Bible Commentary

Luke 10

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Luke 10)

Verse 3

[3] Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

Matthew 10:16.

Verse 4

[4] Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.

Salute no man by the way — The salutations usual among the Jews took up much time. But these had so much work to do in so short a space, that they had not a moment to spare.

Verse 6

[6] And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.

A son of peace — That is, one worthy of it.

Verse 7

[7] And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.

Matthew 10:11.

Verse 11

[11] Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

The kingdom of God is at hand — Though ye will not receive it.

Verse 13

[13] Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

Wo to thee, Chorazin — The same declaration Christ had made some time before. By repeating it now, he warns the seventy not to lose time by going to those cities. Matthew 11:21.

Verse 16

[16] He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

Matthew 10:40; John 13:20.

Verse 18

[18] And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

I beheld Satan — That is, when ye went forth, I saw the kingdom of Satan, which was highly exalted, swiftly and suddenly cast down.

Verse 19

[19] Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

I give you power — That is, I continue it to you: and nothing shall hurt you - Neither the power, nor the subtilty of Satan.

Verse 20

[20] Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

Rejoice not so much that the devils are subject to you, as that your names are written in heaven - Reader, so is thine, if thou art a true, believer. God grant it may never be blotted out!

Verse 21

[21] In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

Lord of heaven and earth — In both of which thy kingdom stands, and that of Satan is destroyed.

That thou hast hid these things — He rejoiced not in the destruction of the wise and prudent, but in the display of the riches of God's grace to others, in such a manner as reserves to Him the entire glory of our salvation, and hides pride from man. Matthew 11:25.

Verse 22

[22] All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.

Who the Son is — Essentially one with the Father: who the Father is - How great, how wise, how good!

Verse 23

[23] And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see:

Matthew 13:16.

Verse 25

[25] And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

Matthew 22:35; Mark 12:28.

Verse 27

[27] And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God — That is, thou shalt unite all the faculties of thy soul to render him the most intelligent and sincere, the most affectionate and resolute service. We may safely rest in this general sense of these important words, if we are not able to fix the particular meaning of every single word. If we desire to do this, perhaps the heart, which is a general expression, may be explained by the three following, With all thy soul, with the warmest affection, with all thy strength, the most vigorous efforts of thy will, and with all thy mind or understanding, in the most wise and reasonable manner thou canst; thy understanding guiding thy will and affections. Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18.

Verse 28

[28] And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live — Here is no irony, but a deep and weighty truth. He, and he alone, shall live for ever, who thus loves God and his neighbour in the present life.

Verse 29

[29] But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

To justify himself — That is, to show he had done this. Leviticus 18:5.

Verse 30

[30] And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

From Jerusalem to Jericho — The road from Jerusalem to Jericho (about eighteen miles from it) lay through desert and rocky places: so many robberies and murders were committed therein, that it was called the bloody way. Jericho was situated in the valley: hence the phrase of going down to it. About twelve thousand priests and Levites dwelt there, who all attended the service of the temple.

Verse 31

[31] And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

The common translation is, by chance - Which is full of gross improprieties. For if we speak strictly, there is no such thing in the universe as either chance or fortune.

A certain priest came down that way, and passed by on the other side — And both he and the Levite no doubt could find an excuse for passing over on the other side, and might perhaps gravely thank God for their own deliverance, while they left their brother bleeding to death. Is it not an emblem of many living characters, perhaps of some who bear the sacred office? O house of Levi and of Aaron, is not the day coming, when the virtues of heathens and Samaritans will rise up in judgment against you?

Verse 33

[33] But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

But a certain Samaritan came where he was — It was admirably well judged to represent the distress on the side of the Jew, and the mercy on that of the Samaritan. For the case being thus proposed, self interest would make the very scribe sensible, how amiable such a conduct was, and would lay him open to our Lord's inference. Had it been put the other way, prejudice might more easily have interposed, before the heart could have been affected.

Verse 34

[34] And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

Pouring in oil and wine — Which when well beaten together are one of the best balsams that can be applied to a fresh wound.

Verse 36

[36] Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

Which of these was the neighbour to him that fell among the robbers — Which acted the part of a neighbour?

Verse 37

[37] And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

And he said, He that showed mercy on him — He could not for shame say otherwise, though he thereby condemned himself and overthrew his own false notion of the neighbour to whom our love is due.

Go and do thou in like manner — Let us go and do likewise, regarding every man as our neighbour who needs our assistance. Let us renounce that bigotry and party zeal which would contract our hearts into an insensibility for all the human race, but a small number whose sentiments and practices are so much our own, that our love to them is but self love reflected. With an honest openness of mind let us always remember that kindred between man and man, and cultivate that happy instinct whereby, in the original constitution of our nature, God has strongly bound us to each other.

Verse 40

[40] But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

Martha was encumbered — The Greek word properly signifies to be drawn different ways at the same time, and admirably expresses the situation of a mind, surrounded (as Martha's then was) with so many objects of care, that it hardly knows which to attend to first.

Verse 41

[41] And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

Martha, Martha — There is a peculiar spirit and tenderness in the repetition of the word: thou art careful, inwardly, and hurried, outwardly.

Verse 42

[42] But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Mary hath chosen the good part — To save her soul. Reader, hast thou?

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