The teachings of Messiah, 9:51-19:44

1. The meaning and acceptance of the kingdom message, 9:51-10:42

iii] Mission of the seventy


Luke's account of the mission of the seventy records the second and more extensive mission of Jesus to the people of Israel. The instructions Jesus gives the seventy are similar to those given to the twelve for the first mission, cf., 9:1-6. Like the first mission, this mission to proclaim the coming kingdom produces patchy results. Following his instructions to the evangelists, v1-12, Jesus proclaims a series of woes upon unrepentant towns, v13-16, indicating that the mission was not successful in the sense of conversions. Jesus then goes on to speak of the true nature of evangelistic success, namely Satan's defeat, v17-20.


"The kingdom message proclaims the messianic peace and messiah's victory over the powers of Satan and of death", Ellis.


i] Context: See 9:51-56. The mission of the seventy serves as the third episode in the section The meaning and acceptance of the kingdom message, 9:51-10:42. Luke tells us that the message of the kingdom concerns deliverance, not judgement, and that gaining this deliverance must take priority in our life. As Ellis notes, each episode in this section focuses on a teaching word from Jesus concerning the kingdom of God.


ii] Structure: This passage, The mission of the seventy, presents as follows:

Setting, v1;

Jesus instructs the disciples, v2-12:

The mission is urgent, v2:

"ask the Lord of the harvest ... to send out workers into his harvest field."

There will be danger, v3:

"I am sending you out like lambs among wolves."

General instructions, v4-12;

Woes on unrepentant cities, v13-15;

The authority of the message, v16:

"the one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, ......."

The missioners report, v17:

Jesus' response, v18-20:

"I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven."

"I have given you authority to trample on snakes and ......"

"do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."


iii] Interpretation:

For Luke, the seventy obviously represent the eschatological Israel and thus their mission is the mission of the church. They are to proclaim the dawning of God's promised new age, the coming kingdom, so reaping the harvest, gathering the lost. In this task they will confront all the powers of this age, but Satan and his minions will be unable to stand before the onslaught of the messiah. Satan's kingdom will fall; Christ's kingdom will endure for ever. Yet, although the prophets eagerly look toward the manifestation of God's new age in his messiah, many in Israel have no such expectation and thus the proclamation of God's kingdom in word and sign is, for them, veiled, bringing judgment rather than peace. So, the seventy go out in excitement, authority, revelation and opportunity (Tannehill) bound in the knowledge that "the greatest blessing is not their power but their position", Bock, cf. v20.


iv] Synoptics:

Some elements of 10:1-12 can be found in Matthew 9:37-38 and 10:7-16. There is close alignment between 10:13-15 with Matthew 11:20-24. The return of the missioners, 10:17-20 is unique to Luke. Again Q is often identified as the source, with others arguing that much is Luke's own creation. Luke's use of oral tradition should not be discounted.


v] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

Text - 10:1

The mission, v1-20: i] Setting, v1: Having selected the twelve apostles, Jesus now gathers seventy missioners to proclaim the coming kingdom to the people of Israel. The day of judgment (harvest) is close at hand so there is a need to look to the Lord to supply a full complement of missioners. The task of proclaiming the kingdom will not be easy for there will be opposition, but the missioners can depend on the protection of the "Lord", the Great Shepherd.

meta + acc. "after [this]" - Temporal use of the preposition.

anedeixen (anadeiknumi) aor. "[the Lord] appointed" - show clearly / appoint, commission. Here with the meaning of appoint to a particular function or role*.

ebdomhkonta adj. "seventy-two" - seventy. Metzger notes that both variants, 70 or 72, could be original. The variants have emerged because the numbers are interchangeable in Jewish tradition, with the MT giving 70 as the number of the nations in the world, Gen.10, while the LXX gives the number as 72. Symbolism is surely behind the number, so prefiguring the Gentile mission of the church, Nolland, Ellis, ..., although some commentators disagree, eg. Bock.

eJterouV "others" - Presumably seventy other missionaries, over and above the twelve. Conzelmann suggests that the 12 remained behind with Jesus and followed up with him.

