In this episode, Clint Loveall and Michael Gewecke continue their study of Luke, focusing on chapter 10, verses 13-20. They discuss the consequences of rejecting the gospel and the importance of understanding the global impact of faith. The passage also includes a discussion on the danger of fixating on the power and authority given to believers rather than focusing on gratitude and the gift of salvation. Join them as they dive into the text and explore its meaning and relevance for today’s followers of Christ.
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00:00:00:10 – 00:00:24:15
All right, friends, back at it. Halfway through chapter ten, maybe. Not quite. We are in the 13th verse. Yesterday we saw Jesus send out the 72 on their mission, similar to the sending of the 12. We saw Jesus tell them to go into towns to to proclaim the good news, to stay there if they were welcome, and to turn away if they weren’t.
00:00:24:16 – 00:01:01:21
And today we continue that theme of what happens when they’re turned away and Jesus really moves here from kind of a personal framework to a national or a nationalistic framework. So he’s going to take whole cities to kind of personalize what happens when you don’t respond to God. So let me read this for you. What do you core as an ambassador for if the deeds of power done and you had been done entire inside and they would have been they would have repented long ago, sitting sackcloth and ashes, but at the judgment, it will be more tolerable for Tiger inside than for you.
00:01:01:26 – 00:01:25:41
A new Capernaum. Will you be exalted in heaven? No. You’ll be brought down to Hades. Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you, rejects me, whoever rejects me, rejects the one who sent me. So this is one of those texts we probably don’t know what to do with. But Jesus here is using the geography of his day to talk about what God is doing in the world.
00:01:25:46 – 00:01:51:10
And there are these places like Tire and Sidon that are considered in in scope of the Old Testament and in scope of the Jewish story to be places that are remembered unkindly. And Jesus is saying to these other places that maybe in some cases are even known for their idea of faith or for being good places, that because they reject the gospel, they will be judged.
00:01:51:10 – 00:02:24:54
And this is a way for Jesus to kind of portray that what happens in the minor, what happens in the minimum, which is that people are judged for their response to the gospel, also happens in Max. It happens in the bigger picture of the world. And this, Michael, I think, speaks again. We saw this yesterday. This speaks to Luke’s idea of the faith being global and consequently of the judgment of God being global.
00:02:24:54 – 00:02:51:49
That is not simply an individual level where faith matters. This is important for the world and for nations of the world and for the people of those nations. And I think Luke may be it’s not maybe it’s not the most comfortable and maybe it’s not the clearest. But I think Luke gives us the most dramatic picture of how it is that he understands that big picture throughout the world.
00:02:51:54 – 00:03:22:01
And clearly Jesus is speaking to the cities about the acceptance of His Lordship. But I don’t think it’s a mistake that this is sandwiched between stories about the 70 being sent out and then the 70 coming back because Luke is making it clear that the missionary voices being brought to bear in this are those who are following Jesus there, these people who, if you remember yesterday, they went out and the idea was you stayed the home of someone in that town.
00:03:22:01 – 00:03:46:16
And from there you share the good news. You trust God, you step out in faith. You don’t bring a lot of resources. You don’t bring a lot of ways of protecting yourself. The idea is that when you go out to witness, you trust that God is going to lead you. And here we find out that there’s substantial ramifications, even expectations, that while the gospel will spread, it will also be rejected it.
00:03:46:17 – 00:04:11:45
And both are to be recognized, both are to be expected. And I think, Clint, that the danger and the temptation of texts like this, especially early as we study the Bible, is to pick a group of modern people or a tribe or whatever, from our vantage to identify that directly with one of these and to say, whoa, to you, my enemy.
00:04:11:45 – 00:04:34:27
And very clearly here Jesus is not putting this in context with these 70 going out and saying your job is to bring judgment on others. It’s very clearly that judgment is brought on yourself when you hear the gospel and you don’t respond that there is a substantial problem. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very bad thing. Woe to you who hears the gospel and rejects it.
00:04:34:31 – 00:04:45:07
But that’s clearly not put upon the 70 who are doing the witnessing. And I think that sometimes we get texts like this backwards because we identify the wrong people with the wrong characters.
