Luke 10

The Mission of All the Disciples

Chapter 10

The Mission of the Seventy-Two[a] 1 After this, the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. 2 He said to them: “The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few. Therefore, ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers for his harvest.

3 “Go on your way. Behold, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Carry no money bag or sack and wear no sandals. Greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, let your first words be, ‘Peace to this house!’ 6 If a man of peace lives there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you.

7 “Remain in the same house, and eat and drink whatever is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat whatever is set before you. 9 Cure the sick who are there, and say, ‘The kingdom of God has come unto you.’

10 “But whenever you enter a town and the people do not welcome you, go out into the streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to us we wipe off our feet as a sign against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand.’ 12 I tell you, on that day[b] it will be more bearable for Sodom than for that town.

13 Woe to the Cities of Galilee.[c]“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the mighty deeds performed in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have come to repentance long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But at the judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 15 And as for you, Capernaum:

Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will be brought down to the netherworld.[d]

16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”

17 Joy of the Missionaries.[e] The seventy-two returned rejoicing, and they said, “Lord, in your name even the demons are subject to us.” 18 He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like lightning. 19 Behold, I have given you the power to tread upon snakes and scorpions and all the forces of the enemy, and nothing will ever harm you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in the knowledge that the spirits are subject to you. Rejoice rather that your names are inscribed in heaven.”

21 Joy of Jesus.[f]At that very hour, Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned and have revealed them to children. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.

22 “All things have been entrusted to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

23 The Privilege of Discipleship. Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 24 I tell you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

25 The Greatest Commandment.[g]And behold, a lawyer came forward to test Jesus by asking, “Teacher, what must I do to gain eternal life?” 26 Jesus said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 Jesus then said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live.”

29 The Parable of the Good Samaritan. But because the man wished to justify himself, he asked, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down[h] from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him and beat him, and then went off leaving him half-dead. 31 A priest happened to be traveling along that same road, but when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 A Levite[i] likewise came to that spot and saw him, but he too passed by on the other side.

33 “But a Samaritan who was traveling along that road came upon him, and when he saw him he was moved with compassion. 34 He went up to him and bandaged his wounds after having poured oil and wine on them. Then he brought him upon his own animal to an inn and looked after him.

35 “The next day, he took out two denarii[j] and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Look after him, and when I return I will repay you for anything more you might spend.’

36 “Which of those three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37 He answered, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”[k]

38 Martha and Mary.[l] In the course of their journey, he came to a village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying.

40 But Martha was distracted by her many tasks. So she came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to come and help me.” 41 The Lord answered her: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and upset about many things, 42 when only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken away from her.”


  1. Luke 10:1 The number of those sent suggests universality, since the ancient leaders of Israel traditionally numbered seventy-two (see Num 11:24-29), and seventy-two pagan nations were listed (see Gen 10). In this passage, Luke brings together various recommendations of Jesus in order to draw up a program for the missionaries.
  2. Luke 10:12 That day: the day of judgment.
  3. Luke 10:13 See note on Mt 11:20-24.
  4. Luke 10:15 The netherworld: the place of the dead, i.e., the underworld (as in Acts 2:27, 31).
  5. Luke 10:17 In the joy of the disciples, Jesus sees the beginning of the defeat of the forces of evil inflamed against human beings, and of their leader Satan (see Lk 11:20). Jesus shares their joy; but he invites them to rejoice most of all that they are the elect of the Father, a happiness that radically surpasses all missionary success.
  6. Luke 10:21 In this inspired prayer, Jesus lays bare the profound movement of his heart and the very mystery of his person. He is gripped by the revelation made to the poor (i.e., children); he lives, in an inexpressible fashion, in unity with the Father in the Spirit. The expectation of kings and prophets, i.e., of the Old Testament, is now accomplished, for Jesus is here and shares with human beings God’s mysterious presence. The Church knows that by herself she is nothing in this world, but she is astounded to bring forth for all people this great revelation of God. This text constantly brings her back home to the heart of the Gospel.
  7. Luke 10:25 Jesus gives pride of place in his teaching to the commandment of love, which sums up the entire Law (see Mt 22:40); but love of God and love of neighbor are henceforth joined inseparably.
  8. Luke 10:30 Going down: Jericho lies in the deepest depression on earth, at 800 feet below sea level.
  9. Luke 10:32 Levite: a minister of the temple.
  10. Luke 10:35 Denarii: plural for denarius, a laborer’s daily wage.
  11. Luke 10:37 The scribe had asked who was his neighbor. Jesus responds with the example of the Samaritan who, without regard for national rancors and religious disputes, recognizes the neighbor in an unknown person who is in need of help. Hence, the person who loves will know immediately how to individualize who his neighbor is. It is not necessarily—as the Jews thought—a person of the same nation, race, or religion.
  12. Luke 10:38 The incident is intended to teach that the disciples of Jesus must not allow secondary things to take precedence over essentials, namely, the hearing of the Word of God in order to feed on it and put it into practice (see Lk 6:47; 8:21; 11:28; Acts 6:2). The village in which the two sisters lived was Bethany. Like the preceding parable, this thoughtful incident is told only in Luke.

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