ana due "two by two" - in twos. The preposition takes a distributive sense here; "groups of two", Culy. Variant ana duo duo, "two by two". There is probably no significance in the number other than in Jewish culture the testimony of two witnesses settles a matter.

pro proswpou outou "ahead of him" - before the face of him. Common terminology. The seventy were to go as heralds to those villages and towns that Jesus intended to visit; "in advance of himself", Cassirer.

ercesqai (ercomai) pres. inf. "[was about] to go" - The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "was about"; "into every town and place into which he himself planned to go", Barclay.


ii] Jesus' instructions to his disciples, v2-12. a) The mission is urgent, v2. This independent saying is also found in Matthew 9:37. The saying is usually taken as encouraging evangelistic enterprise, given that many are ready to hear and respond to the gospel - "the eschatological gathering of God's people is regarded as taking place in the mission of the disciples", Marshall. Yet, it is more likely that the saying is referring to the nearness of the eschatological day of judgment, such that the heralding of this day must be undertaken urgently and effectively for "the ingathering of the elect and the destruction of the wicked", Evans.

de "[he told them]" - but/and [he said to them]. Variant oun, either way used as a stitching device here and left untranslated. Given that the day of harvest is upon us, there is an urgent need to increase the number of workers.

men ..... de "[the harvest] is plentiful [but]" - indeed. Establishing an adversative comparative construction; "on the one hand .... but on the other hand ....."

poluV adj. "is plentiful" - much, many. Predicate adjective. Possibly "great", Barclay, even "awesome / horrific". The day of harvest is most often used to image the eschatological day of judgment, managed, under divine authority, by the angels (messengers, so "workers"), here by the disciples. This day entails the ingathering of the elect remnant of Israel along with the destruction of the wicked. Such is a mighty day, awesome and terrible, and this day is near.

aligoi adj "are few" - Predicate adjective.

oun "therefore" - Drawing a logical conclusion.

dehqhte (deomai) aor. pas. imp. "ask" - The word is often used of prayer, as here, so "pray ye therefore", AV.

tou kuriou (oV) gen. "the Lord" - of the Lord. The genitive may be treated as ablative, expressing source / origin, "ask from the Lord", or a genitive of direct object after the verb "ask".

tou qerismou (oV) gen. "of the harvest" - The genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting by describing "the Lord", or of subordination, "the Lord over the harvest." Obviously a reference to God, although there are no other examples of this title. None-the-less, The Lord is the one who will enact the eschatological judgment.

o{pwV + subj. "to send out" - that. This construction usually forms a purpose clause, a construction often formed by an infinitive; "pray to the Lord of the Harvest in order that he will send out labourers to reap it for him." Yet, this conjunction can replace iJna and so form an object clause, sometimes epexegetic, but here obviously a dependent statement, indirect speech, expressing what the disciples should pray for, cf. BDF 392; "requesting that he should send out laborers." Referring to "the eschatological calling of people into the kingdom of God", Nolland.


b) There will be danger, v3. We have here a second independent saying which is quite appropriate for a mission charge. The "wolves" are not identified, but the image serves to warn of opposition, even hostility.

uJpagete (uJpagw) pres. imp. "go" - "Be on your way", Barclay.

idou "-" - [go], behold, [I send you].

wJV "like" - as. Setting up a comparison. "Be careful - this is hazardous work. You are like lambs in a wolf pack", Peterson.

en mesw/ (oV) "among" - in middle. Locative: expressing space / sphere.

lukwn (oV) gen. "wolves" - of wolves. The genitive is adjectival, partitive.


c) Jesus now gives the seventy general instructions for the mission, v4-12; First, an instruction of a missionaries garb, v4. . Note the similar instructions given when sending out the twelve, 9:3-6. The reasoning behind these instructions is unclear. Although there are touches of asceticism and urgency, it is more than likely that Jewish missionary custom is used to support the prophetic nature of the disciple's mission, cf. notes 9:3.

mh bastazete (bastazw) pres. imp. "do not take" - do not bear, carry, bring. How does not bringing sandals work? Surely the issue is a spare set of sandals. "Neither do I want you to take a bag in which to carry your extra clothing; for, I do not want you to take any extra clothing, not even shoes", Junkins.

