Summary: When we discover where, who and how to serve in the Kingdom of God we also discover God himself at every corner. Have you seen the Lord today?
Most commentators recognize Luke 9:51 – 19:27 as a special section containing information about Jesus that is unique to Luke’s gospel. Many of the most popular teachings of Jesus are found only here in the scripture. The Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son, the Rich Man and Lazarus, the Ten Lepers Jesus heals and only one (a Samaritan), returns to give thanks, Zacchaeus up in the tree, and others are found only in these chapters of Luke’s gospel.
Today we have come to chapter 10 of Luke’s gospel. The three sections of chapter 10 are about: 1. Jesus sending out 70 to prepare the way for his coming. 2. The parable of the Good Samaritan. 3. A personal visit Jesus has in the home of Martha and Mary.
Each of these deserves attention that we can not give in the short time we have. But let’s touch on each one and find lessons to live by from them.
Verses 1-24 record the sending of the 70 and their return and blessing. Jesus was very concerned that people prepare themselves for the kingdom of God. He sent out the 12 and now the 70 to make the message known! One commentary pointed out the significance of the 70 is multifaceted. First, in Numbers 11 God had instructed Moses to appoint 70 elders and God put his Spirit on them to help Moses lead the people of Israel. Second there were 70 elders in the Sanhedrin who were appointed to guide and judge the people. Also, 70 translators had been used to translate the Hebrew Bible into the Greek language. This version is called the Septuagint, or 70. One commentator said that it was believed in that day that there were 70 nations in the world, and this number reflected the universal or international nature of the gospel of the kingdom of God. Since Luke doesn’t tell us, all this is guess work, but the number 70 does seem significant.
These 70 were sent out in much the same way as the 12, with the same power to perform signs and wonders. One of the ways we discover a deeper understanding of Jesus is by serving him and sharing our faith with others. They came back all excited! Verse 17 records them saying, “Lord even the demons submit to us in your name!” Wow. The Name of Jesus still carries power over Satan. Jesus told them not to rejoice over demons submitting, but over their names being written in heaven. Amen! May we all remember this priority. Then Jesus rejoices in prayer and in verse 22-24 he pulls back the curtain and reveals his identity on a deeper level. As we noted last week, these disciples had the right hearts but the wrong ideas about who Jesus is. Here he shows us all a glorious secret that blesses our eyes and ears if we see and hear it with faith.
Listen: 22 "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."
23 And turning to the disciples, He said privately, "Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see,
24 for I say to you, that many prophets and kings wished to see the things which you see, and did not see them, and to hear the things which you hear, and did not hear them."
Jesus has it all. He has the power to reveal God to us. Do you see that? Jesus has the power and authority to show us God.
What are some lessons we learn from this?
1. Jesus is serious about getting the message out. He uses his followers to spread the word! He instructs us, empowers us, and involves us in this work. And anyone who takes up the charge of the commission of Christ discovers the greatest blessings of this life!
2. The greatest thing to celebrate in life is knowing that your name is written in heaven. What do you and I celebrate most? What do we stand up and cheer about? Listen. There is nothing on earth more worthy of shouts of joy than having God reveal himself to you and know that you have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Then helping others to know Christ and follow him just magnifies and extends that joy! Ron Hutchcraft tells this: One day our little grandson was running around the living room, enjoying his own miniature "Toys R Us" store. He had his Veggie Tales toys out, his ball, his stuffed animals, his little ball you put the different geometric shapes in. He was 14 months old then, it should have kept him occupied, right? Yes, until he saw a certain person moving back and forth past the window on the front porch.