Friday, December 20

The Gospel of Luke - Chapters 10 & 11


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What do we read about in the tenth & eleventh chapters of Luke's Gospel?
What do we learn from Luke?


What is the main focus?
Is it important to know the words from this chapter?







I am doing this in response to an Advent Reading challenge where we read 1 chapter of the Gospel of Luke per day from 1st to 24th December which will allow the whole book to be read.

I don't plan to post every day but will try to do so every two days and end on the 24th.


If you missed The Overview or any of the chapters please click  HERE  for a list of them all.



Now let's look at the Tenth Chapter of Luke.



Today we are dividing this chapter into 4 sections



The Seventy Sent Out v. 1-16:

There is a great resemblance here to the start of chapter 9 where Jesus sent out the twelve disciples.

However it is from this passage and not from the previous one that we have the famous words of Jesus in verse 2 often quoted as people are going to the mission field.

The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest.  

verse 3  brings us the mention of lambs and wolves,
Jesus was definitely preparing them for a not so easy time.


verse 5  brings us a lovely greeting which should be used more in today's world.
I'm often struck by the greetings in the Epistles and think we should greet people better than we do.







After some detailed instructions of how they are to stay in the homes and the cities Jesus makes it clear in verse 12  that it is a serious thing for a city where they are not made welcome saying

But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.


Other places are then mentioned by Jesus and compared to Tyre and Sidon whom God will judge and strong words are said in judgement of Capernaum. 
Why?
The previous times we read in Luke about Capernaum we were not given any indication that Jesus was upset by the evil there or the non-acceptance of Jesus.
This is something I am interested to look into again some time or ask some of those Theologians that I know very well.


We are left in this section with Jesus words again leaving a strong warning in verse 16


“He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”

It is indeed a serious thing to reject those whom God sends.


Reminds me of the incident with the young boys and the bears in 2 Kings 2:22-24 a very interesting read.




It is indeed a serious thing to reject those whom God sends.




The Seventy Return  v. 17-24:

I like the heading for this section in the NKJV

The Seventy Return With JOY!    -    Makes you smile even as you read it.


However this section seems to be about 3 types of Joy.


1.  The disciples are joyful on their return.

Seventy disciples witness to how well their mission time went in verse 17

“Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”

But Jesus reminds them of the fall of Satan and how even though He has given them power over the enemy this is a risky joy to concentrate on because if they do they will be taking their focus off the giver of the power and directing it on themselves.
Then they will find themselves becoming proud, as Satan did.



2.  Jesus talks about true Joy.

Keeping their focus on God will keep their hearts joyful because as He tells them in verse 20

God has written their names in Heaven which is of far greater importance and relevance to their lives than what they think they are accomplishing on earth.  








3.  Jesus is Joyful

In verse 21 we are told that Jesus talked to His Father and that


Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit

This is the righteous joy that the Father, Son and Spirit shared.

We end this section with verses 23-24  where Jesus tells the Disciples how blessed they are to be in the position they are in being able to see and hear so much from God.






The Parable of the Good Samaritan  v. 25-37:


We are all so familiar with this parable.

It is important to remember in what circumstances and in answer to which question this parable relates.

We have just heard Jesus telling the disciples that others have not heard or seen the things they have and of course we know that this relates to understanding and not just listening.

So the circumstances now are that Jesus is approached by someone who does not understand the ways of God fully and the question is found in verse 25


“Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

Now Jesus does not give him a direct answer to the question but directs him to the Law, asking him not just what is written there but also what he understands it to mean.

Love is the answer but it's our attitude and how we direct that love that is important.







So then the question from the lawyer comes in verse 29  


But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”

Thinking back to the Old Testament I think there were plenty of times as the Law was given that there was good detail and example given so did this man not really know who his neighbour was?

So Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Any different types of people could have been cast in the roles but Jesus chose to make the example of the pious religious and the hated among the Jews which I think He did to show that he knew the lawyer's true heart.

