After these things: The events recorded from Lu 10:1 to 18:14 are not mentioned in the other Gospels. However, some of the subjects in these chapters were recorded by the other Gospel writers, apparently in connection with earlier occasions during Jesus’ ministry. It seems that the events mentioned by Luke took place after the Festival of Tabernacles (or Booths) in the autumn of 32 C.E. (See App. A7.) At this time, Jesus apparently moved the focus of his activity southward, to the area in and around Jerusalem and the districts of Judea and Perea. He concentrated his preaching in that area during the last six months of his earthly ministry.
70: Some early manuscripts read “72,” and this reading is reflected in some Bible translations. However, the reading “70” can be found in many other early authoritative manuscripts, including the Codex Sinaiticus of the fourth century C.E. and the Codex Alexandrinus and the Codex Ephraemi Syri rescriptus, both of the fifth century. Bible scholars have offered various explanations, but this minor difference in manuscript readings does not affect the overall message. The abundance of ancient manuscripts and translations agree on all fundamentals, verifying that Jesus did send out a large group of disciples by twos, or in pairs, to preach.
70 others: This evidently refers to 70 disciples in addition to the 12 apostles, who were trained and sent out earlier.—Lu 9:1-6.
sandals: Referring, it seems, to an extra pair because Jesus told them not to carry sandals. It was common to take along extra sandals on a long journey, as the soles on one pair might wear out or the laces might break. When giving similar instructions on an earlier occasion, Jesus directed his disciples “to put [or, “bind”] on” the sandals they already owned. (Mr 6:8, 9) And as recorded at Mt 10:9, 10, he instructed them not to “acquire” sandals, that is, not to get some in addition to the ones they already had on.
greet anyone: Or “embrace anyone in greeting.” In certain situations, the Greek word a·spaʹzo·mai (“to greet”) may have involved more than saying “hello” or “good day.” It could have included the embraces and long conversation that may take place when friends meet. Jesus was not encouraging his disciples to be rude. Rather, he was emphasizing that his followers should avoid unnecessary distractions and make the most of their time. The prophet Elisha once gave similar instructions to his servant Gehazi. (2Ki 4:29) In both cases, the mission was urgent, so there was no time for delay.
friend of peace: Lit., “son of peace.” Though written in Greek, this wording apparently reflects a Hebrew idiom that conveys the idea of a peace-loving or peaceful person. In this context, it describes someone who desires to be reconciled with God and who listens to and embraces “the good news of peace,” giving him peace with God.—Ac 10:36.
Do not keep transferring from house to house: On an earlier occasion, Jesus gave similar instructions to the 12 apostles. (Mt 10:11; Mr 6:10; Lu 9:4) He was now instructing the 70 preachers that when they reached a town, they should stay in the home where hospitality was extended to them. By not transferring from house to house, seeking a place that could provide them with more comfort, entertainment, or material things, the disciples would show that those things were of secondary importance when compared to their commission to preach.
it will be more endurable: Evidently used as a form of hyperbole that Jesus may not have intended to be taken literally. (Compare other graphic hyperboles that Jesus used, such as those at Mt 5:18; Lu 16:17; 21:33.) When Jesus said that it would be “more endurable for Sodom in that day,” that is, on Judgment Day (Mt 10:15; 11:22, 24; Lu 10:14), he was not saying that the inhabitants of Sodom must be present on that day. (Compare Jude 7.) He could simply have been emphasizing how unresponsive and culpable most people were in such cities as Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum. (Lu 10:13-15) It is worth noting that what happened to ancient Sodom had become proverbial and was often mentioned in connection with God’s anger and judgment.—De 29:23; Isa 1:9; La 4:6.
Tyre and Sidon: These were non-Jewish cities in Phoenicia, along the Mediterranean Coast.—See App. B10.
heaven: See study note on Mt 11:23.
the Grave: See study note on Mt 11:23.
70: See study note on Lu 10:1.
