The King of Stories -- The Sending Through the Kingdom

Introductory note from Jason Pratt: see here for the previous entry; and see here for the first entry of the series. (It explains what I'm doing, and how, and contains the Johannine prologue.)

The Sending Through the Kingdom

Now after these things (says the Scholar, taking the lead for this part of the tale), the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them two by two ahead of Him ('before His face') to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. [See second comment below for a footnote here.]

And He was saying to them (similar instructions to how He had sent out the Twelve the year before):

"The harvest indeed is vast! Yet, the workers are few. So, earnestly ask the Lord of the harvest, that He should be rapidly sending out workers into His harvest!

"Go! See!--I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves!

"Carry no purse, nor bag (for they are not beggars), nor even sandals--and greet no one along the way! [See third comment below for a footnote here.]

"Now, whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this house!' And if a son of peace should be there, your peace will rest on it; otherwise, it surely will return to you.

"And remain in that same house, eating and drinking what they have--for the worker is worthy of his wages! Do not proceed from house to house.

"Now whatever city you enter, if they receive you, eat whatever they place before you (i.e. don't give the pagans trouble over dietary laws), and cure the sick in it, and say to them, 'The kingdom of God is nearly onto you!'

"But whatever city you enter, if they do not receive you, go out into its marketplace and say, 'Even your city's dust that clings to our feet, we are wiping off before you! And also know this, that the kingdom of God is nearly onto you!'

"Now I am saying to you, that it will be more tolerable for Sodom in that day than for that city!

"He who is hearing you is hearing Me. But he who is rejecting you, is also rejecting Me; and he who rejects Me, rejects the One Who commissions Me."


And so it happened, in the final days of His taking-up, that He set His face steadfastly to be going to Jerusalem. And He sends out messengers, in front of Him ('before His face').

Now departing, they went into a Samaritan village (likely along the border between southern Galilee and northern Samaria, working toward the coast of the Mediterranean), to make things ready for Him. But they weren't receiving Him--because His face was set toward Jerusalem.

[Plotnote: remember, Samaritan Jews were in hot dispute about the Temple in Jerusalem; they claimed that it was illegitimate (and so they did their worship on a local mountain.) These Samaritans, by their rejection, are not the folks in Sychar or Nain whom Jesus has seen before, and so don't know that He doesn't give special priority after all to the Jerusalem Temple.]

And seeing this, His disciples James and John say, "Master, are you willing? May we call down fire from heaven and consume them?!" (i.e. as Elijah once did on Mount Carmel; helping indicate which region of the Samaria/Galilee border this is occurring in.)

But turning, He rebukes them.

(saying, as reported in some manuscripts, "You have no idea what spirit you are of!--for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives... but to save them!")

And they went on to another village.


Now it happened (says the Scholar) that while He was on His (final) journey to Jerusalem, that He was passing in between Samaria and Galilee (or 'along the border').

And as He went into a certain village, ten men full of leprosy stood at a distance in His way to meet Him; and they lift their voices, saying, "Jesus, Doctor, please be merciful to us!"

Now seeing this, He said to them, "Go, and show yourselves to the priests." (i.e. what they were supposed to do, for verification, once they had been apparently cleaned.)

And as they went away, it came to be--that they are cleaned!

Now one of them, perceiving he was healed, returns, with shouted praise to God! And he falls before Him on his face, at His feet, thanking Him.

Yet, he was a Samaritan!

Now answering, Jesus said, "Are the ten not cleaned? Yet where are the nine? Did no one come back here to give God praise except this foreigner?!"

And He said to him, "Rise, go. Your trust has saved you."


Now the seventy (or seventy-two) returned with joy (as Jesus traveled toward Jerusalem), saying, "Master!--even the demons are subject to us in your name!"

And He said to them:

"I saw Satan falling out of heaven, as if lightning!

"See here! I have given you authority to stomp on snakes and scorpions, and even on all the power of the enemy--and absolutely nothing shall be hurting you!

"However... do not be rejoicing that the spirits are subjected to you; but, rejoice that your names are engraven in the heavens."

In this hour (says the Scholar) He rejoices in the Holy Spirit, saying (once again):

"I praise You, beloved Father, Lord of heaven and earth! For You have hidden these things from wise and intelligent men, but You reveal them to children!--yes, beloved Father, since this became a delight in what You see!

"All things were given up to Me by My Father (He continues, to the people around Him at the moment, repeating a saying that He had said in a synagogue years ago); yet no one recognizes the Son, except the Father--nor can anyone know the Father, except the Son; and anyone to whom the Son decides to be unveiling Him."

And turning privately to His disciples, He said:

"Happy are the eyes which see what you are seeing! For I tell you, many kings and prophets yearn to see what you are seeing, yet they see not; and to hear of Me what you are hearing, yet they hear not."

Luke 9:51-56
Luke 10:1-12
Luke 10:16-24
Luke 17:11-19

[Next time: Lawyers and Second Comings (8 and 7 days until the end...)]


Jason Pratt said…
Btw, if anyone is wondering where the missing verses of Luke 10 are, don't panic--they're in a different chapter. (I think Luke took the opportunity of topical similarity to port them over into this anecdote. They fit more smoothly into the place Matthew is using them, though, which is earlier in the story. I try not to double up, unless I find that the context really demands it.)

Jason Pratt said…
.......[first deferred footnote here]

surviving copies are divided whether the number was seventy or seventy-two. According to Jewish tradition at the time, the number of the Gentile nations was seventy; so that the number of representatives in this sending is to match. Alternately, the number of the Sanhedrin Court was seventy-two members; and so these may be representative of an establishment of a new Sanhedrin of God, along the tradition of wandering Judges.
Jason Pratt said…
.......[second deferred footnote here]

A sandal sole, sandalion (little sandal), with no top covering, may have been allowed as in the commission of the previous year; but the Scholar doesn't say.

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