Luke 10
Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.
B. The Seventy Disciples. LUKE 10:1–24

(Partial parallel to Matt. 11:20–30.)

1After these things the Lord appointed other seventy [seventy others1] also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would [was about to] come. 2Therefore said he [And said, V. O.2] unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. 3Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. 4Carry neither purse, nor scrip [wallet], nor shoes; and salute no man by the way. 5And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. 6And if the [a] son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn [return] to you again. 7And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer 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 enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, 11Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth [from your city, transferred from last clause] on us [to us upon our feet3], we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding, be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you [om., unto you, V. O.4].12But [om., But, V. O.5] I say unto you, that 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 [αί δυνάμεις, Kräfte, V. O.] had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had [would have] a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you. 15And thou, Capernaum, which art [who hast been 6] exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell. 16He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth [despiseth—in all four places—ἀθετῶν, lit., sets at nought] him that sent me. 17And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils [demons] are subject [subjected] unto usthrough [lit., in] thy name. 18And he said unto them, I beheld7 Satan as lightning fall 19[fallen, πεσόντα] from heaven. Behold, I give [I have given, δέδωκα8] unto you power [ἐξουσίαν] to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power [δύναμιν] of the20enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding, in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject [subjected] unto you; but rather [om., rather9] rejoice, because your names are written in heaven [the heavens]. 21In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight. [And turning himself to his disciples, he said, V. O.10] 22All things are delivered to me of [by] my Father: and no man [one] knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. 23And he turned him unto his disciples, and said [turning himself…, he said] privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: 24For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.


General Remarks.—From different quarters the credibility of the account of Luke respecting the Seventy has been disputed (Strauss, De Wette, Theile, Weisse, Von Ammon, Baur, Köstlin, Schwegler, a. o.). Inner improbability appeared to cast doubt on this account, while the silence of the other Synoptics was also suspicious. Commonly, however, the attacks have been directed against a manner of viewing the fact, which is demanded neither by the letter nor the spirit of the evangelical narrative. The Seventy, namely, have been too much regarded as a fixed number, as a continually active circle of the Saviour’s servants besides the Twelve, and exclusive of them, and were supposed to have preached the kingdom of God afterwards also. In this case, it certainly would have been extremely surprising that there is no other trace to be found of this circle of disciples, nay, that even Eusebius was no longer able (H. E. i. 12) to give the catalogue of the names of these disciples. But on attentive consideration it soon appears that the Seventy received no other commission than at this particular time to prepare for the coming of the Saviour in some towns and villages, and that they, after the accomplishment of their charge, were absorbed in the wider circle of His followers. Thus are they a remarkable luminary in the public life of the Saviour, whose brilliancy, however, endured only a brief time, and Luke therefore cannot be justly charged with having here, for the first time, not “precisely investigated” everything. That Jesus, besides the Twelve, had yet a wider circle of disciples, appears also from John 6:66; Acts 1:15–26; 1 Cor. 15:6. But if we had here to understand an intentional invention, then, without doubt, many more particulars respecting the great deeds of these men would have appeared both here and in the Acts. The number Seventy also occasions not the least actual difficulty. Perhaps it is an indefinite round number (comp. Matt. 18:22), or the Saviour may have had His reasons for sending out neither more nor less than thirty-five pairs of such ambassadors in different directions. But even if we assume that we have here a symbolical number before us, which referred to the elders of Israel (Exodus 24:9), or to the members of the Sanhedrim with the exclusion of their president, or finally to the seventy heathen nations, according to the ancient Israelitish reckoning, the symbolism is not, therefore, by any means unhistoric (Schwegler). The number of the apostles also was a symbolical one, and if we assume that this number Seventy is to indicate the universal direction of the gospel, it then becomes doubly intelligible that Luke, the Paulinist, brings forward this circumstance so distinctly. Matthew and Mark might the more readily pass over these, as they had already communicated more in detail the discourse of the Saviour in the sending out of the Twelve, which in many points coincided with this one.

Luke 10:1. Seventy others.—If this circle existed only a few days or weeks, it is the less surprising that it soon became uncertain who had belonged to it. Fancy had then free play, and very soon men used this company as a charitable foundation in order to provide for men who did not belong to the Twelve, but who were of some account [in the church], such as Mark, Luke, Matthias. (Strauss). A peculiar list of candidates is found in SEPP, iii. 26, who here, at the same time, finds prefigured the number of the cardinals of the papal see.

And sent them.—The chief purpose of this sending was not to fashion and train these messengers for a later independent activity (Hase, and after him Krabbe, who appeals, N. B., for proof of it to Luke 10:20), but it was a new attempt, in order to influence to decision at least a part of the people, and by word and deed to prepare the coming of the kingdom of God in the midst of them. “This whole journey of Jesus was intended, before the departure of the Lord from His previous theatre of activity, to present to the people the last decision, to be everywhere the Messianic entrance, which, in connection with the final entry into Jerusalem, was to culminate in the latter.” Meyer.

Into every city and place whither He Himself was about to come.—According to LANGE, Leben Jesu, ii. p. 1057, we are to understand exclusively towns in Samaria, and to consider this whole mission as a noble vengeance for His rejection, Luke 9:51–56. It is, however, a question whether the Saviour really had the intention of visiting so many as thirty-five towns and villages of the Samaritans. If we keep in mind the direction of His own journey, we should undoubtedly rather have to assume that the Seventy preceded Him to Judæa. In this whole investigation, however, we must not overlook the fact that it is as yet very much in question whether Luke communicates this whole sending forth of the Seventy in its exact historical connection. The expression μετά ταῦτα, Luke 10:1, is at least very indefinite, and since he in Luke 10:17 relates also the return of these messengers immediately after their departure, it brings us almost to the conjecture that he here as frequently follows rather the order of subject than that of time. If we are obliged to assume that our Saviour afterwards actually visited all the places whither these messengers had gone before Him, this probably would have happened shortly after the feast of Tabernacles, John 7 But in no case are we obliged to conceive the matter as VON AMMON, ad loc., does, who, from very peculiar sources, seems to know that the Saviour on this journey sent forth a great number of His disciples, and selected them to give special probationary instructions in the nearest synagogues!! Better Riggenbach: “The seventy disciples are to be regarded as a net of love which the Lord threw out in Israel.”

Luke 10:2. And said.—As the Seventy are distinct from the Twelve, so is the instruction which is communicated to both distinct. The difference between the two inauguration addresses is great enough to refute the conjecture that transferences and transpositions of single expressions have taken place from one discourse into the other. It is noticeable how these admonitions of the Saviour to the Seventy agree with the precepts which He, according to Luke, Luke 9:1–6, gave to the Twelve in sending them forth. If the Evangelist is not to be charged with very great inconsistency, we shall be forced to assume that the words of Jesus on the second occasion were at least partially the same. But the distinction comes much more strongly into view in comparing this with Matt. 10. The gift bestowed on the Twelve of working miracles is far more extended than that which is here bestowed in Luke 10:9 on the Seventy. Of the persecutions which He foretells the Twelve, and of the extraordinary help of the Holy Spirit which He promises them, Matt. 10:17–24, and of which there was to be further speech only after the day of Pentecost, the Seventy in entering upon their only momentary and soon accomplished work, have communicated to them not a word. The earlier command not to go into a town of the Samaritans is this time omitted, as the journey perhaps went through a part of Samaria. On the other hand, the remarkable injunction given to the Seventy alone, to salute no man on the way, appears doubly congruous, as the Saviour sees His public life hurrying to an end. Such differences are as far from being unimportant as accidental, but have sprung rather from the different nature of the persons and facts. The Twelve had to return upon the traces of Jesus, in order to gather in the harvest of that which He had sown. The Seventy must go before His face, in order to prepare a way for Him.

The harvest truly is great.—According to Matt. 9:37, 38, the Saviour uttered this word before the sending of the Twelve, and it is very possible that He now repeated it. But if we assume that it was only spoken once, then undoubtedly its position in Matthew is the most exact.

Luke 10:3. As Lambs.—According to Matthew 10:16, the Twelve are sent out ὡς πρόβατα. It is undoubtedly possible that this distinction is to be explained merely from a different form of the tradition (Meyer); on the other hand, however, it is quite as conceivable that the Saviour, for this case, intentionally modified the figurative language. But if He did, it was certainly not to attribute to the Seventy a lower place than to the Twelve (Euth. and Zigab.), but “in order this time to lay emphasis on simplicity together with defencelessness (Matthew has ‘doves’).” Stier.

Luke 10:4. Salute no man.—It is well known that salutations in the Orient were much more essential than with us, and that, e.g., inferiors remained standing until their superiors had passed by. Comp. 2 Kings 4:29. Respecting the different formulas of salutation among the Jews, see LIGHTFOOT, ad loc.

Luke 10:5. And into whatsoever house.—The preliminary investigation enjoined in Matthew, Luke 10:11, is here omitted. From everything it appears that the Saviour’s affairs demanded haste. His whole instruction may be comprehended in the saying, John 13:27b.

Luke 10:6. A son of peace.—Not pace dignus (Bengel), but one for whom peace is prepared, because the needful receptivity for the word of peace is found in his heart. Upon this one is the salutation of peace to rest, for peace shall fill his heart, Phil. 4:7. In the opposite case it was only an empty sound in his ear, and returned without delay to him from whom it had proceeded.

