Proper 9 - Series C
Galatians 6:1–10, 14–18
The Lord Grants Peace and Life to His Church
The Lord restores Jerusalem, His Church, because she is the mother of His children, whom He comforts “as one whom his mother comforts” (Is. 66:13). We are “satisfied from her consoling breast” with the pure milk of the Word, and we “drink deeply with delight from her glorious abundance” (Isaiah 66:11). The messengers of Christ bestow such gifts upon His Church. For He sends them out “as lambs in the midst of wolves” (Luke 10:3), bearing in their bodies the sacrifice of His cross, by which “the kingdom of God has come near” (Luke 10:9, 11). Wherever He enters in with this Gospel, Satan is cast out and falls “like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18). Thus, we do not “boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14). Rejoicing in this Gospel, we “bear one another’s burdens” in love, according to “the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
Almighty God, You have built Your church on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone. Continue to send Your messengers to preserve Your people in true peace that, by the preaching of Your Word, Your Church may be kept free from harm and danger; through Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
How is Jesus trying to get us to see the world as He does?
How is His view different from other viewpoints that hold our attention?
How might this text influence the way we live our lives and live out our faith?
Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two
Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα ἀνέδειξεν ὁ κύριος ]καὶ ἑτέρους ἑβδομήκοντα δύο καὶ ἀπέστειλεν αὐτοὺς ἀνὰ δύο δύο πρὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ εἰς πᾶσαν πόλιν καὶ τόπον οὗ ἤμελλεν αὐτὸς ἔρχεσθαι.
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go
:1 - the 72 "others" links to the LXX text of Genesis 10 (nations descended from Noah) and the number of nations in Jewish thought. Christ's kingdom goes beyond the narrow boundaries of the Jewish nation extending to all the nations of the world. This mission has eschatological implications - the last days of OT prophecy have broken into the present evil age.
ἔλεγεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς• Ὁ μὲν θερισμὸς πολύς, οἱ δὲ ἐργάται ὀλίγοι• δεήθητε οὖν τοῦ κυρίου τοῦ θερισμοῦ ὅπως ἐργάτας ἐκβάλῃ εἰς τὸν θερισμὸν αὐτοῦ.
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.
:2 - a metaphor - of the harvest is usually used in Scripture for judgment - Jer. 51:33; Hos. 6:11; JL. 3:13; Rev.14:15 - here it is positive see Isa. 9:3, Ps. 126:5-6. The metaphor "mission is a harvest" still guides the church's thinking about missions today. See the petition, "Thy kingdom come."
ὑπάγετε• ἰδοὺ ἀποστέλλω ὑμᾶς ὡς ἄρνας ἐν μέσῳ λύκων.
Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.
:3 - a comparison - The metaphor of GOD's people as lambs and YHWH as shepherd is common in the OT - Isa. 40:11; Ez34:11-31; Ps. 23:1; 79:13; 95:7 - Isa.53:7 the servant of YHWH is "like a lamb led to slaughter." This guides the church's thinking about our identity, what we are to expect from the world, what our relationship to Jesus means.
μὴ βαστάζετε βαλλάντιον, μὴ πήραν, μὴ ὑποδήματα, καὶ μηδένα κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν ἀσπάσησθε.
Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road.
:4 - instructions - do not always...in Africa the greeting lasts a long time...literally "how is your day?" They are not to be begging on the street.
:5-13 - regulations and brief developments of themes -
εἰς ἣν δ’ ἂν εἰσέλθητε οἰκίαν πρῶτον λέγετε• Εἰρήνη τῷ οἴκῳ τούτῳ.
Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’
:5 - Whichever house you enter say, "Friedheim"
καὶ ἐὰν ᾖ ἐκεῖ υἱὸς εἰρήνης, ἐπαναπαήσεται ἐπ’ αὐτὸν ἡ εἰρήνη ὑμῶν• εἰ δὲ μήγε, ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς ἀνακάμψει.
And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you.
:6 - the son of peace will not be destroyed in the face of rejection. You will not loose the peace which is yours.
ἐν αὐτῇ δὲ τῇ οἰκίᾳ μένετε, ἐσθίοντες καὶ πίνοντες τὰ παρ’ αὐτῶν, ἄξιος γὰρ ὁ ἐργάτης τοῦ μισθοῦ αὐτοῦ. μὴ μεταβαίνετε ἐξ οἰκίας εἰς οἰκίαν.
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.
:7 - in that house remain, eating and drinking what they provide. The worker is worthy. Do not move from house to house.