mhdena ... aspashsqe (aspazomai) aor. subj. "do not greet [anyone]" - no one greet, salute. A subjunctive of prohibition. The urgency of the mission is usually given as the reason for this instruction, although Lang's suggestion that the word is best taken here to mean "to pay one's respect" and so "don't go visiting your relatives while on mission" is worth considering. Purpose, rather than urgency may then be the intention; "don't stop to chat and visit", Junkins, "don't be sidetracked." Nolland argues that the instruction alludes to Gehazi's mission for Elisha, 2Kgs.4:29. "This prohibition of greeting may serve as a deliberately staged prophetic sign", Nolland.

kata + acc. "on [the road]" - along [the way]. Here distributive; "while going along the road", TH.


Second, an instruction on giving peace, v5-6. Although the greeting of "peace" is just good manners for a first century Jew, v6 shows that here the peace is an actual bestowal of God's eternal peace upon those who are sons of peace, ie. sons of the kingdom, those who repent on hearing the gospel, cf. v11. For those who reject the gospel the peace is withdrawn for reallocation.

de "-" - but, and. Here connective; "and ...."

h}n ... a]n + subj. "when [you enter a house]" - [into] what ever [house you go]. Best treated as forming an indefinite relative clause: whenever you enter a house ...." Yet, the accusative pronoun h}n, "what", seems to function as an adjective limiting the accusative oikian, "house"; "what house" = "any house." The particle a]n + subj. would then form a conditional clause 3rd. class where the condition has the possibility of coming true; "if, as may be the case, you enter any house, then first say ...." Note how in Matthew these instructions are preceded by the instruction to search out a worthy home to stay at, 10:11. Luke's account has the disciples enter the village and accept the hospitality offered by the first home, staying there until they leave the village. "Whatever house you enter ...", Moffatt

prwton legete "first say" - Presumably "say these words first before presenting the gospel of the kingdom."

eirhnh (h) "peace" - Is this just a greeting? It was certainly a common greeting, but it is more than likely that the words are a blessing, an offering of "the peace which is associated with the coming of the salvation of God", Marshall. Of course, such "peace" will only rest on that household if it is open to the message of the coming kingdom, cf. v6.

tw/ oikw/ (oV) "to [this] house" - Dative of interest, advantage; "peace be upon this house."


ean + subj. "if" - Forming a conditional clause, 3rd. class, where the condition has the possibility of coming true; "if, as may be the case, .... then the peace of you will rest upon him."

eirhnhV (h) "[a man] of peace / [someone] who promotes peace" - [a son] of peace. The adjective is attributive, limiting by describing "son", as TNIV. This descriptor probably rests on the common Aramaic use for someone "worthy of / destined for peace", Marshall. Thus, the descriptor in this context refers to a person who is open to the gospel, a seeker who belongs to the lost remnant of Israel.

epanapahsetai (epanapauomai) fut. pas. "will rest" - The choice of this word possibly alludes to the spirit of Moses falling upon the seventy, Num.11:25f, and of the spirit of Elijah upon Elisha, 2King.2:15.

ep (epi) "on [him]" - Spacial; "down upon."

ei de mh ge "if not" - but if indeed not = if a son of peace is indeed not there then .... Introducing a conditional clause, "if .... then ...." A simple translation gives us the sense "otherwise [it will return to you]". The more common construction for this conditional qualification is ei de mh, but Luke seems to favor the longer form, where in koinh Gk. emphasis is achieved by adding ge. We would expect a 3rd. class condition here, but the construction is set, certainly with Luke, so the use of ei does not necessarily make it a 1st. class condition. The sense is not that the blessing returns to the one who gave it, given that the blessing is from God and is only offered by the disciples. The idea is that the blessing of peace is forfeited and so "returns for reallocation", Nolland.


