Two Part Question: Part 1 - Jesus seems purposefully vague and harsh in Luke 10: 1-12?

(scott beau jordan) #1

Luke 10 1-12
10 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you.7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say,11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

Question 1: I don’t understand what Jesus is asking the 70 to do… If a random person shows up at my door and asks to stay with me and my children offering no explanation I would be hard pressed to allow it. Perhaps my heart is too calloused? However, it says the only word the man is to speak is the kingdom of God is near. If people do not listen to such a man not explaining his words or who they come from, then God will judge the entire city as worthy of hellfire? This makes no sense…

(Jimmy Sellers) #2

Good question. Let me try to answer briefly and comeback after some others weigh in.

In the 2nd temple era Jews of that day placed great value on hospitality it was a virtue, today we pay for hospitality at the local hotel/inn. For a Jew to turn away a fellow Jew would have brought shame not only on his house but also his town. (you have to keep in mind that the target audience for Jesus was the Jew).
I think you will see this as a recurring theme in the OT and the NT. One of the hurdles that I had to deal with as I studied the Bible was to understand that I could not apply my cultural standards to a culture that was being written about 2000+ year.

Here is a good resource to help you get a handle.

This is a good read and will go along way towards helping you recognize a Western bias.
Hope this helps.

(Jimmy Sellers) #3

I am not sure that you can glean from this verse that Jesus was restricting the speech of the 70 perhaps the subject but certainly not the words to use. If you take into consideration that there are a number of folks who believe that the Good News was the announcement that the “Kingdom of God was at hand” then I think that it make more sense that you stay on message and add to that healing the sick and you have the work of the King of the universe the one who will rescue his creation. To reject this message is to condemn ones self to a fate worse then Sodom. If you recall God did show mercy to Lot , his wife and 2 daughters. Only three acted on his mercy.

My thoughts.

(scott beau jordan) #4

Thanks very much, I’ll think on that. Much appreciated

(SeanO) #5

@scottbeau In addition to @Jimmy_Sellers’s points regarding the culture, you have to understand that these towns are all Jewish and Jesus is the Messiah sent from Yahweh - the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The nation of Israel had persistently rejected God’s true prophets and now God had sent His Son with many miraculous signs and with the testimony of the Holy Spirit. This was a pivotal moment in the history of Israel - would they reject God’s Son - their Messiah - or would they repent and turn in their hearts to God?

Jesus makes this point repeatedly, as we see in the parable of the landowner. In this parable, we understand Jesus’ harsh critique of the Israelites who reject Him. But Jesus’ heart is not callous - we see Him weep over the hardness of Israel in Matthew 23:37.

Matthew 23:37 - Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.

Matthew 21:33-41 - “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 34 When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.

35 “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37 Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said.

38 “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”

41 “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”