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READING: Luke 10 – Satan’s Fall, Joy & Blessing, Good Samaritan, & The Better Part

Jesus sent seventy others (or seventy-two) out as He sent the Twelve. When they joyously returned, Jesus said, “I watched Satan fall from Heaven like a flash of lightning.” He also told them not to rejoice over casting out demons but “rejoice that your names are written in Heaven.” What made Satan fall? Good news of God’s kingdom! It will still make him fall. 

Jesus rejoiced, saying, “I thank you, Father because You have hidden these things from the wise and have revealed them to infants.” In Israel then, the elites looked down on common people. See, for example, John 7:49. Priests and Pharisees who sent to have Jesus arrested asked those sent why they had not brought Him. They said, no man ever spoke like this man. The Pharisees said, none of the priests or Pharisees have believed in him, and “this multitude, which does not know the Law is accursed,” showing contempt for those who followed Jesus. That is why Jesus rejoiced; common people heard him gladly while the elites who judged themselves righteous were clueless. 

An elite lawyer tested Jesus, asking “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” As Jews often do, Jesus answered with a question, asking, “What do you read in the Law?” The lawyer said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus said you’ve given the right answer; “Do this, and you will live.” 

But, as lawyers do, he quibbled and, wanting to justify himself, asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus gave him the parable of the Good Samaritan. You know the parable of the man who fell among thieves who stripped him of all he had, beat him, and left him half dead. A priest and a Levite walked that way and passed on the other side. A Samaritan saw him, had compassion on him, and cared for him. He put him on his own animal and took him to an inn. In the morning, he gave the innkeeper two denarii to care for him further and promised to pay whatever it took to get the man well. Then Jesus asked the lawyer to answer his own question, “Who was the neighbor to the man who fell among thieves?” The lawyer said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said, “Go and do likewise.” 

In Martha and Mary’s home in Bethany’s village, Jesus was entertained by those friends. Mary sat at His feet (the posture of a disciple of a rabbi). Martha came to ask Jesus to tell Mary to come to help her in the kitchen. Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is a need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”  

Martha wanted to serve a great meal. 

Mary wanted to know Jesus more intimately, a kingdom relationship that could not be taken from her. 



My Father in Heaven, I can sympathize with Martha, but I can see that Mary chose the better part. It is difficult to break away from the pull of social conventions Teach me to by Your Spirit to learn how to leave social conventions in an appropriate way. This is my prayer, in Jesus’s name, I pray, AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for me)  

 Holy Father, I pray for all who may read these words (and for myself) that each of us will plunge deeper into the message of Jesus’s parable of the Good Samaritan. The different strands of this parable are interesting. Why did the Priest and Levite pass by on the other side? What caused the Samaritan traveler to stop. And what about the role of the innkeeper? Since this was on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho it was in Judea. Did he know this Samaritan and trust him? If he spent more than the two denarii, was he confident the Samaritan would keep his promise? Is it possible this scenario ever played out in actual life? Sometimes we skip over familiar passages without digging deeply into them. I am sure we could gain much more from this text than most of us have gained. This is my prayer, in Jesus’s Holy Name, AMEN! 

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