Third, an instruction on how to handle hospitality - gracefully accept offered hospitality and don't be fussy about what's on offer, v7-8.

auth/ pro. "[stay in] that [house]" - The personal pronoun takes the force of a demonstrative pronoun here and is emphatic in position; "in that very house[hold] (the one which received you) stay."

esqionteV (esqiw) pres. part. "eating" - As with "drinking", an attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "remain/abide/continue", although often taken as adverbial, modal, expressing manner, as NIV.

ta "whatever [they give you]" - the things [from them]. The article turns the prepositional phrase para + gen. (expressing source/origin), "from [them]", into a substantival phrase, direct object of the two participles "eating and drinking." So, "don't be ashamed to accept their hospitality."

gar "for" - for. Expressing cause/reason; introducing a causal clause explaining why the disciples should eat and drink whatever is put in front of them; "because a worker is worthy of their hire."

tou misqou (oV) gen. "[the worker deserves his] wages" - [the worker is worthy of] the wage [of him]. The adjective axioV serves as a predicate adjective, "is worthy of" = "deserves", making "the wage" a genitive of direct object.

mh metabainete (metabainw) pres. imp. "do not move around" - go. The present tense is probably iterative expressing the idea of going from one place to anther repeatedly. Obviously addressing the temptation to find better accommodation during the stay. "Don't keep moving your lodgings from one house to another", Barclay.

ex (ek) + gen. "from [house to house]" - Expressing source/origin.


hJ}n a]n + subj. "when [you enter a town]" - [into] what ever [town/village you enter]. The construction as for v5; "whatever town you enter", Berkeley.

decwntai (deomai) pres. mid. subj. "[and] are welcomed" - [and] they receive [you]. As Plummer notes, we would expect here ean decwntai "if they receive", rather than kai decwntai "and they receive". Certainly the verse at this point has all the marks of a conditional clause, 3rd. class, so Berkeley "if (as my be the case) they welcome you." Luke's crafting of the tradition at this point causes some problems since we have moved from a household welcoming the disciples to a town/village welcoming the disciples, yet a town/village doesn't set food before people. Luke may be influenced by the Gentile mission of the apostolic church and its need to follow the principle when in Rome do what the Romans do, cf. Mk6:11, Matt10:14f, for other treatments of the tradition at this point and the evident confusion in the different accounts. Probably we just have another example of short-talk so, "In any town you enter, and in any home which gives you hospitality, eat what is put before you", Barclay.

ta paratiqemena (paratiqhmi) pres. pas. part. "what is set before [you] / what is offered [to you]" - the thing being set before, placed before. The participle serves as a substantive, object of the verb "eat". Within the context of a mission to Israel, food will range from the basics of a poor family to the strict food requirements maintained in the home of a Pharisee. "Eat the meals they give you", Phillips.

uJmin dat. pro. "you" - Dative of indirect object.


Fourth, proclaim the gospel, v9: The missioners prime task is to proclaim the new age of God's coming kingdom in signs (miraculous healings, which for Luke include exorcisms) and word. They are to communicate, in word and sign, that the long promised new age of God's eternal reign is bursting in upon broken humanity.

auth/ pro. "[heal the sick who] are there" - [heal the ones sick] in it. The "it" is either the household or the city/town, but probably both. The proclamation concerning the inauguration/realization of the messianic new age is performed in both word and sign. The signs are those foretold by the prophets such that when Israel witnesses these signs then they may know that the kingdom of God has drawn close to them. The sick being freed of their disease, or impediment, is one such sign. Matthew's "heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons" is probably included in Luke's understanding of a healing ministry, cf. 6:18, 8:2.

autoiV "[tell] them" - [say] to them. Dative of indirect object.

hggiken (eggizw) perf. "[the kingdom of God] is near [you]" - [the kingdom of God] has drawn near [upon you]. The genitive tou qeou, "of God", as above. The perfect pushes the action toward an existing state (both temporal and spacial) with ongoing consequences, so "is almost here", Barclay, even "has arrived", but probably better "is bursting in upon you"; "the kingdom of God is a future eschatological reality that has broken in upon the world in the coming of Jesus but awaits (for us!!) future consummation", Nolland. The "upon", epi, "from [on high]", Zerwick, a spacial sense, tends to support the interpretation of hggiken, "near", as "it has come near so as to arrive", Perrin, the "it" being the Kingdom of God in the teaching and acts of Jesus. The message which the seventy are to communicate, is the gospel - the announcement that the establishment of God's long-promised new age in and through the eternal reign of his Christ / messiah is about to be inaugurated /realized. In the terms of our time and space the kingdom is inaugurated in Christ, but in terms of the heavenly reality, it is realized in Christ in that Christ has already come to the Ancient of Days and taken up his kingly rule.