Luke 10:7. And in the same house.—In the one, that is, where they are received by children of peace. They must thus avoid even the appearance of seeking from the inhabitants theirs instead of them, and are not permitted, therefore, even in a meagre entertainment to find any cause of speedy departure. Comp. Matt. 10:11; Luke 9:4.

Luke 10:9. Heal the sick.—The brevity of this commission in comparison with the detailed instruction to the Twelve (Matt. 10:8) is not to be overlooked. It is remarkable, however, that the Seventy, on their return, speak of no other healing of the sick than the casting out of the demons. The connection of healing and preaching here gives the former a symbolical character.

Luke 10:11. Even the very dust.—See the remarks on Luke 9:5, and LANGE on Matthew 10:14. “What there was not yet enjoined on the Twelve is here prescribed to the Seventy: to follow even this last act of displeasure with the repetition of the word of love, that the kingdom of God was come near. But now no longer: “To you” (spurious), but quite generally. “It is and remains true that it is come near, even though you contemn it.”

Luke 10:12. I say unto you that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom.—According to the common conception, the judgment of retribution has already smitten Sodom and Gomorrah. According to the steady teaching of the New Testament, on the other hand, this judgment, terrific though it was, is only a foretaste of that which is to be expected at the end of days. Comp., for instance, Jude Luke 10:7. The terrible judgment, moreover, with which the Lord here threatens those who reject His servants, is an unequivocal proof of the high rank which He ascribes to them, compared with the most eminent men of God, and indirectly, at the same time, a striking revelation of His own entirely unique self-consciousness.

Luke 10:13. Woe unto thee, Chorazin!—Comp. Matt. 11:20–24. Here again it is as before; whoever assumes that the Saviour uttered this Woe only once, will, at the same time, have to concede that it is communicated by Matthew in the most natural connection. Luke then introduces this saying on this occasion apparently because he had just given the exclamation over Sodom, and also communicates it with less fulness and particularity. On the other hand, no one can dispute our right to assume here too that the judgment of these Galilean towns lay so heavily on the heart of Jesus that He more than once uttered forth, the exclamation of woe (Meyer). Something subjectivistic in remarks of this kind is indeed hardly to be wholly avoided. Respecting the locality of the here-mentioned places, see LANGE on Matthew, 11:20–24. It is noticeable, and at the same time wise, that the Saviour, among the towns whose judgment He denounces, does not speak expressly of Nazareth. This might have had the appearance of a personal revenge.

They would have … repented.—“These words are remarkable inasmuch as the Saviour, even as respects the past, speaks of nothing as absolutely necessary. He here plainly recognizes the freedom of self-determination and possibility of the contrary event.” Olshausen.—Undoubtedly, there must have been so many miracles performed as well at Chorazin as at Bethsaida, that this judgment was fully deserved. And yet the Evangelists relate nothing whatever of them. A proof certainly that they have been rather frugal than lavish in the writing of their accounts of miracles. Comp. John 21:24, 25.

Luke 10:16. He that heareth you.—As the Seventy, although they were not invested with the apostolic office, nevertheless saw themselves called for a time to an apostolic activity so weighty, we cannot be surprised that the Saviour gives also to them an assurance similar to that with which He had formerly sent forth the Twelve, Matt. 10:40.

Luke 10:17. Returned again with joy.—Although it is of course evident that the return of the different messengers could not have taken place at the same time, Luke, however, so represents the matter as if they had simultaneously rendered account to the Lord of the result of their journey, and had received His approbation and indeed His eulogy. Not a solitary trace of the permanent gain which they brought to the kingdom of God has been preserved to us; yet a single hint is given of the momentary impression which they elicited.—“Even the demons.”—To their eye every other fruit of their labors recedes before this recollection. If we consider that a command to cast out demons had not been expressly given them, and that this attempt a little before had failed even when made by nine apostles, Luke 9:37 seq., we can still better understand this joy of the Seventy, and must at the same time entertain the most favorable ideas of their courage and of their strength of faith. Their righteous joy is in the answer of the Saviour confirmed, augmented, and sanctified.

Luke 10:18. I beheld Satan.—That in this figurative speech the whole fall of the kingdom of darkness in and with its personal head is portrayed, can as little be contested as that here it is a beholding with the eye of the spirit that is spoken of. The answer to the question, when or how long previously the Saviour had seen this spectacle, is determined entirely by the connection of the discourse. If this saying stood entirely alone there would not be the least difficulty in understanding an earlier period in the public life of our Lord (Lange), or even in going back before His Incarnation (Hofman). In a very sound sense of the word we may call the whole inner life of Jesus a continuous spiritual beholding of the discomfiture of the kingdom of darkness; one which is to be restricted to no particular time. But when the Saviour utters this word in answer to the Seventy, He can scarcely mean to say anything else to them than that they have by no means deceived themselves, since He, accompanying them in spirit, had seen the sudden downfall of Satan, whose servants the demons were. It is not an isolated vision which is here spoken of, but a spiritual intuition of the God-man, before whom even the secrets of the world of spirits are discovered and lie open.

Luke 10:19. I have given unto you power.—Thus does the Saviour, by a new assurance, augment the joy which He had just confirmed. Δέδωκα, according to the corrected reading of Tischendorf. The Preterite is not merely a reminiscence of the previously given plenitude of power, but also a confirmation and renewal of the same.—“To tread on serpents and scorpions.”—Undoubtedly here also similar miracles are indicated to those related in Mark 16:17, 18; Acts 28:5; Ps. 91:13, yet only so far as they were revelations of the higher spiritual ability which Christ had bestowed upon them. Not only to shake off poisonous serpents and adders, which, comparable to intertwining lightning-streams, are types of the fallen Evil One, but to cast down all might in the spiritual world which exalted itself in hatred against Christ—this was their holy function. Through the Spirit of truth they had to make subject to themselves the spirits of lies; but in this noble task there lurks also a dark danger. The Lord knows how the nets of temptation are first stretched for the favored among His own, and therefore does He sanctify their righteous and augmented joy by a word of most earnest warning.

Luke 10:20. Notwithstanding, in this rejoice not … are written in heaven.—The word μᾶλλον appears here added to the text only to bring more clearly into view that the Saviour disapproves their joy at the subjection of the spirits not unconditionally, but only relatively. This, however, even without such an addition, is sufficiently obvious from the whole spirit and connection of this admonition. The Saviour wishes them not to rejoice too much over anything which they may accomplish for the kingdom of God. For this joy might easily and unconsciously be joined with self-seeking and pride, and besides, would not always dwell in their hearts, and might perhaps be followed by conflict and disappointment; and it must moreover at last lead them to keep their eye directed more without than within and above. Besides, what any one does is a very deceiving standard for the judgment of his inner worth. One may cast out devils and yet himself be still a child of darkness (Matt. 7:22); therefore our Lord gives to their joy a better direction. Even the greatest talents and gifts cannot be compared with the prerogative of him who obtains in heaven a place of honor.—“That your names.”—The Seventy knew undoubtedly, as we also do, the beautiful figure of the Old Testament which depicts to us the Eternal One with a book before His face, wherein He notes down the names and deeds of His faithful servants. Exodus 32:32, 33; Malachi 3:16. Comp. Rev. 3:5. Our Lord now rejoices them with the transporting assurance that their names also shone there, and directs their attention in this way to the truth that their own deliverance from the power of the devil ought to dispose them far more to thankful joy than their most glorious triumph over his disarmed servants. This prerogative should remain to them even though Satan should again exalt himself, even though their name should not be renowned upon earth, even though it should be there forgotten. “Contrarium de prœvaricatoribus, in terra scribentur, Jer. 17:13.” Bengel. Comp. also Psalm 69:28; Phil. 4:3.

Luke 10:21. In that hour.—Comp. Matt. 11:25, 26. That the here-following words of the Saviour are given by Matthew in a far more significant connection is admirably proved by LANGE, ad loc. That, however, Luke states correctly the definite occasion on which the Saviour gave utterance to this God-glorifying declaration, appears not only from the ἐν αὐτῇ τῇὥρᾳ, but also from the whole connection, unless one should also wish to reckon this saying among the bis repetita, which undoubtedly has its difficulties if too often resorted to.

Jesus rejoiced.—If from the preceding words, Luke 10:20, it might appear as though the Saviour did not wholly share the transport of His disciples, and regarded the joy which they reaped in their work with less satisfaction than they themselves, we see here the contrary, and by the one word ἠγαλλιάσατο, Luke offers to our heart and our imagination the most delightful conception: the hour of joy in the life of Jesus.