καὶ εἰς ἣν ἂν πόλιν εἰσέρχησθε καὶ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς, ἐσθίετε τὰ παρατιθέμενα ὑμῖν,
Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you.
:8 - and any city you enter eat what is set before you. The rewards do come.
καὶ θεραπεύετε τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ ἀσθενεῖς, καὶ λέγετε αὐτοῖς• Ἤγγικεν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ.
Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
:9 - 72 heal the sick and proclaim the kingdom near - a foretaste of the salvation God Has promised. The kingdom is still near, but seems invisible now. We are still waiting for Jesus to appear again and tie up what appears to be a loose end.
εἰς ἣν δ’ ἂν πόλιν εἰσέλθητε καὶ μὴ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς, ἐξελθόντες εἰς τὰς πλατείας αὐτῆς εἴπατε•
But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say,
Καὶ τὸν κονιορτὸν τὸν κολληθέντα ἡμῖν ἐκ τῆς πόλεως ὑμῶν εἰς τοὺς πόδας ἀπομασσόμεθα ὑμῖν• πλὴν τοῦτο γινώσκετε ὅτιἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ.
‘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.’
:10-11 - whatever city you enter and they do not welcome you go into the streets and say, "even the dust that's clinger to our feet we wipe off, except know this the kingdom of God has come here."
λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι Σοδόμοις ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ ἀνεκτότερον ἔσται ἢ τῇ πόλει ἐκείνῃ.
I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
- Sodom, see judgment (Gen.19)
Woe to Unrepentant Cities
Οὐαί σοι, Χοραζίν• οὐαί σοι, Βηθσαϊδά• ὅτι εἰ ἐν Τύρῳ καὶ Σιδῶνι ἐγενήθησαν αἱ δυνάμεις αἱ γενόμεναι ἐν ὑμῖν, πάλαι ἂν ἐν σάκκῳ καὶ σποδῷ καθήμενοι μετενόησαν.
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
:14-15 - lamentation -
πλὴν Τύρῳ καὶ Σιδῶνι ἀνεκτότερον ἔσται ἐν τῇ κρίσει ἢ ὑμῖν.
But it will be more bearable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you.
- Tyre/Sidon known for idolatry and resistance to YHWH .
καὶ σύ, Καφαρναούμ, μὴ ἕως οὐρανοῦ ὑψωθήσῃ; ἕως τοῦ ᾅδου καταβιβασθήσῃ.
And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades.
:15 Capernaum see language uttered against Babylon in Isa.14:12-15. Yet the judgment spoken by Jesus is a future yet to come. Jesus uses eschatological language of judgment that waits fulfillment.
Ὁ ἀκούων ὑμῶν ἐμοῦ ἀκούει, καὶ ὁ ἀθετῶν ὑμᾶς ἐμὲ ἀθετεῖ• ὁ δὲ ἐμὲ ἀθετῶν ἀθετεῖ τὸν ἀποστείλαντά με.
“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.”
:16 - a wisdom saying -
The Return of the Seventy-Two
Ὑπέστρεψαν δὲ οἱ ἑβδομήκοντα δύο μετὰ χαρᾶς λέγοντες• Κύριε, καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια ὑποτάσσεται ἡμῖν ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου.
The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”
:17 - an apocalyptic tone - the 72 rejoice in their success expressed in terms of healing and exorcism not conversion . Satan still exerts his power in this age. Satan has fallen, yet he prowls like a lion. Both are true, a tension that awaits resolution.
εἶπεν δὲ αὐτοῖς• Ἐθεώρουν τὸν Σατανᾶν ὡς ἀστραπὴν ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ πεσόντα.
And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
ἰδοὺ δέδωκα ὑμῖν τὴν ἐξουσίαν τοῦ πατεῖν ἐπάνω ὄφεων καὶ σκορπίων, καὶ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ ἐχθροῦ, καὶ οὐδὲν ὑμᾶς οὐ μὴ ἀδικήσῃ.
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.
:19 - a juridical tone -
πλὴν ἐν τούτῳ μὴ χαίρετε ὅτι τὰ πνεύματα ὑμῖν ὑποτάσσεται, χαίρετε δὲ ὅτι τὰ ὀνόματα ὑμῶν ἐγγέγραπται ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.
Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
:20 - an opportunity to talk about the significance of baptism for the certainty of salvation. Our names are written gives assurance that God will not forget about us. The words we hear in absolution and communion God Is speaking to each of us "Your name is written in heaven. Rejoice!
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The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software