Fifth, an instruction for those times when disciples are faced with rejection, v10-12. Rejection of the gospel brings judgement, symbolically expressed in the act of wiping the dust of the town from the missioners' feet. For Israel to reject such a clear promise of divine mercy is more serious than the evils of Sodom.

h}n ... a]n + subj. "when [you enter a town]" - [and into] what ever [town you enter]. See v5; "but whatever town you enter", Berkeley.

exelqonteV (exercomai) aor. part. "go into [its streets and say]" - having gone [into the streets of it say]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the main verb; "go .... and say."

taV plateiaV "streets" - streets, squares. Most likely the town's "marketplace" or "town square", Bock.


ton kollhqenta (kollaw) aor. part. "that sticks" - having joined to, clung, stuck to. The participle is adjectival limiting "dust", "which has stuck to our feet", TNT.

apomassomeqa (apomassw) pres. "we wipe off" - we wipe off, rub off, shake off. Most commentators take the view that this gesture replicates the action of a pious Jew who shakes the dust off his feet when leaving Gentile territory. To repeat this action outside a Jewish town implies "that they (the town population) were not part of the true Israel; they had refused the message of the kingdom of God", Marshall, and thus the gesture "warns of impending judgment", Bock.

uJmin dat. pro. "against you" - to you. Dative of interest, disadvantage, so "against you", as NIV, cf. eiV marturion ep autouV "for a testimony against them", 9:5; "we wipe off even the dust of your town that stick to our feet, as if this was a heathen town", Barclay.. A sign indicating where the community is heading unless it repents, so Marshall.

plhn touto ginwskete "yet be sure of this" - but this know. "But, although you reject us, the fact remains that you must perceive (know = realize) that ....", Plummer.

oJti "-" - that [the kingdom of God is near]. - Introducing a dependent statement of perception expressing what they need to know, namely that the kingdom of God is at hand - the day of God's long-promised reign of peace for his remnant people (in Christ) is even now being realized / inaugurated.


"On judgment day, Sodom, the most despicable of ancient Gentile cities and a symbol of unrighteousness, will fare better than the city that rejects the kingdom message", Bock, so Marshall, Hendriksen.

uJmin dat. pro. "[I tell] you" - Dative of indirect object.

oJti "-" - [I tell you] that. Forming a dependent statement, indirect speech, expressing what Jesus is wishing to tell them.

estai (eimi) fut. "it will be" - "What befell Sodom, when the great day comes, will be more bearable", Cassirer.

anektoteron adj. "more bearable" - more tolerable, bearable, durable. Implying degrees of punishment!!! Obviously so for comparison sake, although the end of both is the same.

en th/ hJmera/ "on that day" - Temporal use of the preposition en. Obviously the day of judgment, at the end of the age, "following on the completion (realization) of the kingdom", Plummer. Not referring to the day when the missionaries are rejected.

SodomoiV (a) dat. "for Sodom" - Dative of interest, advantage, as NIV.

h] "than" - Establishing a comparison; "Sodom will have it better on judgment day than the town that rejects you", Peterson.

th/ polei ekeinh/ dat. "for that town" - Dative of interest, disadvantage. "Because the kingdom of God has drawn near ..... those towns that follow the example of Sodom in its inhospitality toward the envoys of the kingdom will be judged even more strictly", Green.


iii] A lament for unrepentant cities, v13-15. This independent oracle focuses on prominent Galilean cities which have failed to respond to the gospel. The oracle sits comfortably within the context, with v16 concluding Jesus' charge to the 70, although obviously a different audience was originally intended when Jesus uttered the oracle. Note how matthew places the oracle after Jesus' words concerning John the Baptist, 11:7-19. Luke's placement of this oracle obviously serves to reveal that the mission of the 70, as with the mission of the 12, faced rejection by the people of Israel.

ouai "woe" - woe, alas. "Tragic will be your fate", Barclay.

soi dat. "to you" - to you. Dative of interest, disadvantage; "alas for you", Phillips.

