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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

+ PENTECOST + S I X + 2 0 1 0 +

Lexegete | Year C | St. Luke


Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

July 4, 2010 (Lectionary 14)
Complementary Series

Isaiah 66:10-14
Psalm 66:1-9 (4)
Galatians 6:[1-6] 7-16
Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

Semicontinuous Series

2 Kings 5:1-14
Psalm 30 (2)
Galatians 6:[1-6] 7-16
Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

Prayer of the Day

O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, you are the city that shelters us, the mother who comforts us. With your Spirit accompany us on our life's journey, that we may spread your peace in all the world, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia. Let the peace of Christ rule | in your hearts,
and let the word of Christ dwell | in you richly. Alleluia. (Col. 3:15, 16)

1a. CONTEXT: Luke 10: 1-11 [12], 16-20

Luke enhances the parallel between Moses and Jesus in this pericope. Like Moses, Jesus appoints persons to assist in his work, to share in his authority. These persons are not intended to supplant the twelve disciples; rather, they are "seventy others," an extension of the ministry of Jesus and of his disciples. Since it follows Jesus' treatment of discipleship, and the suggestion that his own work is reaching its climax, Luke 10 offers a different understanding of the work of the seventy than what is connoted in Moses' experience. For Moses, the commissioned persons share in directing the life of Israel, cultus and faith, toward national destiny. In Luke, Jesus, like Moses, shares his power of his person and office. But the nature of Jesus' followers work is universal - to proclaim the presence of God's kingdom. Furthermore, they are to elicit response for the kingdom of God, pro or con. The lection omits verses 13-15, which ascribe woe to particular places, such as Tyre and Sidon, and Capernaum. The OT and epistle accompanying this passage emphasize the two kinds of response to the proclamation of God's kingdom - response which invites judgment, and response which brings peace.

1b. TEXT: Luke 10: 1-11 [12], 16-20


Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two

10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two [1] others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. 2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’

[12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. ]

16 “The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

The Return of the Seventy-Two

17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

10:1 Some manuscripts seventy; also verse 17

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by
Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.


1Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα ἀνέδειξεν ὁ κύριος ἑτέρους ἑβδομήκοντα [δύο], καὶ ἀπέστειλεν αὐτοὺς ἀνὰ δύο [δύο] πρὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ εἰς πᾶσαν πόλιν καὶ τόπον οὗ ἤμελλεν αὐτὸς ἔρχεσθαι. 2ἔλεγεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς, Ὁ μὲν θερισμὸς πολύς, οἱ δὲ ἐργάται ὀλίγοι: δεήθητε οὖν τοῦ κυρίου τοῦ θερισμοῦ ὅπως ἐργάτας ἐκβάλῃ εἰς τὸν θερισμὸν αὐτοῦ. 3ὑπάγετε: ἰδοὺ ἀποστέλλω ὑμᾶς ὡς ἄρνας ἐν μέσῳ λύκων. 4μὴ βαστάζετε βαλλάντιον, μὴ πήραν, μὴ ὑποδήματα, καὶ μηδένα κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν ἀσπάσησθε. 5εἰς ἣν δ' ἂν εἰσέλθητε οἰκίαν, πρῶτον λέγετε, Εἰρήνη τῷ οἴκῳ τούτῳ. 6καὶ ἐὰν ἐκεῖ ᾖ υἱὸς εἰρήνης, ἐπαναπαήσεται ἐπ' αὐτὸν ἡ εἰρήνη ὑμῶν: εἰ δὲ μή γε, ἐφ' ὑμᾶς ἀνακάμψει. 7ἐν αὐτῇ δὲ τῇ οἰκίᾳ μένετε, ἐσθίοντες καὶ πίνοντες τὰ παρ' αὐτῶν, ἄξιος γὰρ ὁ ἐργάτης τοῦ μισθοῦ αὐτοῦ. μὴ μεταβαίνετε ἐξ οἰκίας εἰς οἰκίαν. 8καὶ εἰς ἣν ἂν πόλιν εἰσέρχησθε καὶ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς, ἐσθίετε τὰ παρατιθέμενα ὑμῖν, 9καὶ θεραπεύετε τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ ἀσθενεῖς, καὶ λέγετε αὐτοῖς, Ἤγγικεν ἐφ' ὑμᾶς ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ. 10εἰς ἣν δ' ἂν πόλιν εἰσέλθητε καὶ μὴ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς, ἐξελθόντες εἰς τὰς πλατείας αὐτῆς εἴπατε, 11Καὶ τὸν κονιορτὸν τὸν κολληθέντα ἡμῖν ἐκ τῆς πόλεως ὑμῶν εἰς τοὺς πόδας ἀπομασσόμεθα ὑμῖν: πλὴν τοῦτο γινώσκετε ὅτι ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ.

