The Mission of the Seventy-two.* 1After this the Lord appointed seventy[-two]* others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit.a 2He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.b 3Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.c 4* Carry no money bag,d no sack, no sandals;e and greet no one along the way. 5Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’* 6If a peaceful person* lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. 7Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment. Do not move about from one house to another.f 8Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you,g 9cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.’h 10Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you, go out into the streets and say,i 11‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet, even that we shake off against you.’ Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand.j 12I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.k
Reproaches to Unrepentant Towns.* 13l “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!m For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15n And as for you, Capernaum, ‘Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.’* 16Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”o
Return of the Seventy-two. 17The seventy[-two] returned rejoicing, and said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.” 18Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning* from the sky.p 19Behold, I have given you the power ‘to tread upon serpents’ and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you.q 20Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”r
Praise of the Father.s 21At that very moment he rejoiced [in] the holy Spirit and said, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.* Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.t 22All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”u
The Privileges of Discipleship.v 23Turning to the disciples in private he said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 24For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
The Greatest Commandment.w 25* There was a scholar of the law* who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”x 26Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” 27He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”y 28He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”z
The Parable of the Good Samaritan. 29But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. 31* A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. 32Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. 33But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. 34He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’ 36Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” 37He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Martha and Mary.* 38a As they continued their journey he entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. 39* She had a sister named Mary [who] sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. 40Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” 41The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. 42* There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”
* [10:1–12] Only the Gospel of Luke contains two episodes in which Jesus sends out his followers on a mission: the first (Lk 9:1–6) is based on the mission in Mk 6:6b–13 and recounts the sending out of the Twelve; here in Lk 10:1–12 a similar report based on Q becomes the sending out of seventy-two in this gospel. The episode continues the theme of Jesus preparing witnesses to himself and his ministry. These witnesses include not only the Twelve but also the seventy-two who may represent the Christian mission in Luke’s own day. Note that the instructions given to the Twelve and to the seventy-two are similar and that what is said to the seventy-two in Lk 10:4 is directed to the Twelve in Lk 22:35.
* [10:1] Seventy[-two]: important representatives of the Alexandrian and Caesarean text types read “seventy,” while other important Alexandrian texts and Western readings have “seventy-two.”
* [10:4] Carry no money bag…greet no one along the way: because of the urgency of the mission and the singlemindedness required of missionaries, attachment to material possessions should be avoided and even customary greetings should not distract from the fulfillment of the task.
* [10:6] A peaceful person: literally, “a son of peace.”
* [10:18] I have observed Satan fall like lightning: the effect of the mission of the seventy-two is characterized by the Lucan Jesus as a symbolic fall of Satan. As the kingdom of God is gradually being established, evil in all its forms is being defeated; the dominion of Satan over humanity is at an end.
* [10:25–37] In response to a question from a Jewish legal expert about inheriting eternal life, Jesus illustrates the superiority of love over legalism through the story of the good Samaritan. The law of love proclaimed in the “Sermon on the Plain” (Lk 6:27–36) is exemplified by one whom the legal expert would have considered ritually impure (see Jn 4:9). Moreover, the identity of the “neighbor” requested by the legal expert (Lk 10:29) turns out to be a Samaritan, the enemy of the Jew (see note on Lk 9:52).
* [10:39] Sat beside the Lord at his feet: it is remarkable for first-century Palestinian Judaism that a woman would assume the posture of a disciple at the master’s feet (see also Lk 8:35; Acts 22:3), and it reveals a characteristic attitude of Jesus toward women in this gospel (see Lk 8:2–3).
* [10:42] There is need of only one thing: some ancient versions read, “there is need of few things”; another important, although probably inferior, reading found in some manuscripts is, “there is need of few things, or of one.”