” (verse 19). He may also have intended a subtle reminder and warning against pride – the reason for Satan’s fall (1 Tim. 3:6).
Jesus is Alpha and Omega (the Beginning and the End). Jesus was there when Satan fell.
Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
“Serpents and scorpions”: (Psalms 91:13; Ezek. 2:6). These appear to be figurative terms for demonic powers (Rom. 16:20).
This power that these disciples (and that we have, as well), is Jesus’ power. We do these things in the name of Jesus Christ. In John, we find that we can ask anything in His name, and He will do it. If we belong to Jesus, He protects us.
Luke 10:20 “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”
“In this rejoice not”: Rather than being so enthralled with extraordinary manifestations such as power over demons and the ability to work miracles, they should have realized that the greatest wonder of all is the reality of salvation – the whole point of the gospel message and the central issue to which all the miracles pointed.
“Because your names are written in heaven”: (Phil. 4:3; Heb. 12:23; Rev. 21:27). By contrast, unbelievers are “written down, because they have forsaken … the Lords” (Jer. 17:13).
The most important thing to any of us is whether we are saved or not. We should rejoice because we have accepted the Lord Jesus as our Savior and had our names written in the Lamb’s book of life. We must not get too caught up in the gifts God has given us and forget the giver. Being able to cast out demons in the name of Jesus is a gift from God.
Luke Chapter 10 Questions
1. How many did Jesus appoint to go to the cities and prepare the way for Him?
2. How many were to go together?
3. What were the 70 like?
4. At what point in Jesus’ ministry, did He do this?
5. The harvest is great but the ________ are few.
6. Thousands would come to the Lord if what happened?
7. Jesus told this 70 they would be like _________ among wolves.
8. Those who would not receive the gospel would do what to this 70?
9. What things classify Christians as lambs?
10. Christians are to be wise as a serpent and harmless as a ______.
11. There were 3 things Jesus told them not to carry, what were they?
12. Their only concern is to do what?
13. What were they to say when they entered a house?
14. What were they setting up in the homes?
15. If the Son of peace is not there, what will happen?
16. The laborer is worthy of his_________.
17. What should the minister make his living by?
18. What 2 things does “eat what is set before you” mean?
19. What was the minister to do for the people (2 things)?
20. What were they to do on leaving a city that would not accept them?
21. If the people do not receive these ministers, who are they really rejecting?
22. What 2 cities did Jesus speak woes on in verse 13?
23. What did Jesus say Sodom would have done if the miracles had been done there that were done in these 2 cities?
24. Which city had been exalted to heaven and yet shall be thrust to hell?
25. Who were some of the disciples who lived in Capernaum?
26. Jesus taught where in Capernaum?
27. Where is a prophet not accepted?
28. What has happened to Capernaum?
29. The rejection is not of the disciple, but of _________ and the ______.
30. What were the 70 rejoicing over when they returned to Jesus?
31. Jesus said He beheld Satan as ___________ fall from heaven.
32. Jesus gave them and all believers the power to ______ ______ _____ in His name.
33. He said rejoice not over having power over the evil spirits, but to rejoice over what?