[ 12λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι Σοδόμοις ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ ἀνεκτότερον ἔσται ἢ τῇ πόλει ἐκείνῃ. ]

. . . 16Ὁ ἀκούων ὑμῶν ἐμοῦ ἀκούει, καὶ ὁ ἀθετῶν ὑμᾶς ἐμὲ ἀθετεῖ: ὁ δὲ ἐμὲ ἀθετῶν ἀθετεῖ τὸν ἀποστείλαντά με. 17Ὑπέστρεψαν δὲ οἱ ἑβδομήκοντα [δύο] μετὰ χαρᾶς λέγοντες, Κύριε, καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια ὑποτάσσεται ἡμῖν ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου. 18εἶπεν δὲ αὐτοῖς, Ἐθεώρουν τὸν Σατανᾶν ὡς ἀστραπὴν ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ πεσόντα. 19ἰδοὺ δέδωκα ὑμῖν τὴν ἐξουσίαν τοῦ πατεῖν ἐπάνω ὄφεων καὶ σκορπίων, καὶ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ ἐχθροῦ, καὶ οὐδὲν ὑμᾶς οὐ μὴ ἀδικήσῃ. 20πλὴν ἐν τούτῳ μὴ χαίρετε ὅτι τὰ πνεύματα ὑμῖν ὑποτάσσεται, χαίρετε δὲ ὅτι τὰ ὀνόματα ὑμῶν ἐγγέγραπται ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.

Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 26th edition
© 1979, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart;

The Greek New Testament, 3rd edition
© 1975, United Bible Societies, London

2. ANALYSIS: Luke 10: 1-11 [12], 16-20

'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few' offers a rationale for Jesus' appointment of seventy emissaries, namely, the extent of the need for proclamation and the potential for affirmative response. 'Peace be to this house' suggests a Passover image. In this context, it portrays the meaning of God's kingdom for those who dare to accept it and to follow it. Participation in the kingdom brings fellowship, symbolized by eating and drinking. This reference suggests a redaction in light of early Christian structure and worship. It has eucharistic possibilities. 'Heal the sick' depicts the ethic of service set forth as Christian responsibility.

'Kingdom of God,' of course, is perhaps the most encompassing theme in Jesus' teaching. The contours of the ministry to which Jesus commissions the seventy highlight the nature of the kingdom. It is the product of proclamation and of relationship. It brings a common life which emphasizes service. The kingdom requires energetic dedication to extend and perpetuate it. It brings peace to those who are its participants.

'He who hears you hears me....' The seventy bear the full authority of Jesus. Theirs is a powerful responsibility, as latter-day disciples must remember. They participate in electing and in rejecting the members of God's kingdom. They are to leave those who fail to respond. References to 'demons' and to 'spirits' are treated in an interesting manner. Jesus downplays charismatic or spiritual prowess; instead, he stresses that 'names are written in heaven.'

3. STRATEGY: Luke 10: 1-12, 16-20

Obviously the passage is ideal for a sermon on mission. Naturally, the instructions given to the seventy have become the model for directions given in later generation to those commissioned for the ministry. They are 'lambs in the midst of wolves,' who must travel lightly. The focus upon mission is not so much dramatic conversion, although the passage certainly stresses decisive response. Rather, the extension of the kingdom is the expansion of community, the offer of inclusion in a fellowship, the Church. The Church offers a common life and an ideal of service. Personal conviction is married to common purpose. This life is an anticipation of the fulfillment of God's kingdom. The extent of Jesus' diatribe against those who reject the kingdom reflects Jesus' critique of Israel, the epitome of those who reject the proclamation of the kingdom of God. Nevertheless, the passage is not anti- Jewish, nor is it focused upon a condemnation of those persons who refuse the offer of fellowship. The passage rejoices that through the efforts of the seventy, and of all of Christ's followers, many will be included in God's kingdom. The Church's mission must reflect a positive, inclusive spirit, rather than a condemning, exclusive one.

4. MUSIC SUGGESTIONS: July 4, 2010

There is a ample supply of patriotic songs which can be used
To accompany the Day’s lessons, allowing the congregation to both celebrate the Independence Day holiday and address the concerns raised in the lessons. Here a few suggested hymns:

Gather – Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory (ELW 8990)

Day – We all are One in Mission (ELW 576)

Meal – You Satisfy the Hungry Heart (ELW 484)

Send – O Beautiful for Spacious Skies (ELW 888)

Exegete: William L. Sachs

William L. Sachs, Ph.D., is author of many books, including The Transformation of Anglicanism: From State Church to Global Community. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.



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