Luke 9:1-6; 10:1-24: Messiah warns the 12 and 70 before sending them out ‘like sheep among wolves’

Yeshua (Jesus) sent the 12 and 70 other close followers to various cities as witnesses of His message about the coming of the Kingdom of God. Key to this commission was a quotation from the prophet Micah at a time when Israel was about to be taken apart because of rebellion against God. The same was about to happen to Israel in the first century.

Texts: Luke 6:1-12; 9:1-6; 10:1-24; Matt. 9:35–11:1; Mark 6:7-13; Mic. 6:7–7:20

What do you see in these three main texts in Matthew, Luke and Mark? What are some of the common threads? 

  1. The disciples were to take nothing with them — no money, extra clothes or food.
  2. They were to find a house to live in and stay as they were received. 
  3. If they were not welcome in a particular community, leave and “shake dust off your feet.”

When the people of Israel entered the Land, they had to cleanse the land from the evil done in it up to that point (Num. 35:33; Psa. 106:38). The land outlives those who live on it. Some sins are generational, which is an incredible curse. God can actually “write off” a particular place for a time period because of the iniquity of the people. Yet, there is a remainder — a remnant — in such a land who do listen to God’s voice, to whatever extent they can (Rom. 2:12–16), and are spared.

Any building or tabernacle dedicated to God only has value as such when God dwells there. If God’s presence leaves, the condition of that structure is יכבוד ikhabod (“glory has departed” 1st Sam. 4:21–22). It lost its full meaning.

Some wonder whether the instructions Yeshua gave to his 12 disciples in these texts were a permanent injunction on how Yeshua’s followers are to comport themselves when preaching the gospel or whether they were specific instructions for a specific time. 

Another theme Yeshua emphasized is in the final judgement, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah would receive a more tolerant judgement than the cities that saw Yeshua and His apostles and rejected their call of repentance. Sodom and Gomorrah had Lot’s word and Abraham’s intercession, but the later cities had Yeshua Himself or the testimony of the witnesses of the Messiah. 

In our day, we have even more testimony of God than the people had in Yeshua’s day. We have even less of an excuse to reject Him than the cities of Chorazin and Capernaum. 

Micah’s message was revealed before God’s judgement on the people of Israel. But by the time of Yeshua, the judgement Micah had predicted had already come to place. Yet Yeshua found power in that prophesy and reiterated it again (Matt. 10:35–36; quoting Mic. 7:6). 

Micah delivered his messages during the very last days of Northern Kingdom of Israel, “in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem” (Mic. 1:1).

Micah tells us that God sent Assyria to correct the wicked leaders, judges and prophets. He also said He would restore the nation of Israel by sending the Messiah and destroying the oppressors. 

What God wanted from the people of Judah and Israel and from us today is true worship, not just lip service and acting in His house (Mic. 6:7–8). 

עֲשׂוֹת מִשְׁפָּט ’asot mishpat = do justice

  • do = עָשָׂה ʿasa (H6213a), do, make
  • justice = מִשְׁפָּט mishpat (H4941), judgment

אַהֲבַת חֶסֶד ’ahavat khesed = love loving-kindness

  • loving-kindness = חֶסֶד chesed (H2617a), loving-kindness

הַצְנֵעַ לֶכֶת עִם־אֱלֹהֶיךָ ha-ts’neya lekhet im-Elohim = walk humbly with your God

  • walk = הָלַךְ halakh (H1980), walk, go
  • humbly = צָנַע tsana (H6800), traditionally: humble; modern: cautious, careful, wisely, reasonable, careful
  • “to be ready to walk with the Lord, your God” (Mic. 6:8, New English Translation of the Septuagint)

We are not just supposed to be “humble” and receptive but we are also supposed to “be ready to walk with the Lord, your God.” 

When we “do justice,” we put God’s words into action. 

When we “love loving-kindness,” we are to look at God’s word to know what loving-kindness really is. Our world doesn’t understand what loving-kindness really is. The world’s idea of being nice is to give people whatever you want, to give them “everything.” They have it backward. 

God’s word also is not about vigilante justice. Yet many in the world try to set up straw-men and malign the Kingdom of God and God’s word by claiming that its rules and regulations are little more than vigilante justice on an extreme scale. 

The judgment God foretold to Micah mentions specifically “the statues of Omri and all the works of the house of Ahab.” Omri ruled for 12 years, and he was really bad. Ahab followed him and ruled for 22 years, and he was even worse.

But Jezebel, Ahab’s wife, the daughter of the king of Tyre was worse than both of them. Without God’s direct intervention, the culture of the land will get worse and worse with each successive generation, as though they are competing to see whether the children can be more evil than their elders. 

As we get further down the road and people get more and more angry about the evil in the culture, we are to love loving-kindness and to call them to God’s Torah and to walk in the way of the Lord and to “go” when he says to go.

Reader: John Walsh. Speaker: Jeff. Summary: Tammy.

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