Corazin "Korazin" - The actual site of Korazin is unknown and the town/village only gets a mention in this oracle, but possibly to be identified with modern Kerazeh. Bethsaida is known, but was similarly an unimportant town. Presumably both towns rejected the gospel outright, and did so in the face of the overwhelming evidence of Christ's messianic signs.

oJti "for" - Here expressing cause/reason, introducing a causal clause; "because".

ei + ind. .... an + aor. ind. "if" - if ...... then ..... Forming a conditional clause, 2nd. class, where the condition stated in the protasis (the "if" clause") is held to be untrue. ; "if, as is not the case, ... (ie. the miracles performed in Galilean towns were not performed in Tyre and Sidon), ..... then [they would have repented .....]."

aiJ genomenai (gimomai) aor. part. "that were performed [in you]" - the having occurred [in you]. The participle is adjectival, limiting "the powerful works / miracles", "which were performed in your midst."

metenohsan (metenoew) aor. "they would have repented" - they repented. Translated as a pluperfect in the NIV to properly express, in English, the apodosis of the past-time unreal supposition. Fitzmyer is probably right in translating the word here in the more general sense "reformed their lives", which is not the sense of the word when used of responding to the gospel.

palai adv. "long ago" - The point is that if, long ago, miracles similar to those performed in Korazin and Bethsaida had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes.

kaqhmenoi (kaqhmai) pres. part. "sitting" - The participle is adverbial, modal, expressing the manner of their repenting, although possibly attendant circumstance expressing action accompanying the main verb "they repented"; "they would have sat in sackcloth and ashes and reformed their lives", Fitzmyer. The sackcloth and ashes were often used as an outward expression of mourning and/or humiliation.

en + dat. "in [sackcloth and ashes]" - Expressing space/sphere.


plhn "but" - but, nevertheless. Here as an adversative conjunction; "guilty as Tyre and Sidon are, yet...."

anektoteron comp. adj. "[it will be] more bearable" - more tolerable, bearable, endurable.

turw/ kai Sidwni dat. "for Tyre and Sidon" - Dative of interest, advantage.

h] "than" - Establishing a comparison; "than what will befall you", Cassirer.

uJmin dat. pro. "for you" - Dative of interest, disadvantage.


Kafarnaoum "Capernaum" - Having specifically noted two insignificant Galilean villages, the more important town and headquarters for Jesus' mission (Matt. and Mk.) is singled out for attention. The town community may think they can claim special treatment in the day of judgment for their association with Jesus, but such is not the case.

mh "-" - surely not [until heaven will you be lifted up]. This negation is used in a question expecting a negative answer.

uJywqhsh/ (uJyow) fut. "will you be lifted up" - "Lifted up" in the sense of "exalted".

e{wV + gen. "to [heaven]" - while, until. The preposition here takes the sense of extension up to a goal, so "up to", "as far as". "And you Capernaum, are you on your way up to heaven?" Phillips.

katabhsh/ (katabainw) fut. "you will go down" - Note variant katabibasqhsh "you will be driven down."

tou aJdou (hV ou) "[to] the depths" - the hades. The place, or abode of the dead. The LXX usually translates Sheol as Hades, "a shadowy existence below the waters of the ocean and of inactivity."


iv] The authority of the message, v16. This Independent saying serves to conclude Luke's account of Jesus' charge to the seventy missioners, cf. 9:48, Matt.10:40, Jn.12:44, 13:20, 14:24. "The destiny of man is ultimately decided in terms of his response to the message", Danker. The person who hears and receives the message receives Jesus and so is eternally received by the Father. The person who rejects the message, rejects Jesus and so rejects (and by implication is rejected by) the one who sent him.

oJ akouwn (akouw) pres. part. "he who listens" - the one listening. As with "the one rejecting" and "the one having sent", this participle serves as a substantive. Note, akouw, as is often the case, takes the genitive (a genitive of direct object after a verb of perception), while aqetew takes the usual accusative.


v] The seventy return and report, v17. The seventy return, amazed at how the power of Christ's kingdom had overcome the powers of darkness (healings and the like).