That Thou hast hid.—That by the wise and prudent here only fancied wise men, and by the νήπιοι not ignorant persons in themselves, but simply childlike souls, are understood, is evident. It is also evident that as well in the time of the Saviour as in the following ages, it has been commonly rejected by the former and received by the latter. But what are we to understand by this, that God has hidden these things from the wise and prudent? To say that God has permitted it, but in no wise ordained it, is a confession that testifies of perplexity; was it then only permission that God revealed it to the simple? To maintain that God has arbitrarily so ordained it, would sound like a blasphemy of God; can God Himself blind me, and at the same time make my blindness the ground of my condemnation? Without doubt we have here to understand a direct, yet at the same time a holy, wise, and loving disposition of things by the Father, one which is thoroughly grounded in the nature of things. To the haughty man it is morally impossible to bow before Christ, and the connection between his inner corruption and his great destitution is effected by God Himself. God has connected the participation in His kingdom with a condition which lay within the reach even of the most simple: namely, lowliness and humility of heart; wise and prudent men wantonly made themselves unreceptive of this blessing, and became in consequence of this obnoxious to this judgment, that God hid these things from them. And if our Lord gives thanks therefor, it is not for this hiding in and of itself, however deserved it may be, but for this, that even if these things were hidden to the wise, they at least did not remain concealed for all. An example of similar construction we find, among others, Rom. 6:17. This Divine ordinance, by which so many stood outside of His kingdom, was at the same time the source of manifold conflict in His life, and yet the Saviour is not only perfectly at one with the will of the Father, but rejoices thereat, and declares: ναί, ὁ πατήρ, κ.τ.λ.—In the idea of a εὐδοκία of course everything arbitrary must be avoided, which really indeed appears also from what follows, ἔμπροσθέν σου. The counsel of the Father may be sovereign, but never tyrannical.

Luke 10:22. All things are delivered to Me by My Father.—Again, one of those passages where the Christology of the Synoptics and that of John surprisingly concur. Comp. John 17:2. By the limitation of the πάντα to the teaching of Jesus, Grotius has prepared the way for the rationalistic interpretation of this saying, an interpretation which may be named arbitrariness and superficialness itself. It appears, moreover, that the most original form of this saying is found in Matt. Luke 11:27. Comp. LANGE ad loc. and that the form in Luke: οὐδείς γινώσκεί, τίς ἐστιν ὁ υἱός must be considered as an (undoubtedly correct) interpretamentum. The peculiar phenomenon that this saying of the Lord is, in the writings of Justin Martyr, even three times, as also in the Clementines, and in Marcion and Tertullian, read in exactly the reverse order: “No one knows the Father but the Son,” is sufficiently explained by that with which IRENÆUS, adv. Hœr. iv.14, prefaces the mention of this deviation: “Hi autem, qui peritiores Apostolis esse volunt, sic scribunt,” &c. See OLSHAUSEN, “Genuineness of the Four Gospels,” p. 295.—“No one knoweth.”—The Saviour declares therefore that a man can be guided only by the knowledge of the Son to that of the Father, but also conversely that a man can be guided only by the Father to the knowledge of the Son. And that the complete form of the expression would also require the addition, “No one knoweth the Son but the Father and he to whom the Father will reveal Him,” appears evident from Luke 10:21b, and from Matt. 16:17. Respecting the conception of Revelation here presented, Dr. VON BELL, Diss. Theol. de vocibus φανεροῦν et ἀποκαλύπτειν, L. B. 1849, p. 51, deserves to be compared. Of the Seventy and of all who had believed through their word, it could without doubt be said that the Father had revealed Himself through the Son in their souls. This whole expression of the most exalted self-consciousness might at the same time serve to counteract the scandal which one or another might take at the rejection of the Gospel by the wise and prudent.

[The exact correspondence, in substance, spirit, and form, of this passage, Luke 10:21, 22, and the parallel passage, Matt. 11:25–27, with the Gospel of John, has always attracted attention. Yet its isolated character in the two Synoptical Gospels is equally apparent. It is not in the least discordant with their contents, and in Luke especially is seen to be in thorough harmony with the context. Nevertheless, it is in an essentially different vein from the general tone of our Lord’s discourses as given by the Synoptics. Yet that our Lord only once in His public life broke forth into a distinct declaration of His inner relation to the Father, to which, nevertheless, in the Synoptics, He so frequently alludes, is hard to believe. This passage lies embedded in the Synoptical discourses as a vein of rich ore, which by a sudden “fault” breaks off, showing us that a continuous mass of it exists somewhere, and at the same time that it is at a considerable remove from this isolated fragment. This original matrix we find in the Gospel of John.—C. C. S.]

Luke 10:23. Unto His disciples … privately.—Already here and there one (see Luke 10:25) presses more closely to the circle of the Seventy who gather around Jesus and receive His exalted eulogy. The Saviour unites the highest wisdom with the holiest transport of soul, and therefore addresses the words now following to them apart. In Matt. 13:16, 17 also this saying is found: yet surely it appears on this occasion doubly congruous. Whether the Saviour originally named kings or righteous men along with the prophets, is on internal grounds exceedingly difficult, and on external grounds not at all, to be determined.

Luke 10:24. Many prophets and kings.—One of the sublimest utterances of our Lord which appear in the Synoptical Gospels. He proclaims Himself as Him in whom alone not only the expectation of the earlier time is fulfilled, but in whom also the Ornament and Crown of mankind has appeared. The image of a David and Hezekiah, of an Isaiah and Micah, rises clearly before His soul, and their inner life stands before His spirit as a life of expectation, as whose centre and fulfilment He recognized Himself. Over against all these He looks upon the scanty circle of His disciples, who are infinitely higher privileged, and as if He feared even the appearance of self-exaltation when He testifies of Himself, He says unto them in the ear what soon is to be proclaimed upon the housetops: “More than Solomon, more than Jonah is here.” At the same time this felicitation for the Seventy is an indirect admonition not only to look with continual faith upon Him, but also moreover to listen to Him with all the devotion of which kings and prophets would certainly have counted Him worthy. Doubly fitting is this intimation, since the messengers now receded again into the circle of His ordinary hearers, and the placing of such a saying at the conclusion of the interview with the Seventy appears therefore on internal grounds exact.


1. See Exegetical and Critical remarks.

2. The sending forth of the Seventy is a new revelation of the glory of the King of the kingdom of Heaven. It is a repetition of that which had already begun in smaller measure in the journeyings of the Twelve through Galilean towns and villages; an evangelization in a field that is yet strange or hostile, a Home Mission upon a continually enlarging scale. Here also do the messengers of Christ go two and two, as it were in remembrance of the word of the Preacher, Eccl. 4:9, 10. According to the Lord’s own word, Luke 10:18, their journey at the same time bears the character of a vigorous assault upon the powers of darkness; there is something moreover indescribably naïve and touching in the manner in which they reveal their joy over the success of their momentous undertaking. But especially is this new preaching a powerful voice of awakening for the lost sheep of the house of Israel to come to the Good Shepherd, and the Woe over towns in which such works were done was certainly doubly deserved.

3. The image of the genuine minister of the Gospel is, in the address of the Saviour to the Seventy, placed vividly before our eyes. The substance of His preaching is a message of peace, comp. Isa. 52:7, which finds echo in the heart of the son of peace, and in his heart alone. The demeanor which becomes him is meekness, contentment, self-denial, on the one hand—see as an example of the manner in which the precepts here given were applied by Paul, 1 Cor. 9:5; 2 Cor. 10:16; Rom. 15:20—on the other hand a demeanor of dignity when despised and opposed. The authority which is bestowed upon him is, since he stands in the service of the truth, in a certain sense like that of the apostles, nay, like that of the Lord Himself, notwithstanding all other differences in office and sphere of activity. And his honor, which is continually unacknowledged by the world, will be brilliantly established by Him that hath sent him, when once the judgment upon the rejector of the Gospel shall be revealed.

4. The enduring might which the Saviour has bestowed on His witnesses in the spiritual sphere is at the same time an indirect argument against the correctness of the limited view of those who would restrict the gift of miracles almost exclusively to the circle and the age of the Apostles, instead of believingly receiving the Saviour’s word, John 14:12. Comp. the weighty dissertation of Tholuck upon the miracles of the Catholic Church, in the first part of his miscellaneous writings.

5. In the well-known letter of Publius Lentulus to the Roman Senate, which is alleged to contain a description of the person of the Saviour, there is contained among other things the testimony: qui nunquam visus est ridere, flere autem sœpius. To this rigoristic and ascetic view, what Luke here relates of the Saviour’s joy of soul is strikingly opposed. Here at least His countenance is refulgent with inmost joy, His head He raises triumphantly towards Heaven, and from His whole being shines forth a glow of blessedness. The sublimity of this joy we feel the more, when we compare with it that of the Seventy. They rejoice in the great things, He in the good brought to pass; they have their joy directed to the outer, Jesus His to the moral, world; they rejoice alone in the present, Jesus also in the past and the future; they are disposed to self-praise, Jesus to thankful adoration. Only once besides do we hear Him with such complete publicity glorify the name of the Father. It is just before the raising of Lazarus (John 11:42), both times, therefore, when spiritually dead awake to higher life. The subject and the character of His joy is, therefore, a proof of the saying, John 14:9.

6. The utterance, “No one knows the Son save the Father,” is one of the most convincing testimonies for the true Godhead of Christ. One who was only a created spirit or an immaculate man could not possibly without blasphemy against God testify this of Himself. If only the Father knows perfectly who the Son is, we must then give up all hope of searching out, on this side of the grave, so much of this depth that the object of faith shall have become wholly the object of the Christian Gnosis. Touching the Almighty, we cannot find Him out, Job 37:23. On the other hand, we must be careful to make a distinction between cognitio vera et adœquata, and doubt only of the latter and not of the former. It is therefore as over-precipitate as superficial when this saying of the Saviour has not seldom been used as a catchword in order to repress as impossible or unprofitable a more than superficial investigation of the person and work of the Saviour. The saying, “No one knows the Son but the Father,” can at most be a result but never a hindrance of a renewed Christological investigation, and least of all a cloak for indifferentism or ignorantism. The remark of Otto Von Gerlach on Matt. 11:27 is well worthy of being compared here.

