(Study Outline sourced from “The System Bible Study” – “The Book of Life” [Zondervan])
(7). The Successful Mission Of The Seventy(two)
“…the Lord appointed seventy-two others …”
“….the Lord appointed seventy others…” (KJV, NKV, NAS)
[Due to differences in the early manuscripts, it is unclear as to whether the number was 70 or 72 – NIV Study Bible]
Although recorded only by Luke, the instructions given by the Lord Jesus is the same as those given to the Twelve in the other accounts . “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you…” – the principle is still the same today: the Lord calls and sends His servants to the mission field, no matter where that mission field may be. “…and sent them out two by two…” this practice was continued by the early Church in the Acts of The Apostles , and may have changed as we have seen God calling and sending individuals to the mission field.
“Do not take….. and do not greet anyone on the road.” – the mission of spreading the gospel is urgent so God’s servants should not carry any “baggage” or stop to “socialize”– go and deliver the message should be the primary responsibility and goal; and “When you enter a house…” – they were to enter and stay in the places that welcomed them, but where they were not welcomed they were to go into the streets and wipe off the dust of the town that stuck to their feet; nevertheless, the message had to be spoken “Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.” . “But it will be more bearable….” – greater accountability will bear upon those who hear the gospel message than those who, like Sodom (although very sinful) did not hear the full gospel message, and will be the principle of God’s final judgment upon sinful mankind ; judgment will be administered according to the truth that an individual is exposed to, and all persons have been exposed to some truth ; (Korazin and Bethsaida were New Testament towns, whose condemnation was that they rejected the Lord’s message) “Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. ….when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God “will give to each person according to what he has done.” . “…he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.” –rejecting God’s messenger, the Lord Jesus Christ, is rejecting God, and will therefore be the reason for judgment .
“I saw Satan fall….” – each time that the gospel is preached and some soul is saved from the coming judgment means a defeat for Satan; however, God’s servants should be more elated by the fact “that your names are written in heaven.” meaning that our salvation which is recorded in heaven , is of more importance than Satan’s defeat.
The Lord Jesus then rejoices with His disciples over their success and indicates that it is His Father’s “good pleasure” to hide the truth of the gospel from those who consider themselves to be “wise and learned” . God The Father has committed all things to God The Son, and The Lord Jesus has revealed them to those whom He chooses . The greatest privilege of God’s servants today is “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.” because the O.T. prophets and kings wanted see and hear these things but it was not their privilege .
(8). Parable Of The Good Samaritan
What was the real reason for lawyer’s question to the Lord Jesus? Did he not know the answer? Or did he want to make an issue on the Lord’s response? “Teacher…..what must I do to inherit eternal life?” – to which the Lord responded “What is written in the Law?” …. “How do you read it?”Certainly, an expert in the law should know what the scriptures teach. He responded to the Lord Jesus’ question by quoting two O.T. passages – “Love the Lord your God with…heart….soul….strength and….mind, and, Love your neighbour as yourself” . The Lord Jesus, knowing the real reason behind his question, responds, “Do this and you will live.”, but he wanting “to justify himself” asked his real question “who is my neighbour?”
In consideration of the first question and the response it is clear from the scriptures that this is not all that is required in order for one to inherit eternal life; if it were, then there would be no reason for the Lord Jesus Christ (God the Son) to appear in the form of a man and to die as the ultimate sacrifice on a cross. We read “the soul who sins is the one who will die” and we see that there is a long list of do’s and don’ts for a person to be declared righteous. Furthermore, we read, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” , and so we find that keeping the Law becomes rather difficult for all mankind, thus we fall short of righteousness and are sinners, “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” . We therefore need a righteousness that is not based on what we do, but is based on what has been done for us, and this is explained in Rom.3: 21-24; therefore, eternal life comes only through our faith and acceptance in what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for us .
The Lord then deals with the lawyer’s second question – “Who is my neighbour?” by a parable of the Good Samaritan, in which a Jewish man is robbed and beaten and left half-dead on the side of the road. A priest and a Levite separately come upon the scene but pass by on the other side of the road ignoring the victim of the crime; these were his own countrymen and leaders of his community. A Samaritan, hated by the Jews and no doubt a mutual hatred by both communities, comes upon the scene, “took pity” on the victim and cared for him paying all the expenses. The Lord then asks, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” to which the lawyer replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”, thus, one lesson is that love for our neighbour should not be bounded by nationality, creed, or colour of the recipient.
(9). At The Home Of Martha And Mary In Bethany
“…Mary… sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.” – our Lord further added that Mary chose “what was better” and it would not be taken away from her. Believers in the Lord Jesus sometimes forget, and therefore neglect, the most important thing – in order to grow and to mature in the things of God, we need to be fed and watered by the Word of God through the teaching of the Holy Spirit. Due to the business and responsibilities of everyday life we often do not set aside a proportional amount of time to spend in silence communing with God through His Word. We need to have the attitude of Mary! .
There is an urgent need for all believers to understand the value of studyingand applying the Word of God to our lives . “Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.” – let nothing distract us from our time of communion with our Lord!