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10. Seventy-Two Sent Out
1Now after these things the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself was about to come. 2And he said unto them, The harvest indeed is plenteous, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth laborers into his harvest. 3Go your ways; behold, I send you forth as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4Carry no purse, no wallet, no shoes; and salute no man on the way. 5And into whatsoever house ye shall enter, first say, Peace be to this house. 6And if a son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon him: but if not, it shall turn to you again. 7And in that same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. 8And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: 9and heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. 10But into whatsoever city ye shall enter, and they receive you not, go out into the streets thereof and say, 11Even the dust from your city, that cleaveth to our feet, we wipe off against you: nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh. 12I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. 13Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which were done in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment, than for you. 15And thou, Capernaum, shalt thou be exalted unto heaven? thou shalt be brought down unto Hades. 16He that heareth you heareth me; and he that rejecteth you rejecteth me; and he that rejecteth me rejecteth him that sent me. 17And the seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject unto us in thy name. 18And he said unto them, I beheld Satan fallen as lightning from heaven. 19Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall in any wise hurt you. 20Nevertheless in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. 21In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou didst hide these things from the wise and understanding, and didst reveal them unto babes: yea, Father; for so it was well-pleasing in thy sight. 22All things have been delivered unto me of my Father: and no one knoweth who the Son is, save the Father; and who the Father is, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son willeth to reveal him. 23And turning to the disciples, he said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: 24for I say unto you, that many prophets and kings desired to see the things which ye see, and saw them not; and to hear the things which ye hear, and heard them not. 25And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and made trial of him, saying, Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26And he said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. 28And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29But he, desiring to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor? 30Jesus made answer and said, A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho; and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31And by chance a certain priest was going down that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32And in like manner a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he was moved with compassion, 34and came to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on them oil and wine; and he set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35And on the morrow he took out two shillings, and gave them to the host, and said, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, I, when I come back again, will repay thee. 36Which of these three, thinkest thou, proved neighbor unto him that fell among the robbers? 37And he said, He that showed mercy on him. And Jesus said unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. 38Now as they went on their way, he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at the Lord's feet, and heard his word. 40But Martha was cumbered about much serving; and she came up to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister did leave me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41But the Lord answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art anxious and troubled about many things: 42but one thing is needful: for Mary hath chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
30. And Jesus answering said. Christ might have stated simply, that the word neighbor extends indiscriminately to every man, because the whole human race is united by a sacred bond of fellowship. And, indeed, the Lord employed this word in the Law, for no other reason than to draw us sweetly to mutual kindness. The commandment would have run more clearly thus: Love every man as thyself. But as men are blinded by their pride, so that every man is satisfied with himself, scarcely deigns to admit others to an equal rank, and withholds from them the duties he owes them, the Lord purposely declares that all are neighbors that the very relationship may produce mutual love. To make any person our neighbor, therefore, it is enough that he be, a man; for it is not in our power to blot out our common nature.
But Christ intended to draw the reply from the Pharisee, that he might condemn himself. For in consequence of the authoritative decision being generally received among them, that no man is our neighbor unless he is our friend, if Christ had put a direct question to him, he would never have made an explicit acknowledgment, that under the word neighbor all men are included, which the comparison brought forward forces him to confess. The general truth conveyed is, that the greatest stranger is our neighbor, because God has bound all men together, for the purpose of assisting each other. He glances briefly, however, at the Jews, and especially at the priests; because, while they boasted of being the children of the same Father, and of being separated by the privilege of adoption from the rest of the nations, so as to be God’s sacred heritage, yet, with barbarous and unfeeling contempt, they despised each other, as if no relationship had subsisted between them. For there is no doubt that Christ describes the cruel neglect of brotherly kindness, with which they knew that they were chargeable. But here, as I have said, the chief design is to show that the neighborhood, which lays us under obligation to mutual offices of kindness, is not confined to friends or relatives, but extends to the whole human race.
To prove this, Christ compares a Samaritan to a priest and a Levite. It is well known what deadly hatred the Jews bore to the Samaritans, so that, notwithstanding their living close beside them, they were always at the greatest variance. Christ now says, that a Jew, an inhabitant of Jericho, on his journey from Jerusalem, having been wounded by robbers, received no assistance either from a Levite or from a priest, both of whom met with him lying on the road, and half-dead, but that a Samaritan showed him great kindness, and then asks, Which of these three was neighbor to the Jew? This subtle doctor could not escape from preferring the Samaritan to the other two. For here, as in a mirror, we behold that common relationship of men, which the scribes endeavored to blot out by their wicked sophistry; 7777 “Par ur fausse glose et cavillation meschante;” — “by their false gloss and wicked sophistry.” and the compassion, which an enemy showed to a Jew, demonstrates that the guidance and teaching of nature are sufficient to show that man was created for the sake of man. Hence it is inferred that there is a mutual obligation between all men.
The allegory which is here contrived by the advocates of free will is too absurd to deserve refutation. According to them, under the figure of a wounded man is described the condition of Adam after the fall; from which they infer that the power of acting well was not wholly extinguished in him; because he is said to be only half-dead. As if it had been the design of Christ, in this passage, to speak of the corruption of human nature, and to inquire whether the wound which Satan inflicted on Adam were deadly or curable; nay, as if he had not plainly, and without a figure, declared in another passage, that all are dead, but those whom he quickens by his voice, (John 5:25.) As little plausibility belongs to another allegory, which, however, has been so highly satisfactory, that it has been admitted by almost universal consent, as if it had been a revelation from heaven. This Samaritan they imagine to be Christ, because he is our guardian; and they tell us that wine was poured, along with oil, into the wound, because Christ cures us by repentance and by a promise of grace. They have contrived a third subtlety, that Christ does not immediately restore health, but sends us to the Church, as an innkeeper, to be gradually cured. I acknowledge that I have no liking for any of these interpretations; but we ought to have a deeper reverence for Scripture than to reckon ourselves at liberty to disguise its natural meaning. And, indeed, any one may see that the curiosity of certain men has led them to contrive these speculations, contrary to the intention of Christ.