7. The Gospel stands not below but above the understanding of the wise and prudent in their own eyes. One misuses the word of the Lord concerning babes and the simple if he reads therein an authorization of stupidity and narrowness, and a sentence of condemnation against science and a true Christian depth of apprehension. True wisdom, however, can only be that which is joined with child-like simplicity, and as true knowledge leads to faith, so can faith alone bring us to true science. It is, however, no shame but an honor to the Gospel that it can be nothing for those who will not learn but judge, will not humble themselves but bear rule, comp. 1 Cor. 1 and 2.

8. “Rejoice that your names are written in heaven,” a dictum probans for the doctrine of the Evangelical Church that a believer even in this life may be assured of his eternal salvation. When Möhler [the eminent Roman Catholic Symbolist] asserts that he “in the neighborhood of a man who without any restriction declared himself sure of his salvation should be in a high degree uneasy,” nay, “that he could not repel the thought that there was something diabolical beneath this,” he thereby affords us a deep glance into the comfortlessness of a heart which seeks the ultimate ground of its hope in self-righteousness [as many Protestants do, who agree with the Roman Catholic church in making their own assurance of salvation depend upon their attainments in holiness, instead of resting in simple faith in the consciousness that they have committed themselves to Christ.—C. C. S.], but he shows at the same time that he has not comprehended the word of the Lord to the Seventy in its whole depth. It is well known that this, “Rejoice that your names are written in heaven,” was the worthy answer of the dying Haller to the friends who congratulated him on the honor of a visit in his last hours from the Emperor Joseph II.


The Saviour’s work of love an unwearied and continual work of love.—The preaching of the word of the kingdom of Heaven must be continued in ever-increasing measure.—Even yet the Lord often sends forth His servants two and two.—Value and difficulty of collegial relations among the ministers of the Gospel.—The husbandry of God: 1. Great is the harvest; 2. few are the laborers; 3. God alone can restore the just relation between harvest and laborers.—God the Lord of the harvest, who 1. Determines the time of the harvest; 2. appoints the laborers for the harvest; 3. guards the success of the harvest; 4. deserves the thank-offering of the harvest.—Prayer to the Lord of the harvest: 1. Its contents; 2. its ground; 3. its blessing.—The vocation of the messengers of the Gospel on its bright and dark side; 1. Christ Himself sends them out, but, 2. as lambs in the midst of wolves.—The Christian freedom from care of those who serve the kingdom of Heaven.—The preaching of the Gospel at the same time a salutation of peace and a declaration of war.—Only the son of peace can receive and appropriate the salutation of peace.—The coming of the Gospel into the circle of domestic life.—“We seek not yours but you.”—The fundamental features of a future Halieutics and Poimenics [or, in other words, of a theory of the two branches of the minister’s work, the conversion of men as a fisher of souls, and the training of converts as a shepherd of souls.—C. C. S.] comprised in the instructions given to the Seventy.—The laborer is worthy of his hire: 1. However imperfect he be he certainly deserves it; 2. however late it may come he always receives it.—Ἰατρὸς γὰρ ἀνὴρ πολλῶν ἀντάξιος ἅλλων.—Even the severest utterance of the rejected witnesses of Christ may never bear the character of a personal vengeance.—Holy wrath and inexhaustible love united in the ambassadors of Christ.—The greater the privileges the greater the responsibility.—The wrath of the Lamb, Rev. 6:16.—What the desolated cities of antiquity testify to unbelieving posterity.—A future judgment awaits even sinners already condemned.—Capernaum the image of unbelieving Christendom: 1. The darkness resting upon Capernaum; 2. the light rising upon Capernaum; 3. the enmity reigning in Capernaum; 4. the judgment passed upon Capernaum.—The Saviour regards the cause of His ambassadors as His own.—Whoever rejects the Gospel rejects not man but God.—Whoever as the servant of Christ seeks not his own honor, him, sooner or later, shall his Master bring to honor.

Whoever has gone forth into the service of the Lord owes Him first of all an account thereof.—Before the name of Jesus all the powers of darkness must bow.—Satan’s fall: 1.Perceived by Jesus; 2. effected by Jesus; 3. celebrated by Jesus.—The falling of Satan and the falling of lightning: 1. The height of both; 2. the quickness of both; 3. the depth of both.—The greatest triumphs over the might of darkness are known to the King alone, not to the servants.—Jesus, treading on serpents, gives the same power also to His church, Rom. 16:20.—Naught can harm him who harms not himself.—Dominion over the world of spirits, however desirable it may be, is yet not the deepest ground for the joy of the disciples of Jesus.—The highest eulogy: “Your names are written in Heaven:” 1. How it is to be understood; 2. how desirable it is; 3. how alone it is to be obtained.—The certainty of salvation: 1. Its only ground; 2. its all-surpassing worth.—Can even a name written in the book of life be blotted out of it again? Rev. 3:5.

“In the same hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit:” 1. An example of the joy which the Lord sometimes experiences upon earth; 2. an image of the joy which He now experiences in Heaven; 3. a presage of the blessedness which He shall hereafter taste when the kingdom of God shall be fully perfected.—The joy of the Saviour and the joy of His people.—How true Christian joy elevates itself to praise and thanks.—The sovereignty of the Father of light: 1. The Father in Heaven at the same time Lord of Heaven and earth; 2. the Lord of Heaven and earth at the same time a heavenly Father.—The kingdom of God, now as ever, hidden from the wise and prudent, and revealed unto babes: 1. This is not different, a. in the days of the Saviour, b. in later ages, c. in our time; 2. this cannot be different, a. objective cause in the nature of the Gospel, b. subjective in the human heart, c. supernatural in the counsel of God; 3. this may not be different, for even in this way, a. the divinity of the Gospel is confirmed, b. the requirements of the Gospel are satisfied c. the trial of the Gospel is assured.—God’s good pleasure in concealing and revealing the truth of salvation: 1. An uncensurable, 2. an unalterable, 3. an adorable good pleasure.—Even though it appear enigmatical, yet must faith approve the good pleasure of the Father.—It is possible to be wise and prudent and at the same time to be a child and simple, 1 Cor. 14:2.—Not the developed understanding but the soul longing for salvation is the first point of attachment for the things of the kingdom of God.—The power bestowed on the Lord Christ by the Father: 1. An unlimited; 2. a legitimate; 3. a beneficent; 4. an ever-enduring power.—The whole unique relation between the Son and the Father: 1. How far it is the object of our faith: 2. how far it can be the object of our knowledge.—How: 1. The Son reveals to us the Father, but also, 2. the Father reveals to us the Son.—The relation between the Father and the Son: 1. The highest mystery; 2. a revealed mystery; 3. even after the revelation yet continually a partially concealed mystery.—The blessed lot of the sincere disciples of the Lord.—In Christ: 1. The highest expectation of antiquity fulfilled; 2. the highest ideal of mankind realized; 3. the highest revelation of the Godhead bestowed.—No prophet or king of the Ancient Covenant so blessed as the heir of the new.—In order to see that which is highest on earth, there is no need to be prophet or king, but only a disciple of Jesus.

STARKE:—HEDINGER:—For faithful teachers God must be entreated.—Faithful laborers in church and school grow not of themselves, nor are they taken from the trees; God gives and sends them.—Those who are sent of God must possess the qualities of sheep and lambs, 1 Tim. 3:3.—OSIANDER:—Preachers should be content with little, and remain mindful of this, that the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, Rom. 14:17.—When the common usages of the country have nothing sinful in them, they are undoubtedly by all means to be observed.—Nova Bibl. Tub.:—Happy are they who are sons of peace, on whom rests the peace of the children of God, Gal. 6:16.—Woe to the houses where the blessing brought turns back again.—“If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great matter if we shall reap your carnal things?” 1 Cor. 9:11.—CRAMER:—In hell there will doubtless be grades of damnation, Luke 12:47, 48.—QUESNEL:—This is a holy abyss of the judgment of God, that the Gospel is preached even to those who reject it, and that it has not been preached for those who would have repented, Rom. 11:33.—Nova Bibl. Tub.:—By repentance one can avert from himself temporal and eternal destruction, 1 Kings 21:29; Jer. 26:3; Jon. 3:10.—The condition of very great exaltation is dangerous, for it is exposed to very heavy falls, Obadiah 4.—BRENTIUS:—Joy from divine blessings bestowed must keep within bounds, and lead to the watchword, Psalm 115:1.11MAJUS:—The holy ministry has the destruction of the kingdom of Satan as its design.—CANSTEIN:—That God’s children often rejoice more over lesser than greater heavenly benefits is a sign of their imperfection.—HEDINGER:—Not gifts but faith saves.—In the kingdom of God one has not only occasion to weep, but also heartily to rejoice over the goodness of God and the marvellous things which He does for the children of men.—OSIANDER:—Not all the wise are rejected, and not all the simple enlightened; they who lay off their wisdom and go to Christ to school shall be instructed unto the kingdom of Heaven.—CANSTEIN:—The natural knowledge of God is not enough to salvation, else had we needed no special revelation.—ZEISIUS:—Oh, what an admirable preëminence of the New Testament above the Old, but also much heavier condemnation of unthankful Christians than of the Jews, Heb. 2:2.—BRENTIUS:—The fathers of the Old Testament were saved as much by the cross of Jesus Christ as we, only that for us the light shines clearer than for them, Acts 15:11.