I see Satan already fallen like lightning from heaven: Jesus is evidently speaking prophetically, seeing the ouster of Satan from heaven as if it had already occurred. Re 12:7-9 describes the battle in heaven and associates Satan’s fall with the birth of the Messianic Kingdom. Jesus was here highlighting the certain defeat of Satan and his demons in that future battle, for God had just empowered those 70 disciples, mere imperfect humans, to expel demons.—Lu 10:17.
serpents and scorpions: In this context, Jesus referred to these creatures in a figurative sense to symbolize injurious things.—Compare Eze 2:6.
to young children: See study note on Mt 11:25.
heart . . . soul . . . strength . . . mind: Here a man who was versed in the Law quotes De 6:5, where the original Hebrew text uses three terms—heart, soul, and strength. However, according to Luke’s account, written in Greek, the man refers to the four concepts of heart, soul, strength, and mind. The man’s reply evidently shows that in Jesus’ time, it was commonly accepted that these four Greek concepts were included in the three Hebrew words of the original quotation.—For a more detailed discussion, see study note on Mr 12:30.
your whole soul: Or “your whole being (life).”—See Glossary, “Soul.”
your neighbor: See study note on Mt 22:39.
a certain Samaritan: The Jews generally looked down on the Samaritans and refused to have any dealings with them. (Joh 4:9) Some Jews even used the term “Samaritan” as an expression of contempt and reproach. (Joh 8:48) One rabbi is quoted in the Mishnah as saying: “He that eats the bread of the Samaritans is like to one that eats the flesh of swine.” (Shebiith 8:10) Many Jews would not believe the testimony of a Samaritan or accept a service from one. Aware of the scornful attitude generally held by Jews, Jesus made a strong point in this illustration that is often referred to as the parable of the good, or neighborly, Samaritan.
bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them: The physician Luke here carefully records Jesus’ illustration, describing wound treatment that was consistent with the methods of the day. Both oil and wine were commonly used as household remedies to treat wounds. Oil was sometimes used to soften wounds (compare Isa 1:6), and wine has certain medicinal value as an antiseptic and mild disinfectant. Luke also describes how the wounds were bandaged, or bound, preventing further aggravation.
an inn: The Greek word literally means “a place where all are received or taken in.” Travelers, along with their animals, could find accommodations at such places. The innkeeper offered basic provisions to travelers and, for a price, might look after those left in his care.
The one who acted mercifully toward him: The man versed in the Law may have been reluctant to use the word “Samaritan.” In any case, his reply, together with Jesus’ final comment, makes the application of the illustration clear: A true neighbor is someone who shows mercy.
a certain village: Apparently referring to Bethany, a village on the ESE slope of the Mount of Olives at a distance of about 3 km (2 mi) from Jerusalem. (See study note on Joh 11:18.) The home of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus was located here. Just as Capernaum was Jesus’ home in Galilee (Mr 2:1), Bethany might be called his home in Judea.
Martha: Only Martha is mentioned here in connection with receiving Jesus into her house. Martha generally took the lead (Lu 10:40; Joh 11:20), indicating that she may have been the older sister of Mary.—Lu 10:39.
A few things, though, are needed, or just one: Some ancient manuscripts have a shorter reading that can be rendered: “One thing, though, is necessary.” This reading is reflected in some Bible translations. But the wording used here in the main text has good manuscript support. Whichever manuscript reading is preferred, the overall meaning of Jesus’ advice remains the same, namely, to put spiritual things first. Jesus then commends Mary for choosing “the good portion” by giving priority to spiritual things.
the good portion: Or “the best portion.” In the Septuagint, the Greek word me·risʹ, here rendered “portion,” is used for a portion, or a share, of food (Ge 43:34; De 18:8) and also for a “portion” in a spiritual sense (Ps 16:5; 119:57). In Mary’s case, “the good portion” included the receiving of spiritual nourishment from God’s Son.