The disciples report that "even t he demons submit to us in your name." Rather than an actual saying of Jesus it is likely that Luke has crafted this verse for the purpose of progressing the narrative. It seems that he has reworked 9:10 in v17a, and then in 17b he has expressed the perception of the disciples concerning the submission of demons to Jesus' person found in the saying recorded in v20. The issue over whether Luke crafts or records the apostolic tradition (ie. records the actual words of Jesus to the 70 on their return) is a matter of some debate. It seems best to treat the Bible as the inspired word of God when rightly interpreted - that God's truth for us is the truth that the writers seek to convey, to which end they are inspired. So, the issue of how a Bible writer has crafted the received tradition is academic.

meta + acc. "[the seventy-two returned] with [joy]" - The preposition here functions adverbially, forming a modal adverbial phrase expressing manner.

legonteV (legw) pres. part. "and said" - [returned ....] saying. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the main verb "returned"; "returned .... and said".

ta daimonia (on) "the demons" - The context concerns exorcism performed as a sign of the kingdom at hand, so the reference is to demons who have possessed people.

uJpotassetai (uJpotassw) pres. pas. "submit" - being subjected. An important word possibly drawn from Ps.8:6 and referring to "the subordination of the hostile heavenly powers to the risen and exalted Christ", Evans, cf. 1Pet.3:22, 1 Cor.15:24, .....

en tw/ onomati sou "in your name" - The exorcisms performed by the missioners were performed in the name of Jesus, which means, that they were performed with the personal authority of Jesus, an authority given to the missioners prior to the mission, so "under the authority of your person", ie. the preposition en is local, expressing sphere. Fitzmyer argues for an instrumental sense; "by".


vi] Jesus' response, v18-20: This passage is made up of three independent sayings which "reveal, in the midst of the mission's rejection, the nature of its victory", Ellis. a) The fall of Satan, v18. Jesus interprets the missioners' experience. They have witnessed Messiah's defeat of Satan in that they are able to exercise authority over Satan, v18, and over demonic powers ("snakes and scorpions" are symbols of Satan and his minions), v19. The troubles of life will constantly pound Christ's followers, but Satanic powers can never get at us. Thus we can confidently pray "deliver us from evil."

eqewroun (qewrew) imperf. "I saw [Satan]" - I was seeing. The imperfect is often used of a visionary process, and certainly Jesus' seeing is not actual, but rather a self realization of Satan's fall, although Marshall notes that the aorist for this verb was not in common use. "In vision he (Jesus) has seen the coming triumph of the kingdom of God over the rule of Satan and has identified this triumph as his own task", Nolland.

pesonta (piptw) aor. part. "fall" - having fallen. The aorist is used to express time contemporaneous with Jesus' seeing. Jesus is clearly picking up on Jewish tradition concerning Satan's origins, his present abode and his end. References to the fall of Satan may concern his falling (as of being expelled from heaven) to earth where he troubles the earth, or his final falling (being cast from the sky, his abode) into the abyss. Clearly his final demise is in mind, of which the revelation of the dawning kingdom in word and sign (exorcisms, healings, ...) prefigure. References to Satan's fall are found in Isaiah, Daniel and particularly in I and II Enoch, and are taken up in the NT, primarily Revelation.

wJV "like [lightning]" - as, like. Here serving as a comparative; "I saw Satan fall from heaven / the sky as lightening falls from heaven / the sky." Not like the brightness of lightening, but rather its sudden and swift fall.

ek + gen. "from [heaven]" - out of, from. Expressing source/origin.


b) The authority of Christ's disciples, v19. This independent saying (note the introductory idou "behold") expresses imagery similar to Mark 16:15-18. There are OT allusions but they are less than convincing, eg. Deut.8:15. We certainly don't have to hold that the saying is a creation of the apostolic church, since, as we know, Jesus is quite capable of using apocalyptic imagery. The best we can say is that in this case "we are dealing with imagery influenced by apocalyptic thought in which the final power-conflict between the forces of good and of evil is in view", Nolland.