HEUBNER:—With Christ man can do more than he believes; our faintheartedness is often put to shame. How many simple missionaries accomplish by faith what the profoundest theologians without faith would not lay hand to.—Christ plainly took the kingdom of evil spirits for something real.—If we are purely bound to Christ no enemy is dangerous to us.—How different worldly and heavenly praise.—BENGEL:—How can one know whether his name is written in the book of Life? With this point one must not make the beginning of the salutary doctrine, which first brings forward repentance and faith, but make a conclusion thereunto, as the epistle of Paul to the Romans in particular exhibits. Only look to it that thou ever hold faithful to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, for the rest let Him take care. If thy name appears with renown in human registers, that helps thee nothing, but hurts thee rather.—SCHLEIERMACHER:—Rejoice not over what you accomplish (Sermon 3, page 24), for the reason: 1. That it cannot be the standard of our own value; 2. that it conflicts with love to judge any one according to this; 3. that we cannot always hold fast this joy.

VON GERLACH:—There comes the hour of fulfilment of all longings and hopes, as it has come for the world in Jesus Christ. What the prophets had portrayed in individual, ever-clearer traits of His image in their prophecies, this appeared in Him Himself in full glory. Thus could no prophet have conceived Him, and still less have portrayed Him. Although there is no doctrine of the New Testament, of which the beginnings were not already to be found in the Old, although everything concerning Christ has been said, scattered here and there; yet who, before His appearance, could have had even a presentiment of this union of the highest, holiest, Divine majesty and the deepest lowliness of humility, of the most powerful might and the fieriest zeal with the stillest meekness and patience. Of the inestimable privileges of the true Christian, the word of Saint Bernard holds good:

Quocumque loco fuero,

Jesum meum desidero,

Quam lætus, quum invenero!

Quam felix, quum tenuero!


[1]Luke 10:1.—The δύο added here and in Luke 10:17, which the Vulgate has received and Lachmann bracketed, is too slenderly attested to be received into the text, and is, therefore, correctly rejected by most critics. [Om., Cod. Sin., A., C., L., Ξ.—C. C. S.]

[2]Luke 10:2.—According to the better reading δέ instead of οὗν. See TISCHENDORF ad locum. [Tischendorf, Lachmann, Tregelles read δἑ, Alford οὖν, regarding δέ as substituted, because the more common copulative. For οὖν are A., E., 11 other uncials; Cod. Sin., B., C., D., L. have δέ.—C. C. S.]

[3]Luke 10:11.—With Griesbach and Tischendorf we believe that we may receive the words εἰς τοὺς πόδας ἡμῶν without scruple into the text. They have been omitted from many manuscripts only because they appeared to be superfluous [ins. A., B., C., D., R., Ξ., Cod. Sin.—C. C. S.]

[4]Luke 10:11.—The reading of the Recepta ἐφ̓ ὑμᾶς is only a repetition from Luke 10:9, by which the force of the word of leave taking, which is here put into the mouth of the Seventy, is without reason weakened- [Om., ἐφ̓ ὑμᾶς, B., D., L., Cod. Sin.—C. C. S.]

[5][Luke 10:12.—Cod. Sin. retains δἐ with D., M., V.—C. C S.]

[6]Luke 10:15.—The reading of Tischendorf: μὴ ἕως τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ὑψωθήσῃ, finds, it is true, in B., D., L., [Cod. Sin., E.,] and in the Ethiopic and Coptic versions, and in the Itala, important support, and, superficially considered, it may appear as if the pathos of the address is heightened by the interrogative form. On the other hand, however, such a reflection appears less congruous, indeed has even more or less a sarcastic and ironical character, which accords as little with the solemnity of the occasion as with the frame of mind of the Saviour. [As Bleek and Meyer remark, this reading, so weakening to the sense and real solemnity of the denunciation, has arisen from an inadvertent doubling of the last letter of καφαρναουμ, thus changing the following η into μη, and involving afterwards the necessity of changing υψωθεισα into υψωθησῃ to make sense. This change was supported by the fact that the original reading in the parallel passage, Matt. 11:24, was probably η…υψωθης, which passage both acted upon this and was acted upon by it.—C. C. S.]

[7]Luke 10:18.—Ἐθεώρουν. Imp., [I already] beheld [when you wents forth]. Meyer.]

[8]Luke 10:19.—Δέδωκα is the reading approved by the author, following Tischendorf, and agreeing with Meyer and Alford. I see that Cod. Sin. also gives the Perfect.—C. C. S.]

[9]Luke 10:20.—The word μᾶλλον, which Elzevir here receives into the text in addition to the other adversatives [with S., X.], and which from his Greek text has passed over into several translations, is critically worthless and logically a hindrance, since it weakens the force of the exquisite antithesis.

[10]Luke 10:22.—There is no ground whatever for omitting this beginning of Luke 10:22, as has been done, inter al., by Luther and also by Griesbach. The words have but few authorities against them (D., L., cursives, versions), and appear to have been neglected on account of the similar commencement of Luke 10:23. That, however, they have not been transferred from this latter verse, appears from the fact that here κατ ̓ ἰδίαν is wanting. [The uncials omitting the words are, however, more numerous and weighty than he states, being in addition to D. and L., M., Ξ., and especially the two important Codd., Cod. Sin. and, according to Alford and Tischendorf, B., although the latter hesitates, as in woide’s and Mai’s editions: at least, they are omitted.—C. C. S.]

[11][The German here has lösung, which appears to be a misprint for “losung.”—C. C. S.]

And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
C. A School of Love, of Faith, and of Prayer. LUKE 10:25–11:13

1. The Good Samaritan (LUKE 10:25–37)

(Luke 10:23–27, Gospel for the 13th Sunday after Trinity.)

25And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him [putting him to the 26proof], saying, Master [Teacher], what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 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 neighbour as thyself [Deut. 6:5; Lev. 19:18]. 28And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 30And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves [robbers], which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31And by chance there came down a certain priest that way; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32And likewise a Levite [also], when he was at [having come to] the place, came and looked on him, and [and seeing him] passed by on the other side. 33But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed,came where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in [on] oil and wine, and set him on his ownbeast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35And on the morrow when he departed,12 he took out two pence [denarii], and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him: and whatsoever thou spendest more, [I] when I come again,I [om., I] will repay thee. 36Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbourunto him that fell among the thieves [robbers]? 37And he said, He that shewed mercy [τὸ ἔλεος, the merciful act] on him. Then [And13] said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.


Luke 10:25. A certain lawyer.—According to Strauss we have here only a different tradition of the occurrence which is related by Matthew, 22:37–40, and Mark, 12:28–34. But whoever compares the two accounts attentively will probably come with us to the conclusion, that Luke relates something entirely different. Although almost superfluous, compare moreover LANGE, Leben Jesu, ii. p. 1242.

Putting Him to the proof.—It is as if Luke would by the very commencement: καὶ ἰδού, draw our attention to the contrast between the joyful emotions of the circle of friends which had but just heard from Jesus, mouth words of approbation and joy, and the cold stranger who bestirs himself to prepare for the Master new snares. It is a νομικός, who is perhaps distinguished from the Pharisees in this (comp. Luke 11:44, 45), that he, more than these, holds to the letter of the law of Moses; but in no case a Sadducee, or a Herodian, since his highest striving appears directed towards eternal life. He appears as an ἐκπειράζων, and as this word is always used in an unfavorable sense, we are at least to assume that he wished to find out whether the Saviour also would teach anything which was in conflict with the law of Moses. His question springs therefore from a very different source from that of the rich young man, Matt. 19:16, and without doubt he expects a very different answer from this one, which, on the position of the law, was the only possible one. He is first put to shame by the very fact that the Saviour gives him to hear nothing strange, but simply that which was perfectly familiar.

Luke 10:27. Thou shalt love.—It speaks perhaps favorably for this νομικός that he does not name one or several special precepts, but immediately brings forward the spirit and main substance of the law, which the Saviour, in a case not wholly dissimilar, was obliged first to remind the inquirer of, Matt. 22:38, 39. So much the sadder was it here that with so clear a knowledge of the law, there was joined an utter lack of self-knowledge.

Luke 10:29. Willing to justify himself.—Perhaps the scribe took the reply, “this do,” as an indirect reproach that he, to his own amazement, had not yet done it, and now apparently his conscience begins to speak. But he will justify himself, inasmuch as he intimates that he, in this respect at least, had already fulfilled the requirement of the law, unless it were that Jesus perhaps by the words “thy neighbor” might have some different meaning from himself. But better still, we are perhaps to conceive the matter thus: if the answer was so simple as it appeared to be from the words of our Saviour, there might undoubtedly be need of an excuse that he had approached Jesus with so trifling a question. He wishes, therefore, by this more particular statement to give the Saviour to feel that precisely this is the great question, namely, whom he is to regard as his neighbor and whom not; and as to this, our Lord now, in the immediately following parable, gives him a definite exposition.