The parable ends with verses 36 - 37


36 So which of these three do you think was neighbour to him who fell among the thieves?”
37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

The way it ends without the man speaking again I have to wonder if the man did not mean for this to be the result because it would mean a change of heart on his part when he already thought he was good enough, but knowing the law is not good enough again the Love is the answer.



Love is the answer but it's our attitude and how we direct that love that is important.




Mary & Martha  v. 38-42:


I don't think it is by chance that this section comes at this point.

Again the relationship is important and the attitude and the love.

Many women today want to make more of this than there is here.
This is a home situation and Jesus was invited in to the home by Martha (verse 38)  she has a sister and while the hostess was thinking and working towards the comfort and the refreshment of the guest her sister was not helping.

I can see a similar situation happening very easily today as well.
We have a guest and there will be someone in the home who takes responsibility for the hospitality they want to offer, usually the best cook or organiser within the family.

Martha gets upset and wants her sister to help and Jesus just reminds her that this is a one off occasion where they have Him and His teaching and she needs to recognise which is the most important.  He was not always going to be around to learn from.

Mary listening to Jesus was not a sign that she was going to be a teacher of the Word, she was simply making the most of the opportunity to learn which is what we all need to do.

Martha not sitting intently listening was not being condemned, we are shown here that there are two things we need to do in life -  have a good attitude & relationship with God's word (listen, read, learn and be in the presence of God) and have a good attitude and relationship with others (honour, respect and serve people).  Martha at this time chose the serving and Mary chose the learning.

Looking now to the relationship, attitude and love in this situation, and knowing that Jesus is later spoken of as a friend of these two women and their brother, I am sure we can say that the relationship, attitude and love between them all was not destroyed by this event.










Now let's look at the Eleventh Chapter of Luke.





We are also dividing this chapter into 4 sections.



Teaching On Prayer  v. 1-13:


We are all very familiar with the Lord's prayer but in this Gospel it may not be the same as we normally say it.


Which of the Gospels have the Lord's Prayer?


Matthew 6 v 5 - 15 covers teaching on prayer in the section known as the Sermon on the Mount.
but the part known commonly as the Lord's prayer would be verses 9 - 13
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.

And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.

 Amen.



Mark 11 v 25 - 26  covers a short look at prayer covering trespasses and forgiveness
25“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 
26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”



We can only FORGIVE when we LOVE.




Luke 11 v 1 - 4  covers teaching on prayer covering trespasses and forgiveness but the part considered to be the Lord's prayer is verses 2 - 4
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.



We can only have GOOD ATTITUDES when we know that we ourselves are SINNERS.




John has short verses dispersed throughout the Gospel on prayer but the best known part would be in chapter 16 verse 24




which is not likened to the Lord's Prayer.


If we look closely we see that Luke's version is basically the same as Matthew's version except it is missing the closing statement
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
 Amen.


Here in Luke, Jesus then goes on to give an example of persistent prayer about a neighbour who has visitors late at night and needs bread in verses 5 - 8


and follows with results of that persistence in verses 9 - 10
So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  
10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.


which is almost identical to Matthew 7 v 7 below







and another example of the type of answer God will give us in verses 11 - 13  where we plainly see that God is a good God who gives good things especially The Holy Spirit.


Here again in this teaching on prayer we see that relationship, attitude and love are so important.


We can only FORGIVE when we LOVE.


We can only have GOOD ATTITUDES when we know that we ourselves are SINNERS.



We can only keep GOOD RELATIONSHIPS when we LOVE and FORGIVE ourselves and others.









Casting Out A Demon  v. 14-28:


I have always found it strange that a statement such as that in verse 15 would be made
But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”

Why would demons be against demons?


But then maybe the previous verse helps to show why, because in it we read that
the multitudes marvelled

Many people accepted the greatness of what Jesus did and respected Him for it but then that also means in our imperfect human life we will then see the scoffers and the jealous who can't always keep their mouths shut.  No matter what Jesus would have done it would not have satisfied or pleased all the people.

