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Saturday, 22 October 2011

Day 296: The return of the seventy

More controversy
Jesus and the Jewish authorities
John 8:1-20
Spiritual freedom
John 8:31-38
Sons of Abraham
John 8:39-41
Children of the devil
John 8:42-47
The claims of Jesus
John 8:48-59
Samaritan opposition
Luke 9:51-56
The cost of following Jesus
Matthew 8:19-22, Luke 9:57-62
Jesus sends out the seventy
Luke 10:1-2
The unbelieving towns
Luke 10:13-16
The return of the seventy
Luke 10:17-20
Jesus’ joy
Luke 10:21-24

Who are you? the Jews asked Jesus, but only some of them understood his answer. Those who did believed, the rest just dug themselves deeper into a hole of misunderstanding. Today’s argument centres on who is a son of Abraham, in other words, a legitimate Jew. Jesus trumps them in the end with the remarkable statement: “Before Abraham was, I AM.” The fact that they react by trying to stone him for blasphemy shows that they got the point - Jesus was claiming to be God.
Luke tells us that Jesus has now set his face to go to Jerusalem. Never mind the personal danger, now it is time to bring things to a head. Nothing will swerve him now. He sends out not 12, but 70 (or 72) ahead of him to copy his mission. Where they are received, Jesus is full of joy, Where they are not, he utters a terrible warning.
It’s time to count the cost. Jesus rejects fair weather followers now - saying to one such who offered to follow once he had buried his father: “Let the dead bury their own dead.” Death is beginning to loom large in his thinking.

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