Luke 10:30. From Jerusalem to Jericho.—According to Lange, the journeying of the Saviour in Samaria, and the sending of the Seventy into the towns and villages of the Samaritans, had possibly offended this scribe, and our Lord, by the delineation here following, wishes indirectly to shame this narrow-heartedness. It may also be conjectured that our Lord on His own journey through Samaria towards Jerusalem was at this very moment on the way between Jericho and the capital, and had therefore chosen the scene of the parable precisely in loco. If we now add to this that the village, Luke 10:38, was Bethany, whither He must come before He entered the city, we then obtain at least some conception of the course of this journey of our Saviour.

And fell among robbers.—The wilderness between Jericho and Jerusalem was known as insecure. See JOSEPHUS, De Bello Judaico, iv. 8, 3, and HIERONYMUS, ad Jerem. iii. 2. Wholly encircled by robbers (περιέπεσεν), he addresses himself fruitlessly to defence, and remains lying wounded on the road, while they, with his garments and the remaining booty, take themselves off. Already half dead, he must infallibly expire if help does not with all speed appear for him.

Luke 10:31. By chance.—“Multœ occasiones bonœ latent sub iis, quœ fortuita videantur. Scriptura nil describit temere, ut fortuitum; hoc loco opponitur necessitudini.” Bengel.—A priest—a Levite.—It is well known that at Jericho many priests had their abode, who, when their turn came, discharged the service of the sanctuary at Jerusalem. Commonly they appear to have chosen the longer but safer road by Bethlehem, so that it was an exception when they travelled through the wilderness. It here brings into so much the more striking light their want of feeling, that the two do not pass on without first having come nearer and, more or less exactly, taken note of the state of the case. This inspection, however, merely persuades them of the greatness of the danger that awaits them also if they delay even for an instant, and therefore they make haste to quit the way of blood as quickly as possible. Neither the voice of humanity, nor that of nationality, nor that of religion, speaks so loudly to their heart as the desire of self-preservation.

Luke 10:33. A certain Samaritan, as he journeyed.—From the very choice of this example, it is evident that the injured man was certainly no heathen (Olshausen), but a Jew, in whom, however, his benefactor views, before all, an unhappy man.—Oil and wine.—Customary remedies, see Isa. 1:6 and WETSTEIN, ad loc.He had compassion on him.—“Animi motus sincerus prœcedit, quem sequuntur facta, animo congruentia.” Grotius. Mark the beautiful climax. First the compassionate heart, then the helping hand, next the ready foot, finally the true-hearted charge.

Luke 10:35. He took out two denarii.Ἐκβαλών, “graphic: out of a girdle,” Meyer. He leaves the unhappy man in rest, but takes care also that no difficulty shall arise to him after his departure on the score of payment. From his promise to make good what may be lacking on his return, we may perhaps draw the inference that the ὁδεύων expresses not only the conditio, but also the habitus, of the Samaritan.

Luke 10:37. The merciful act, τὸ ἔλεος.—The definite species of compassion, that is, which was described in the parable. It has been often remarked that the scribe by this circumlocutory answer wished to avoid mentioning the name of Samaritan. See, e.g., BENGEL, ad loc. So has Luther also written in his Kirchenpostille, ad loc.: “Will not name the Samaritan by name, the haughty hypocrite.”


1. By the question, “How readest thou?” the Saviour ascribes to the law absolute authority in the answer of the question proposed by the scribe. Here also the same principle as in John 10:34–36, and elsewhere. After such declarations from the Saviour, the answer to the inquiry hardly continues difficult, what authority must be ascribed to the Scripture in the decision of the highest question of life for mankind.

2. The answer given by the scribe stood, at least as far as concerns Deut. 6:5, upon the broad phylactery which was worn by the Jews, and so far it may be said that this τοῦτο ποίει is to be taken as having been uttered by Jesus δεικτικῶς. As to the rest, it need not surprise us that the Saviour here gives another answer than, e.g., John 6:29. From the point of view of the scribe, the requirement of faith, if made to him would have been unintelligible. It is moreover literally true, that if any one indeed so fulfilled the law that his act in God’s eyes really bore the stamp of perfection, he would certainly enter into life. It is only if the scribe had answered that it was impossible to him to fulfil the law as God requires on account of his sin and weakness; it is only then that he would have been receptive of further instruction. The Saviour places first precisely the duty required by the law, in its full emphasis, in order to bring him to a knowledge of himself, and to give him a clear insight into his own imperfection in contrast with the supreme ideal. This conversation is, therefore, a striking proof of the deep didactic wisdom of the Saviour.

3. The parable of the Good Samaritan is certainly one of the most beautiful, considered from an æsthetic point of view. The antithesis of the Samaritan on the one hand, of the Jew, the priest, and the Levite on the other; the extended description of his work of love in its full and entire compass; the perfect completion of the picture by the trait at the end,—all this contributes to exalt the graphic vigor of the portraiture. No wonder that this parable has become one of the most popular, and that it has been seriously inquired whether here also an occurrence from actual life may not have been related, of which the Saviour in some way or other had obtained knowledge. This view, however (Grotius a. o.), natural as it is, appears nevertheless hardly admissible, for the reason that the Saviour was not wont to bring up without necessity, and in their absence, the chronique scandaleuse of the priests and Levites.

4. The purpose of the parable would be understood amiss, if we thought it was intended to serve directly to commend the duty of love to enemies. The Saviour does not once say that the object of the love here exhibited was a Jew, but only that it was a man, and will give the inquirer to feel that the word “neighbor” must be applied in a far wider sense than only that of Friend, Companion, or Countryman. It is the more beautiful that the Saviour makes no other than a Samaritan the type of the genuine love of man, if we consider that it was very shortly before that He had experienced the intolerance of the Samaritans in its full strength. Luke 9:51, 56.

5. Here, however, there is a special distinction to be made between Christian love of the brethren, which is commended in John 13:34, and the general love of our neighbor, which is commended in this passage. The first has for its object the fellow-believer, the love of Christ for its standard, and faith on Him as its condition. The second embraces all men, loves them as one’s self, and is grounded in the natural relation in which all the sons and daughters of Adam stand to each other as members of one great family here on earth. It is not uncommon that those in the right way, zealous for that which is specifically Christian, give themselves less concern regarding this general human duty. It is, therefore, well worth the trouble to consider somewhat more particularly the portrait here drawn by the Lord. We see then at the same time, also, why this parable is found in the Pauline and broadly human Gospel of Luke.

6. The element of the general love of man is that most pure feeling which does not ask, “Who is my neighbor?” but in every man beholds a brother, and in the unhappy man first of all (ἐσπλαγχνίσθη). Its extent, therefore, is entirely unlimited; it does not ask whether it has to do with a Jew, Samaritan, or heathen, but only whether it has to do with a man, as such. Its tokens reveal themselves in unrestricted helpfulness (oil and wine), self-denial (giving up of his own beast), heartiness (the commendation to the host), and continuance (afterwards as well as now he will pay all). And its reward is, besides the approving voice of conscience and the involuntary praise even of those far differently minded, above all, the testimony of the Lord, who sets such a deed of love before others as their example. A whole chapter of Christian ethics is, therefore, here written down in a few words.

[6 a. There is one thing to be taken note of in connection with the parable of the Good Samaritan, which we are apt to neglect, and thereby to lose much of its force. We are so much accustomed to look upon the Good Samaritan as a model of excellence, as to forget that he was a heretic, not in the Jewish notion merely, but in reality; and that our Lord, in His conversation with the Samaritan woman, John 4:22, distinctly and severely condemns his heresy. This parable, therefore, teaches us not only that true love to man knows no distinction of nationality or creed, but that this genuine philanthropy may be exhibited by one involved in grave speculative errors, and neglected by those whose speculative belief is sound. We have here Heterodoxy with Humanity, and Orthodoxy without Humanity. Our Lord has shown elsewhere, abundantly, that He has no thought of conniving at Heterodoxy, or of disparaging Orthodoxy. Only, He teaches that Humanity is better than Orthodoxy, if only one may be had, and that Inhumanity is worse than Heterodoxy, if one must be endured.—C. C. S.]

7. If we inquire who has perfectly set forth the character of the Good Samaritan, and perfectly accomplished his work, then we know of only one—our Lord. So far we may say that He has depicted the portrait of perfect philanthropy with traits from His own immediate self-consciousness.