00:04:45:16 – 00:05:08:08
Yeah. And you know, Michael, this passage finishes here with these great words. Whoever listens to you, listens to me, rejects you, rejects me. We’re about to see that there is another almost an equating of Jesus power with the disciples power. And on the one hand, I think that is a powerful message. Right? Well, let me read it and then we’ll get into that.
00:05:08:13 – 00:05:35:27
The 70 returned with joy and said, Lord, in your name, even the demons submit to us. And he said to them, I watch Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. I’ve given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy and nothing will hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.
00:05:35:31 – 00:06:26:31
I think this is one of those passages, Michael, that reads very differently in in a day where we have looking back 2000 years of church history, when we look back and we see the church that has abused its power at times, when we see the Church of the Middle Ages neglecting the poor, when we see the church of the modern era, neglecting those in need, when we’ve seen people take these words literally and get stung by scorpions and bitten by snakes, we I think there is a sense in which we don’t know what to do with these words, because we understand very clearly and very poignantly that the power and the motivation and the purity
00:06:26:31 – 00:06:53:40
of Christ is not equal in the church. We we do not have we are not in extension of Christ’s power. Whatever we do, we do under Jesus authority. It doesn’t belong to us. But in the context of the early church, Jesus is here speaking to the authority of those who will follow him and those who are going to face difficulty.
00:06:53:45 – 00:07:21:28
And this is not if you misread this, it sounds like a promise that nothing bad will happen to you, right? That nothing will hurt you. We know, even in the context of this gospel, that’s not true. We know that’s not the case. And we know that’s not what Jesus is saying. What Jesus is saying is that we, the people of God, will continue the work and we will do so not on our own, but under the very authority of Jesus Christ.
00:07:21:28 – 00:07:50:06
And we should not rejoice at the things we can do. We should rejoice that our names are included among those who follow Christ, that our names are written in heaven. And so often, I think because of the I ask, what would you say, Mark? I suppose because of the the flowery nature of this language, you can easily get distracted here.
00:07:50:06 – 00:08:14:16
There are a lot of rabbit trails one could follow in just these short verses. But the point is that those who follow Jesus are to do the work of Jesus, and they’ve been given the blessing and the authority of Jesus. And rather than pay attention to the things themselves as some kind of litmus test of faith, we are to be grateful that we are included in the faith.
00:08:14:16 – 00:08:33:58
And if it sounds like I’m going overboard on that, I’m sorry, but these are the kind of verses that have been abused and misunderstood. I think in just many instances in our churches history, in the faith’s history, and it it doesn’t say what we sometimes think that it happens.
00:08:33:59 – 00:09:02:24
Yeah, I have two things to add there. One is that notice here that Jesus says nothing will hurt you. He says in another passage that the servant is not greater than the master. And remember that Jesus himself died on the cross for the sake of those who hated him and those who loved him, Jesus gave himself. He was clearly hurt in the midst of the world and that was God’s intention.
00:09:02:24 – 00:09:26:31
His salvific work on our behalf. And so this language here that nothing will hurt us. We, like Jesus, will experience pain, we like Jesus will experience the brokenness of humanity. The brokenness of humanity is what drove the Son of God to His own death for our sake. And we need to remember that and to not begin to glory in a promise that is taken out of context.
00:09:26:43 – 00:09:47:22
Because that’s not what’s intended here. And I do also want to point out, look at 417, the this is a corrective teaching for the 70 and we might not read it that way. The 70 returned with joy. So there rejoice sing when they say the Jesus in your name, the demons even submit to us. What is that? Well, they’re rejoicing for their power.
00:09:47:22 – 00:10:25:36
They’re rejoicing because of the authority. They’re rejoicing because of what they’re interpreting to be a good kind of work that is happening because of and through them. Now look at how Jesus corrects this in verse 20. Do not rejoice at the authority. Do not rejoice that the work’s being done. Rather rejoice that you are counted among the number, rejoice that your names are written in heaven, and that friends, I think is the important lesson from this text is do not be fixated on what God does through you Fixate on what God has done for you.
