TODAY’S READING: LUKE 10-12
OVERVIEW: Jesus sends out “the 70” (10:1-24); Jesus teaches about who are neighbor is (10:25-37); Jesus teaches us the importance of worship (10:38-42); Jesus models the importance of prayer (11:1); Jesus provides a pattern for prayer( 11:2-4); Jesus teaches about persistence in prayer (11:5-8); Jesus offers promises concerning prayer (11:9-13); Jesus teaches about the devil (11:14-28); Jesus’ illustrations concerning the crowds (11:29-36— Jonah – 11:29-30,32; Solomon – 11:31; Light – 11:33-36); Jesus teaches about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees (11:37-54); Jesus warns about hypocrisy (12:1-12); Jesus warns about covetousness (12:13-21); Jesus warns about worrying (12:22-34); Jesus warns about carelessness (12:35-53); Jesus warns about lack of discernment and lack of diligence in spiritual matters (12:54-59).
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
As we continue to make our way through the Gospel of Luke, note the fact that there is a phrase that appears more times in this Book than any other Book in the New Testament. That phrase is “the Kingdom of God.” As we came through Matthew’s Gospel, we talked quite a bit about the distinction between the two phrases, the “kingdom of heaven” and the “kingdom of God.” It is interesting that the phrase the “kingdom of heaven” is found 33 times in 32 verses in Matthew, and the phrase the “kingdom of God” is found 33 times in 32 verses in Luke.
Do you remember the difference between these two kingdoms? The kingdom of heaven is the kingdom promised to the Jews all through the Old Testament, and is sometimes referred to as the Kingdom of Israel (Acts 1:6; Hosea 1:4). It is a literal, physical, earthly, governmental, messianic, Davidic kingdom over which Jesus rules as King from His throne in Jerusalem. The Kingdom of God on the other hand, is a spiritual kingdom that cannot be seen or touched, where Jesus rules as King on the throne of men’s hearts by way of a spiritual birth (Luke 17:20-21; Rom 14:17; I Cor. 4:20; 15:50; John 3:3). Keep in mind as you are reading this Gospel that the reason Luke emphasizes the kingdom of God is because God’s goal through him in this Gospel is to present the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of man who came “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
It is interesting to note that the Jews of Jesus’ day were totally preoccupied with the “kingdom of heaven,” and therefore, were totally oblivious to their need to be born into the “kingdom of God,” It made them blind, selfish, and self-serving. Just as interesting is the fact that the Christians of our day are totally preoccupied with the “kingdom of God,” and therefore, are totally oblivious to the “kingdom of heaven.” It likewise, makes us blind, selfish and self-serving (Rev. 3:14-22; II Tim. 3:1-2). We end up claiming the promise of eternal life, while we go about our lives seeking to build our own literal, physical kingdom on the earth. God’s intention is that now that we have been born into His spiritual kingdom, that we “seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God,” and that we “set [our] affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:1-2), while we pray for the “kingdom to come” (Matt. 6:10) — that literal, p!
hysical kingdom in which our Lord Jesus Christ finally receives the “glory due unto his name” (I Chron. 16:29; Ps. 29:2; 96:8). As you can see, keeping these two kingdoms straight not only has key doctrinal implications, but key practical implications as well.
Perhaps it is because of this emphasis in Luke’s Gospel that he is the only Gospel writer that includes the sending out of the 70 found in today’s reading (10:1-24). Why 70, and not 7, 17, or 67? Just as “the 12” apostles are associated with the 12 sons of Jacob, it seems that “the 70” must also have some significant association. Though it is more difficult an association to determine than with “the 12,” it seems apparent that “the 70” are associated with the 70 nations found in Genesis 10. Because Luke focuses on the universality of the “kingdom of God” to all peoples and all nations, it is very fitting that his Gospel would include “the 70” being sent to spread the message to all nations.
Other little “tid-bits” to glean along the way in today’s reading:
10:1-42 – Notice in this chapter the three places that are described, and the three things we are to do in each:
1) The harvest field (10:1-24): Represent Him.
2) The highway (10:25-37): Model Him.
3) The home (10:38-42): Worship Him.
10:23-24 – I hope this is the way you feel about the things the Lord has graciously allowed you to see in His Word and be a part of in His kingdom.
11:1 – It is interesting that the disciples heard Jesus preach the greatest sermons that have ever been preached, but they never said, “Lord, teach us to preach.” They saw Him perform the most incredible miracles that have ever been performed, but they never said, “Lord, teach us to do miracles.” But they heard Him pray, and couldn’t help but ask, “Lord, teach us to pray.” What a connection He must have had. What an intimacy they must have witnessed. May we learn what it really is to pray.
11:24-26 – The application of these verses to us is to constantly realize that it is not enough that we be set apart FROM the world, but that we be set apart UNTO God (John 17:11-17). It is not enough that we put OFF the OLD man, but that we put ON the NEW man (Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 3:8-14). It is not enough that we no longer SERVE SIN, but that we SERVE RIGHTEOUSNESS (Rom. 6:17-18).