8. What has been hitherto said, already prepares the way for an answer to the question, how far the Christian homilete is at liberty to view in the Samaritan the image of the Saviour. As is well known, this was done very early by many of the ancient fathers, and by Luther and Melanchthon, and among the moderns by Stier and others [Alford]. This has been, on the one hand, powerfully defended, and it has been asserted that if we stop at the common conception, “it is hard to find a Christian theme” in this whole Pericope (Cl. Harms). On the other side, it has been wholly condemned as pious fantasy, and certainly not with injustice, if we remember how every particular of the parable has been expounded even to trifling, so that, for instance, Jerusalem must denote Paradise,—Jericho, the world,—the lodging, the Church,—the two denarii, the two sacraments. This can only be reconciled when one knows how to make a distinction between historical exposition and practical application of the instruction here given. From the position of the former it is entirely inadmissible to say that the Saviour had here the intention to designate Himself as the Redeemer of man from sin and misery. No, the purpose is no other than to portray actual love of man in the sphere of actual life: this must, therefore, be and remain the chief point. But if now it is asked, in conclusion, in whom the ideal of the highest love of man is perfectly realized, then it is almost impossible to overlook here the image of the Saviour, and to pass over in silence what He, the Heavenly Samaritan, has become for Humanity sick unto death, already given up by priest and Levite, &c. For the love of Christ is not only the type, but is also no less the most powerful impulse to such an active love of our neighbor as is here required. A distinguished example of the treatment of this parable, in which the ethical and the Christological element alike receive full consideration, has been given by A. Vinet in the dissertation: Le Samaritain, in his Nouveaux discours sur quelques sujets religieux. Thus does this parable become in a certain sense the sublimest allegory of Sin on the one hand, and Grace on the other. Comp. THOLUCK, Die wahre Weihe des Zweiflers, p. 63, and LISCO, ad loc., p. 239. It is, however, self-evident, that we are not therefore permitted to build on individual details a doubtful dogmatic view (e.g., Semipelagianism on the expression that the man lay half dead on the way), and that in a tropical use of it the great central thought must be adhered to, without pressing the particulars overstrongly. A certain spiritual tact will here show the way better than could be done by definite rules, and this of itself already introduces the


The way to life the highest question of life.—Jesus the best guide on the way to eternal life.—A just question proposed from a perverted motive.—Necessary and unnecessary questions in the sphere of religion and of life.—The highest questions of life satisfactorily resolved in God’s word.—Not “What thinkest thou?” but “How readest thou?”—To the Law and to the Testimony, Isa. 8:20.—The requirement of love to God: 1. The extent, 2. the justice, 3. the reward of this requirement.—Whoever actually fulfilled God’s commandment, would actually also live.—Hopeless efforts to justify one’s self against the Lord.—The question: “Who is my neighbor?” 1 Its high moment; 2. its only answer; 3. its manifold application.—A man plunged by men into wretchedness.—Stand we not every hour in jeopardy? 1 Cor. 15:30.—The value of apparently fortuitous occurrences.—A priest without love.—The might of selfishness: it is stronger than the voice a. of humanity, b. of patriotism, c. of religion.—Faithful Samaritan service.—There is more evil, but also more good than we know.—The attentive look, the compassionate heart, the helpful hand, the willing foot, the open purse.—Service of love: 1. Willingly begun, 2. unweariedly continued, 3. never completed.—The debt of love, Rom. 13:8: 1. A measureless debt, 2. an undeniable debt, 3. a blessed debt.—True love gives not only its own, but itself wholly.—Love not in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth, 1 John 3:18.—True love of our neighbor: 1. Its motive; 2. its character: open-handedness, self-denial, heartiness, steadfastness; 3. its reward.—The Good Samaritan service of the disciples of the Saviour.—The Good Samaritan the image of the Saviour.—How He, the Saviour of sinners, still, 1. Lights upon the same misery; 2. expresses the same compassion; 3. prepares the same redemption; 4. demands the same temper of mind as is set forth in this parable.—Who, then, is our neighbor?—Not knowing, but doing, the first requirement of the Lord.—As this scribe, so are, sooner or later, all put to shame who will take Jesus in their snares.

STARKE:—As the question, so the answer.—CRAMER:—The law aims high and demands the whole heart, &c.—QUESNEL:—Piety consists not in having, but in doing.—Nova Bibl. Tub.:—Oh ! the shameful priests, who pass by the poor.—Ecclesiastics that have not the Spirit, are bare, fruitless trees, Judges 9:14.—True love takes on itself with much danger the necessity of the saints.—Compassion has so bright a brilliancy that it shines even in the eyes of enemies.—MAJUS:—No one must be ashamed to follow even simple and mean people in good.—LISCO:—Christian love of our neighbor should be: 1. Universal; 2. self-sacrificing.—The active compassion of the citizens of the kingdom: 1. Its sphere of activity; 2. its nature; 3. its portion.—HEUBNER:—Man does not lack so much the knowledge of his duty as the will for it.—How little is close contact with, and administration of, that which is holy often wont to sanctify the heart. How deep has the priesthood often sunk!—How often have the followers of the true religion been excelled by professors of false religions!—Love seeks, where its means are not sufficient, to win others also to its ends.

On the Pericope:—HEUBNER:—How Jesus demands true love of man: 1. By His example; 2. by the most perfect doctrine.—The peculiarity of Christian love of our neighbor: 1. Sources, 2. manifestations.—The double eye of the Christian: 1. The eye of faith, Luke 10:23, 24; 2 the eye of love, Luke 10:25–35. The Christian is not to be one-eyed.—Love, the true proof of faith.—PALMER:—How love again makes good what sin has ruined.—FUCHS:—Who is counted blessed by the Lord, is truly blessed.—SCHULTZ:—How we in this world can become partakers of eternal life: 1. If we see that which Christ has revealed, Luke 10:23, 24; 2. if we so love as Christ requires, Luke 10:25–35; 3. if we so work as Christ has enjoined, Luke 10:36, 37.—Happy he, 1. Who is a Samaritan; 2. happy he who finds one!—VON HARLESS:—Good Samaritan love: 1. Whom it profits; 2. how it manifests itself; 3. whence it comes.—FLOREY:—The glory of true love: 1. It inquires not, Luke 10:25, 29; 2. it hesitates not, Luke 10:33; 3 it is not afraid; 4 it tarries not, Luke 10:34; 5. it willingly sacrifices, and leaves nothing unfinished, Luke 10:35.—F. ARNDT:—Active, helpful love.—BURK:—How we without the Lord Jesus nowhere, but with Him everywhere, may see our way.

The Pericope is admirably adapted for missionary sermons also.


[12]Luke 10:35.—Ἐξελθών (vox molestissima, Schultz). It is possible that it was omitted on account of the following ἐκβαλών (Meyer), but more probable that it is an explicative addition, since the mention of the αὔριον would of itself direct attention to the continuance of the journey. [Om. B., D., L., Sin.; Tischendorf, Meyer, Alford retain it.—C. C. S.]

[13]Luke 10:37.—Rec.: εῖ̓πεν οὖν. The reasons for δέ preponderate.

Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
2. Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38–42)

38Now it came to pass, as they went [were journeying], that he entered into a certain 39village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. 40But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care41that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And [But] Jesus [the Lord14] answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled [or, anxious and perplexed] about many things: 42But one thing is needful;15 and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.


Luke 10:38. Now it came to pass.—In view of the indefiniteness of this beginning, there is as little reason for the assertion that this event took place immediately after the discourse with the scribe as for assuming that it did not take place for some time after. Here also it appears plainly enough that Luke does not arrange the event with a strict chronology.

Into a certain village.—If we assume that all related by Luke from Luke 9:51–19:27, occurred during one and that the last journey to Jerusalem, then unquestionably there is room for doubt whether the here-named κώμη is Bethany, and we must rather suppose (Meyer) that Luke speaks here of one of the villages of Galilee. But we know not what should hinder us from distributing the historical matter of this narrative of travel between two or three journeys to feasts, so that the present one should be about to end very soon with the feast of Tabernacles, which was near at hand, John 7. And if this is so, we can then very well imagine that the Saviour had now behind Him the boundary between Samaria and Judæa, and had tarried yet a day at Bethany before He went up ὡς ἐν κρυπτῷ to the feast, John 7:10. So taken, therefore, Luke transports us on to the same ground which we, guided by John in his 11th chapter, afterwards tread, and it at once appears that the brief portraiture of character in the text is an indirect, psychological, but powerful argument for the truth of the Johannean representation. This proof is by no means weakened by the fact that Luke makes no mention whatever of Lazarus (Strauss), for having in view only the difference between the two sisters, he had not the least occasion to speak of the brother also. It still remains remarkable that Luke describes the character of Martha and Mary wholly in the same manner as John; nor is it at all proved that Lazarus inhabited the same house with his sisters. As to the locality of Bethany itself, comp. WINER in voce.

Into her house.—The care of the entertainment appears to have been assumed by Martha, perhaps the elder of the two sisters, while it is wholly unproved that she was a widow (Grotius), and had been formerly married to Simon the leper (Paulus). That Jesus now appeared for the first time in this family, and that therefore the lovely beginning of the friendship of the Saviour with this domestic circle is portrayed, Luke does not tell us. So active a hostess, so deeply interested a friend, as Martha, would certainly have received Him as joyfully, even if His arrival had no longer had the surprise of novelty. In hearty and affectionate zeal, the best that the house can afford is brought forth in order right worthily to receive the beloved Guest. Martha knows not how to make her entertainment choice enough; she lacks hands for it; she wants to give the meal a thoroughly festal air. Is it a wonder that she took offence at Mary’s inactivity?

Luke 10:39. Mary … at Jesus’ feet.—There is not yet a reference to reclining at table (Paulus and Von Ammon), for the meal is not yet prepared, but a sitting like that of the disciples at the feet of the Master, as Paul afterwards—[Was it not at this very time?—C. C. S.]—sat at the feet of Gamaliel. In John 11:20 also, Mary is represented as seated, in contrast with the unquiet, busy Martha.