So Jesus confronts them with the fact that it doesn't make sense that He should cast out demons as they have accused Him.   In verses 19 - 20  he shows them the stupidity of their words but also calls them out in the fact that they don't want to believe that He is of God.
19 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.  
20 But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.

If Jesus is from God then they are showing that they are against Him - verse 23
He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

People are afraid when they see the power of God through Jesus because they know they are not right with God.
This is the time when people should shred their pride, arrogance and embarrassment to instead accept the way God wants to work.


Jesus then talks about how worse it can be when a demon is cast out but comes back with others to take up residence again.
Lives are changed by demons being cast out but they must be renewed by God's Spirit so that they stay changed.
If the people stay in unbelief or forget what God is doing for them they will not be changed.


Then we come to the verse that stands out from all others in this chapter, the verse that means so much.

To be true followers of Christ we need to take heed to this verse - this is what is expected of us.
Our heart and our actions must reflect the fact that we do not just hear but we believe and obey.

We are not to go our own way and think and apply our own thoughts, no we need to stay firm on the Word of God at all times - that's where the blessing is.










The Sign of Jonah  v. 29-36:


Jesus relates the people around Him with looking for signs but the only one they need is that of Jonah.

Who was Jonah sent to?
Ninevites

Why was Jonah sent?
The people were disobeying God's Laws

What was Jonah to do?
Take God's message of their sin and tell them to repent

What is the sign of Jonah?
That God wants people to recognise their sin and repent and trust in Him.

What did God declare?
The Ninevites repented when they met and heard from Jonah and were then not out of relationship with God.
The people here were still out of relationship with God because they were not looking to Jesus (who was greater than Jonah) but instead looking for something else.  They were not ready to repent.

The people were evil and Jesus related it to having darkness within when they should have light.
Jesus had also spoken about a lamp in a parable in chapter 8 v 16 - 21





Woes On The Pharisees  v. 37-54:


Jesus speaks of 3 Woes relating to the Pharisees

  1. They concentrated on tithing of all different things but overlooked the love & justice of God.
  2. They wanted to be noticed and honoured everywhere.
  3. They had uncleanness within that people were unaware of.


Jesus speaks of 3 Woes relating to the scribes

  1. They thought others had to be subject to laws but they didn't want to be.
  2. They did not respect the prophets.
  3. They were a hindrance to people to learn pure knowledge.


What reaction do we read from the Pharisees and scribes after this?

They plotted, planned and schemed against Jesus to catch Him out to be able to accuse Him of wrongdoing etc.



We can only keep GOOD RELATIONSHIPS when we LOVE and FORGIVE ourselves and others.



What about the attitudes, relationships and love we have seen as a recurring theme in these two chapters?
The scribes and Pharisees did not show a good attitude towards Jesus, did not want to have a good relationship with Him and certainly did not show love.









If you would like to read more of the posts in this series please click  HERE  for a list of them all.





For anyone looking for a book to give a thorough explanation of The Book of Luke  then I would recommend the following two commentaries by Warren Wiersbe which cover ch. 1-13 and ch. 14-24  available here below on Amazon and also at other leading bookshops.


 



For anyone looking to do a Bible Study of The Book of Luke  I would recommend the following two studies by Warren Wiersbe which cover ch. 1-13 and ch. 14-24  available here below on Amazon and also at other leading bookshops.


 



Disclaimer: If buying here through Amazon I get a little commission but that does not mean any extra expense to you.





3 comments:

  1. Your understanding of Mary and Martha is refreshing Sandra.... one chose to serve, one chose to worship. Two different giftings being operated... it’s all about our attitude in them isn’t it. Bless you for sharing xx

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  2. This is very well put together, Sandra. I appreciate a deep dive into scripture for a better understanding of the word of God. I have been reading one chapter of Luke each day leading up to Christmas as well.

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