Mary Hinkle, Pilgrim Preaching: http://maryhinkle.typepad.com/pilgrim_preaching/2004/06/what_jesus_sees.html
17The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” 18He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. 20Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
A Little Bit for Everyone
Oremus online text: http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=Luke+10:1-20&vnum=yes&version=nrsv
Textweek general resources: http://www.textweek.com/yearc/properc9.htm
Textweek resources for Luke’s Gospel this Sunday: http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/lk10a.htm
Some interesting articles on this passage:
Working Preacher: http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?lect_date=7/4/2010
William Loader’s thoughts:
Commentary by Chris Haslam
Essay by Sara Miles, author of Take this Bread: http://www.journeywithjesus.net/Essays/20070702JJ.shtml
Here is a great site. You have to become a member, it is free. It works by providing parallel texts, original language, or you can work on your own translation. Really Cool. (Thank you Patrick Miller for sharing): http://greattreasures.org/gnt/main.do
Give us the courage of the apostles, and let the gospel set us free that wherever life takes us and with whomever we find ourselves, our first word may always be your gift of love and peace.
From Prayers for Sunday and Seasons, Year C, Peter J. Scagnelli, LTP, 1992.
We begin here in the same way that we began with last Sunday’s Gospel from Luke. Jesus sends out before him messengers. This time he is sending out seventy. The harvest is rich says Jesus. Pray for help in the harvest.
I cannot help but imagine this text without thinking of Moses’ seventy elders who go with him to the mountain. While I do not intend to question the number I cannot help but think this is an important story to be included in the Gospel account because of this very fact. It is important to the theme of Jesus as the great high priestly prophet that he is compared with Moses, not just in deeds as in our last few weeks of reading, but here in action of disbursing authority and replicating and multiplying the proclamation of the Good news.
We can see immediately that previously in our text, Jesus sent the twelve to preach and heal, the messengers to prepare hospitality, and the seventy to do both!
Just as we remember this prophet and the prophets work makes orphans of family members and homeless those who have houses, so here we see that those who follow and undertake this work are sent out for the good work of harvesting and will for their efforts place their lives in danger.
He tells them what to take with them and what to leave behind. The message here seems to be travel light and carry with you the providence of God.
This mission is in the hostile land of Samaria and this cannot be overlooked. They are to be careful and remember they are ministering in a place that will not be welcoming to messengers sent from a prophet of Jerusalem…even if it is in Jerusalem where he will meet his death.
Nothing less than the kingdom of God is going with them, the very same message that has traveled as a mantle with Jesus’ every word. Now they are to carry it, and where it is accepted there will be peace. The kingdom is here and where it is there is peace for those who choose to live their life within its expanding territory.
Wipe off the dirt when they don’t accept you…leave them be and go. When the Day of Judgment comes they will receive what is due them. Jesus uses a colloquial proverb from his day, “go easier for Sodom.” (LTJ, Luke, Sacra Pagina, 168).
We se here in the verses that follow the them of repentance. And, we understand that where the kingdom is, where the grace appears, where God is truly received there is indeed an automatic work of repentance taken on by the people. Woe to those who do not turn to the Lord.
I think that it would be much clearer if we understood that the messengers, these seventy, were actually to do the fire bombing Jesus speaks about. But we must remember from last week’s reading, Jesus carefully instructs those who go before him to stay away from this work. Will there be judgment? The answer is clearly yes. Are we to be the ones to dish it out? Clearly: no. In fact we are to keep focused on the mission. We might remember the plough imagery from last week. We are to keep moving, dust our feet off. True enough…woe to Chorazin…but keep moving…keep proclaiming the Gospel message.
Then Jesus talks about Satan’s fall as he hears of the work his disciples have been doing. This is great news. But don’t let the news of the good work be what drives you forward. Jesus again redirects our attention. It is not the winning or the loosing, the success of the mission, or the fact that they seem to be doing good work that is important, it is rather that they are citizens in the reign or kingdom of God and they are fulfilling their citizenship by ministering in God’s name.
A new beatitude is added to our list. Blessed are those that see and those that hear. Blessed are the ones who can experience and the reign of God in a very real way. While scholars seize on the seeing and the hearing, it is interesting to me in the pericope to note that there is also a part of this saying which is the desire fulfilled. There are many Jesus says who desired to experience the kingdom. They do. So, indeed, blessed are the ones who see and hear of the kingdom. Perhaps, blessed are the citizens of this new kingdom and blessed are they that repent and are able to dwell within its boundaries.
The journey to Jerusalem is the unfolding of Jesus’ sermon on the plain. There is a declaration of woe says Luke Timothy Johnson and then a blessings, here in the alternating action, conversation, witnessing, and teaching we see Jesus’ reign of God unfold. (LTJ, 171)
It is clear that Jesus sees the Samaritans as outcasts of the people and that we are seeing in his own ministry the very essential ingredients to the life and work of the church. If we are a mission of Jesus Christ, the “seventy” sent out into the world, then we must measure our success not on the results of our work, but on these qualities expressed in today’s Gospel.
On a scale of 1 to 10 our does our community score on the following essential ingredients in Luke’s Gospel?
Do we send out people to actually do work?
Do we give them instruction on what to do, what to take with them, and what to expect?
Do we focus on the judgment that is coming? Do we relish shaking the dirt from our feet? Or are we focused on the Good News?
Do we talk about our mission experiences?
Do we travel along with Jesus in the reign of God, as citizens concerned for our brothers and sisters? Or do we act as if we have already arrived?
Blessed are the ones who see and blessed are the ones who hear.
The Lambeth Bible Study Method
This Bible study method was introduced by the African Delegation to the Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Church. It is known by both names: "Lambeth" and "African." This method is derived from the practice of Lectio Divina. The entire process should take about 30 minutes.
Question #5: "Briefly identify where this passage touches their life today," can change based upon the lesson. Find lesson oriented questions at this website: http://www.dcdiocese.org/word-working-second-question
Opening Prayer: O Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scripture to be written for our learning. Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them that we may embrace and hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
1. One person reads passage. This person then invites a member of the group to begin the process.
2. Each person briefly identifies the word or phrase that catches their attention then invites another person to share.
3. Each shares the word or phrase until all have shared or passed using the same invitation method.
4. The passage is read a second time, preferably from a different translation. The reader then invites a person in the group to begin the process.
5. Each person briefly identifies where this passage touches their life today, and then invites someone who has not shared yet.
6. The passage is read a third time, also from another translation, and the reader invites a person to start the process.
7. Each person responds to the questions, "What does God want me to do, to be or to change?"
8. The group stands up in a circle and holds hands. One person initiates the prayer “I thank God today for …” and “I ask God today for…” The prayer goes around the circle by squeezing the hand to your right.
9. When the circle is fulfilled, the person who initiated the prayer starts the Lord’s Prayer, “Our father…”