The Work of the Seventy-Two Followers
1Later the Lord chose 72#10.1 72: Some manuscripts have “70.” According to Jewish tradition, there were 70 nations on earth. But the ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament has “72” in place of “70.” Jesus probably chose this number of followers to show that his message was for everyone in the world. other followers and sent them out two by two to every town and village where he was about to go. 2#Mt 9.3738 He said to them:
A large crop is in the fields, but there are only a few workers. Ask the Lord in charge of the harvest to send out workers to bring it in. 3#Mt 10.16 Now go, but remember, I am sending you like lambs into a pack of wolves. 4#Mt 10.7-14Mk 6.8-11Lk 9.3-5 Don't take along a moneybag or a traveling bag or sandals. And don't waste time greeting people on the road.#10.4 waste time greeting people on the road: In those days a polite greeting could take a long time. 5As soon as you enter a home, say, “God bless this home with peace.” 6If the people living there are peace-loving, your prayer for peace will bless them. But if they are not peace-loving, your prayer will return to you. 7#1 Co 9.141 Ti 5.18 Stay with the same family, eating and drinking whatever they give you, because workers are worth what they earn. Don't move around from house to house.
8If the people of a town welcome you, eat whatever they offer. 9Heal their sick and say, “God's kingdom will soon be here!”#10.9 will soon be here: Or “is already here.”
10 # Ac 13.51 But if the people of a town refuse to welcome you, go out into the street and say, 11“We are shaking the dust from our feet#10.11 shaking the dust from our feet: This was a way of showing rejection. as a warning to you. And you can be sure that God's kingdom will soon be here!”#10.11 will soon be here: Or “is already here.” 12#Gn 19.24-28Mt 11.24Mt 10.15 I tell you that on the day of judgment the people of Sodom will get off easier than the people of that town!
The Unbelieving Towns
13 # Is 23.1-18Ez 26.1—28.26Jl 3.4-8Am 1.910Zec 9.2-4 You people of Chorazin are in for trouble! You people of Bethsaida are also in for trouble! If the miracles that took place in your towns had happened in Tyre and Sidon, the people there would have turned to God long ago. They would have dressed in sackcloth and put ashes on their heads.#10.13 dressed in sackcloth … ashes on their heads: This was one way that people showed how sorry they were for their sins. 14On the day of judgment the people of Tyre and Sidon will get off easier than you will. 15#Is 14.13-15 People of Capernaum, do you think you will be honored in heaven? Well, you will go down to hell!
16 # Mt 10.40Mk 9.37Lk 9.48Jn 13.20 My followers, whoever listens to you is listening to me. Anyone who says “No” to you is saying “No” to me. And anyone who says “No” to me is really saying “No” to the one who sent me.
The Return of the Seventy-Two
17When the 72#10.17 72: See the note at 10.1. followers returned, they were excited and said, “Lord, even the demons obeyed when we spoke in your name!”
18Jesus told them:
I saw Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19#Ps 91.13 I have given you the power to trample on snakes and scorpions and to defeat the power of your enemy Satan. Nothing can harm you. 20But don't be happy because evil spirits obey you. Be happy that your names are written in heaven!
Jesus Thanks His Father
(Matthew 11.25-27; 13.16,17)
21At that same time, Jesus felt the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit,#10.21 the Holy Spirit: Some manuscripts have “his spirit.” and he said:
My Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I am grateful that you hid all this from wise and educated people and showed it to ordinary people. Yes, Father, this is what pleased you.
22 # Jn 3.35 Jn 10.15 My Father has given me everything, and he is the only one who knows the Son. The only one who really knows the Father is the Son. But the Son wants to tell others about the Father, so they can know him too.
23Jesus then turned to his disciples and said to them in private, “You are really blessed to see what you see! 24Many prophets and kings were eager to see what you see and to hear what you hear. But I tell you they did not see or hear.”
The Good Samaritan
25 # Mt 22.35-40Mk 12.28-34 An expert in the Law of Moses stood up and asked Jesus a question to see what he would say. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to have eternal life?”
26Jesus answered, “What is written in the Scriptures? How do you understand them?”
27 # Dt 6.5 Lv 19.18 The man replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.’ They also say, ‘Love your neighbors as much as you love yourself.’ ”
28 # Lv 18.5 Jesus said, “You have given the right answer. If you do this, you will have eternal life.”
29But the man wanted to show that he knew what he was talking about. So he asked Jesus, “Who are my neighbors?”
As a man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, robbers attacked him and grabbed everything he had. They beat him up and ran off, leaving him half dead.
31A priest happened to be going down the same road. But when he saw the man, he walked by on the other side. 32Later a temple helper#10.32 temple helper: A man from the tribe of Levi, whose job it was to work around the temple. came to the same place. But when he saw the man who had been beaten up, he also went by on the other side.
33 # 2 Ch 28.15 A man from Samaria then came traveling along that road. When he saw the man, he felt sorry for him 34and went over to him. He treated his wounds with olive oil and wine#10.34 olive oil and wine: In New Testament times these were used as medicine. Sometimes olive oil is a symbol for healing by means of a miracle (see James 5.14). and bandaged them. Then he put him on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35The next morning he gave the innkeeper two silver coins and said, “Please take care of the man. If you spend more than this on him, I will pay you when I return.”
36Then Jesus asked, “Which one of these three people was a real neighbor to the man who was beaten up by robbers?”
37The expert in the Law of Moses answered, “The one who showed pity.”
Jesus said, “Go and do the same!”
Martha and Mary
38 # Jn 11.12 The Lord and his disciples were traveling along and came to a village. When they got there, a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39She had a sister named Mary, who sat down in front of the Lord and was listening to what he said. 40Martha was worried about all that had to be done. Finally, she went to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn't it bother you that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to come and help me!”
41The Lord answered, “Martha, Martha! You are worried and upset about so many things, 42but only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen what is best, and it will not be taken away from her.”
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3#Mt 10.16 Now go, but remember, I am sending you like lambs into a pack of wolves.