thn exousian "authority" - the authority, power. Note the presence of an article which serves to specify - "almost peculiar to this passage", Plummer. Here "effective authority", so it is likely that the intended sense is "I have given you the power".

tou patein (patew) pres. inf. "to trample" - walk about, tread. This construction, a genitive articular infinitive, will often form an epexegetic clause, as here, explaining the nature of "the power".

epanw + gen. "on" - upon, on. Probably "trample upon", such that the image is not so much of possessing the power to resist their bite, but rather the power to stomp on them. "Cf. Ps.91:13; Test. Levi 18:12, where the new priest is to bind Beliar [= Satan], and to give his children power to trample upon the evil spirits", Evans. Believers do not have the power to "destroy" Satan, but certainly, under Christ, the power to resist him and send him packing. Satan's destruction is in the hand of God.

epi + acc. "to overcome [all power]" - over, on [the power]. This prepositional clause is appositional, defining the imagery expressed in the infinitival clause "to trample on snakes and scorpions." The sense may be "exercise control over the enemy in all his strength", Cassirer, but more likely, as NIV, "overcome", "tread down", Barclay, such that Satan's "forces and what they represent can be opposed and crushed", Bock, cf. Hendriksen; "I give you the power to triumph over the powers of Satan himself", Junkins.

tou ecqrou (oV) gen. "of the enemy" - The genitive is adjectival, possessive, although it may be classified as verbal, subjective.

ouden acc. "nothing" - Possibly the subject of the verb "my harm", "the power of the enemy (= ouden) shall not in anywise hurt you", Plummer, but surely better functioning as an accusative of respect taking an emphatic position in the clause; "he will not (definitely not) harm you not in any way / in nothing / in any way whatsoever". "He will not do you any injury", TNT.

ou mh + subj. "nothing [will harm you]" - not not [will harm]. A subjunctive of emphatic negation. "Definitely not / not by any means."

adikhsh/ (adikew) aor. subj. "harm" - hurt, harm. Probably "get back at you", Johnson. The getting back at us is "in any way whatsoever", and so is a rather sweeping promise. Certainly Satan / the cosmic power of evil does not have the power "to injure in an eschatological sense", Evans, but does divine security extend to the rough and tumble of life? Some argue that the promise covers "the conditions of the apostolic age", Manson, Nolland, cf. 21:18, Acts 28:3-6 and the questionable ending for Mark, 16:18. Yet, it seems more likely that the promise applies to all believers at all time, but that the getting back at us is quite specific, ie. it does not include the ongoing troubles of a world in decay. We are completely protected from danger, "but the danger referred to is that which arises from spiritual enemies", Geldenhuys.


c) The ground of a disciples' true joy, v20. This final independent saying makes the point that for believers "their true joy should arise not from missionary accomplishments but from their eternal salvation", Stein.

plhn conj. "however" - but, nevertheless. Adversative; "for all that", Zerwick.

en toutw/ "-" - in this. The preposition en expresses space/sphere; "though you have this authority", TH, although reference/respect is possible; "with respect to this authority."

mh cairete (cairw) pres. imp. "do not rejoice" - The negative and positive imperatives "do not rejoice" and "rejoice" establish a preference rather than two specific commands; "Don't make too much of the fact that these powers and mindsets are unable to resist obeying you; rather, find your fulfillment in the fact that your real happiness is in knowing that your names are written in Heaven with God's heroes", Junkins.

oJti "that" - that. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech, expressing what they should not rejoice / proclaim, namely not that the evil spirits cannot resist them when they exorcise them.

de "but" - but, and. Here adversative, as NIV.

oJti "that" - Again probably recitative, introducing a dependent statement of indirect speech, but possibly causal; "because your names are written in heaven."

eggegraptai (eggrafw) perf. pas. "are written" - [the name of you] having been written [in the heavens]. Expressing the standing of God's covenant people in terms of their names having been recorded by God in a heavenly book. This imagery has Old Testament precedence and continues into the NT, cf. Ex.32:32-33; Ps.69:28; 138:16; Phil.4:3; Heb.12:23; Rev.3:5.


Luke Introduction



[Pumpkin Cottage]