Luke 10:40. Lord, dost Thou not care.—What is censurable in Martha’s behavior consists especially in this, that she, in a difference with her sister, seeks to win the Saviour as her confederate.—Hath left me to serve alone, κατέ λιπεν.—Perhaps Mary had at the beginning, before the Saviour’s arrival, also assisted in the domestic labors, but soon afterwards had seen that she could now use the precious time more profitably, and therefore left her sister. Martha demands that the Saviour shall send Mary back again to her post, which she has left too early, since she can no longer be spared there.

Luke 10:41. Martha, Martha.—“Jesus’ reply is not to be taken in the earnest tone of preaching, but in the half jest [a hardly appropriate term.—C. C. S.] of friendly humanity.” The double utterance of the name, as also afterwards, “Simon, Simon,” “Saul, Saul,” is, however, meant to express the quiet dissatisfaction of the Saviour, not so much with the act as rather with the disposition and temper of Martha.—About many things.—It is not at all necessary to insert here any word having reference to food or to the meal.

Luke 10:42. But one thing is needful, ἑνὸς δέ ἐστιχρεία.—The explanations of this expression would have been far less divergent if the distinct inquiry had been proposed: Needful—for what? The answer can, according to the connection, only be this: “To receive the Lord aright;” for this was after all the main thing in Martha’s feelings, and even Mary also, little occupied as she appeared, must have been anything but indifferent. But for that, said the Saviour, “Not much,” but “one thing is needful.”—All explanations must be rejected which by the ἑνός will have us understand only one dish, or anything else than that which the Saviour Himself, a moment afterwards, names the good part, κατ̓ ἐξοχήν The ἕν is plainly = ἡ ἀγαθὴ μερίς. And what, according to that, is the one thing that is needful in order rightly to receive the Saviour? The disposition which Mary was manifesting at this moment, the sitting at the feet of Jesus, the receptivity for hearing and laying up the words of eternal life. Where Jesus comes, He comes to give, and where, therefore, there is a receptivity of faith for the spiritual good which He bestows, there is He at the same time received according to His own will, in the best manner. The Saviour does not say that Martha was wholly lacking in this disposition; she also was a disciple and friend; but He gives her to feel that she might incur the danger, amid all the bustle and tumult of life, of losing this temper of mind. In contrast with this stands the prerogative of Mary, whose part shall not be taken away from her. Her sister is not to call it in question, and if she remains of the same mind as now, her good part will also remain for her an imperishable one. “By ἥτις which does not = , what follows is marked as belonging to the essence of the ἀγαθὴ μερίς, quippe quœ.” Meyer.

One must certainly view this narrative with very singular eyes, if he is disposed, with SCHWEGLER,Nachapost Zeitalter, ii. p. 52, to remark here an emphasized contrast between the Jewish and the Pauline Christianity, which are here, according to him, both presented, and of which, according to this, the latter was praised by Jesus. If the little narrative had been invented with such an intention, then without doubt the censure which Martha has to hear, would have turned out much stronger. For such an arbitrary fancy, we can merely give our opponent a “Duly received.” Tholuck.


1. It is a view as incorrect as superficial to wish to regard Martha as the type of an earthly-minded woman, and Mary as the type of a heavenly-minded disciple of the Saviour. It is, therefore, also amiss to understand by that one thing which is needful, the care for eternal things in an entirely general sense, as if this was to be found in Mary alone, and was wholly neglected by Martha. Both—this must always be first held fast—are friends and disciples of Christ, whose heartfelt pleasure it is to serve Him according to their best ability, only that in relation to the manner how this must be done, each has her own idea. Martha is of the opinion that the Saviour would be best served by a carefully prepared entertainment; Mary, longing for salvation, hears the words of His mouth. With Martha the pleasure of giving Him much is preëminent; Mary feels the necessity of receiving much. With Martha, productivity, with Mary, receptivity, stands in the foreground. Martha is the Peter, Mary the John, among the female disciples of Christ. Both have, therefore, their peculiar calling and special Charisma. In Martha, the fact is not in itself censured that she will approve her love by a carefully prepared entertainment, if she only take care that the higher things also do not take harm by this. What is amiss in her consists rather in this, that she demands that Mary shall become like her, instead of recognizing that her sister in a certain relation is right, nay more, is in the enjoyment of a still higher privilege; for with all her attachment to the Saviour, Martha yet lacks that composed calmness of soul which can alone make her receptive for intimate and abiding communion with Jesus, which hitherto had only become Mary’s inestimable portion.

2. Martha is not the type of earthly-minded friends of the world, but the type of numerous Christians, who work restlessly for the cause of the Saviour and their own salvation, but forget the personal possession and enjoyment of Christ for and in themselves. Mary stands before us, on the other hand, as a lovely symbol of those blessed ones who have found rest with Him, and therein possess as well the ground of the highest blessedness, as also the activity most pleasing to Him. The heart of the former is often as a sea which the storms have too greatly agitated for it to be able clearly to reflect the image of the Sun, while with the second the light of heaven shines upon a still, clear, watery mirror. Here also does Tersteegen’s word hold good: “Thou must not bind thyself so much to form and manner. One is not continually seeking God. One must forsooth also find Him. Whoever is not in the search, he runs and works much; who hath found Him, enjoys and works. quietly.” [Du musst dich nicht so sehr an Form und Weisen binden. Man suchet Gott nicht stets, man muss ihn ja auch finden. Wer noch im Suchen ist, der laüft und wirket viel. Wer ihn gefunden hat, geniesst und wirket still.] The first character predominates in the Roman Catholic, the other in the Evangelical, Church. In its degeneracy, the Martha character becomes proud work-holiness, the Mary nature, on the other hand, slothful quietism. But if they are sanctified by faith both have their right; although without doubt the latter stands higher, yet both have in the kingdom of God their value, and may develop themselves independently beside each other, without any necessity that the one individuality should be suppressed or absorbed by the other. The more intimately the zealous Martha’s hand is united with the composed, quiet Mary’s heart, so much the nearer does one come to the ideal of a harmonious Christian life.

3. Mary also would have something one-sided, if she regarded every work of Martha without restriction as below her dignity. The two sides of character represented by the two, activity and passivity, direction towards the external and towards the internal, the practical and the more contemplative temper, spontaneity and receptivity, love and faith, unwearied activity and unmovable rest, we find them in the most perfect manner united in the perfect Son of Man, the GOD-man.


Jesus the best friend of the family: 1. He heightens its joy; 2. He softens its sorrow; 3. He sanctifies the duty of the calling; 4. He strengthens its union; 5. He conducts towards the most exalted destiny in the domestic life of His people.—The right receiving of the Saviour.—The true service of the Lord consists in this, that we allow ourselves to be served by Him.—Mary and Martha, two grand forms of the Christian life, in their different relation to Him.—Great difference of character often with unity of principle and endeavor.—Non multa sed multum.—Much is not enough, but enough is much.—How sad it is when Christians reciprocally accuse each other instead of being helpers of their mutual joy.—How the Saviour,1. Compassionately hears; 2. seriously answers the complaints of His people; 3. makes them serviceable for their own amendment.—One thing is needful: 1. In order rightly to employ the time of life; 2. in order rightly to enjoy the joy of life; 3. in order rightly to endure the burdens of life; 4. in order rightly to await the end of life.—The good part: 1. Which cannot, 2. may not, 3. will not be taken away.—Jesus the defender of His misunderstood friends.

STARKE:J. HALL:—The female sex also does Christ esteem, and He will gladly enter into the house of their heart if they will only receive Him.—Blessed is the family when all with one accord are knit together in entertaining the Lord Christ.—Christians must be hospitable, Heb. 13:2.—MAJUS:—A soul eager to learn the heavenly truth must have rest from earthly business and be humble, especially if it will learn.—LANGII Op.:—If our mode of life brings much distraction with it, we have the more cause often to collect ourselves therefrom, in order to enter into a Sabbatismum sacrum, into secret converse with God.

HEUBNER:—Two different kinds of love towards Jesus, a more natural and a more holy one.—The preëminence of the vita contemplativa above the activa.—How many learned, subtle theologians are like Martha—take care and trouble for the merest trifles, while the substance escapes their attention.—DRÆSEKE: a Sermon, 1824. Jesus and the Sisters of Bethany (one-sided apology for Martha).—THEREMIN:—The brother and sisters whom Jesus loved.—SCHMIDT:—One thing is needful: 1. What the many things are, about which man strives in vain; 2. what the one thing is which is needful, and how with this one thing all things fall to our lot.—J. MULLER:—The true relation to our earthly occupations of the care for celestial things.—ARNDT:—Jesus the family friend without compare, because He, 1. feels Himself happy in this domestic circle; 2. makes it happy.—GEROK:—The good part which our Evangelical Church has chosen.—Comp. also the beautiful hymn Eins ist Noth, ach Herr dies eine, and the Essay of F. W. Krummacher upon Mary and Martha, in PIPER’S Evang. Kalender, 1851, p. 74 seq.


[14]Luke 10:41.—The reading ὁ κύριος has not only the authority of B., L., [Cod. Sin.,] in its favor, but also the connection, and the usus loquendi of Luke in many other passages. [Rec. supported by Lachmann, Tregelles, Alford. The other by Tischendorf.—C. C. S.]

[15]Luke 10:42.—“The reading ολιγων δε εστιν χρεια η ενος (B., C.1, L., 1, 33, Copt., Æth., some fathers, [Cod. Sin.,] has arisen out of understanding the answer as referring to a dish” [!!!].

Lange, John Peter - Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical

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