00:10:25:40 – 00:10:46:17
The emphasis there is essential. If we get fixated on the stuff that God is doing through us, we become as we become obsessed with authority, we go to Paul’s lists of spiritual gifts and we start claiming them all for ourselves so that we can be lifted up. But at the end of the day, it is the servant who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
00:10:46:17 – 00:11:08:00
And Jesus is making that case here. So I think you could make an argument and maybe you’re overreaching if you do make the argument. But I think an argument could be made that this text is actually the reverse of the ways it’s been misread. It’s actually not an invitation to go do risky things to prove the authority and protection that God has given you.
00:11:08:13 – 00:11:21:28
Rather, it’s a lesson to focus on gratitude and the awareness of the gift that’s come to you in the salvation of Jesus Christ. And that awareness is itself the spiritual practice that Jesus calls the 72.
00:11:21:34 – 00:11:50:20
Yeah, there’s definitely a danger, I think, in trying to make this about us, a very passage in which Jesus is trying to get the disciples not to make it about them. I think, you know, it’s clear here that Jesus point, you know, oh, you had a demon submit to you. I watched Satan fall, you know. So again, the gospel is I, I think almost I cannot think of an exception.
00:11:50:20 – 00:12:15:52
I’ll go so far as to say without exception, when the disciples then or now, trying to make the gospel about themselves, Jesus won’t allow it. And I think that’s what we see here. There is a promise of deliverance. There is a promise. I am with you. There is a promise of protection, there is a granting of authority and a mission that is the mission of Jesus Christ.
00:12:15:57 – 00:12:47:31
But this has to be tempered with other passages that say, Blessed are you. When they persecute you, blessed are you, and they revile you, they’ll drag you. Before the synagogue, leaders. They will beat you. They’ll, you know, they’ll do these things to you. There is no sense in which you can read this as some kind of divine insurance policy that nothing bad will happen to you if you’re faithful, that the Gospels simply don’t allow, that they will not allow us to believe that there’s too many correctives to that.
00:12:47:31 – 00:12:57:52
And if we try to make this passage, as we have sometimes done in the history of the church, that kind of word to us, we miss it. We must hear it.
00:12:57:57 – 00:13:19:30
We’re going to dive into the next section tomorrow. And so this is not I’m not going to jump into it, but I do want to make sure that we see the context of what’s happening here, because this passage begins and ends with joy. And the next passage is going to begin with Jesus’s rejoicing. And this kinds of things in your Bible study should be noticed.
00:13:19:30 – 00:13:45:43
You should read slow enough that you see there’s a lot of joy words right now in the in the story what is happening because of that. And I think we need to remember as we study this, that Christian joy doesn’t flow out of our circumstance. It doesn’t come when the 70 are in the nicest sit home in the city, getting fed the best food by the most prominent people in town.
00:13:45:48 – 00:14:07:49
The 70 are told to rejoice because of their eternal home, because of the one who has gone ahead of them and invites them into eternal rest. This is what is supposed to be the foundation of their joy. And as we turn to tomorrow, we’re going to discover that Jesus himself, He rejoice, is in the Spirit. He thanks God for the work in his life.
00:14:07:49 – 00:14:32:16
And we know because Luke is going to lay out this path ahead of us, that Jesus is already on the path towards the cross, that this is not going to be an accidental endeavor for him. He’s not going to, just by happenstance, get caught up with the Roman guards and with highlight that Jesus is on this journey, this salvific journey, and we still see him rejoicing in the midst of it.
00:14:32:16 – 00:14:51:52
And I think that maybe for us today, there is a simple lesson in that. Maybe the lesson is, regardless of our circumstance, to be open to God’s work in our life, the spirits move in our life, and if we are open to that, we too may find places to rejoice, even in some of those dark and difficult seasons.
00:14:51:57 – 00:15:12:24
Yeah, this is in some ways an interesting chapter in Luke because half of it is kind of difficult stuff that is tough to make sense of. And then parts of it are some of your favorite parts you may or may not know that’s coming yet, but this is an interesting mix that Luke gives us in this chapter. Hope you can join us tomorrow.
00:15:12:28 – 00:15:25:55
We want to thank you for being with us and being patient with us as we continue to get the bugs worked out this season. Again, we’re glad to have you hope if you’re new here, you’ll subscribe so you can catch these studies as they come out. And until we see you tomorrow, be blessed.