According to Luke 10:1-42

10  After these things the Lord designated 70 others and sent them out by twos+ ahead of him into every city and place where he himself was to go.+  Then he said to them: “Yes, the harvest is great, but the workers are few. Therefore, beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.+  Go! Look! I am sending you out as lambs in among wolves.+  Do not carry a money bag or a food pouch or sandals,+ and do not greet anyone along the road.+  Wherever you enter into a house, say first: ‘May this house have peace.’+  And if a friend of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if there is not, it will return to you.  So stay in that house,+ eating and drinking the things they provide,+ for the worker is worthy of his wages.+ Do not keep transferring from house to house.  “Also, wherever you enter into a city and they receive you, eat what is set before you  and cure the sick ones in it and tell them: ‘The Kingdom of God has come near to you.’+ 10  But wherever you enter into a city and they do not receive you, go out into its main streets and say: 11  ‘We wipe off against you even the dust that sticks to our feet from your city.+ Nevertheless, know this, that the Kingdom of God has come near.’ 12  I tell you that it will be more endurable for Sodʹom in that day than for that city.+ 13  “Woe to you, Cho·raʹzin! Woe to you, Beth·saʹi·da! because if the powerful works that have taken place in you+ had taken place in Tyre and Siʹdon, they would long ago have repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.+ 14  Consequently, it will be more endurable for Tyre and Siʹdon in the judgment than for you. 15  And you, Ca·perʹna·um,+ will you perhaps be exalted to heaven? Down to the Grave you will come! 16  “Whoever listens to you listens to me.+ And whoever disregards you disregards me also. Moreover, whoever disregards me disregards also Him who sent me.”+ 17  Then the 70 returned with joy, saying: “Lord,* even the demons are made subject to us by the use of your name.”+ 18  At that he said to them: “I see Satan already fallen+ like lightning from heaven. 19  Look! I have given you the authority to trample underfoot serpents and scorpions,+ and over all the power of the enemy,+ and nothing at all will harm you. 20  Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are made subject to you, but rejoice because your names have been written in the heavens.”+ 21  In that very hour he became overjoyed in the holy spirit and said: “I publicly praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have carefully hidden these things from wise and intellectual ones+ and have revealed them to young children. Yes, O Father, because this is the way you approved.+ 22  All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son+ and anyone to whom the Son is willing to reveal him.”+ 23  With that he turned to the disciples and told them privately: “Happy are the eyes that see the things you are seeing.+ 24  For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see the things you are observing but did not see them,+ and to hear the things you are hearing but did not hear them.” 25  Now look! a man versed in the Law stood up to test him and said: “Teacher, what do I need to do to inherit everlasting life?”+ 26  He said to him: “What is written in the Law? How do you read?” 27  In answer he said: “‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole strength and with your whole mind’+ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”+ 28  He said to him: “You answered correctly; keep doing this and you will get life.”+ 29  But wanting to prove himself righteous,+ the man said to Jesus: “Who really is my neighbor?” 30  In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jerʹi·cho and fell victim to robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went off, leaving him half-dead. 31  Now by coincidence a priest was going down on that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. 32  Likewise, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the opposite side. 33  But a certain Sa·marʹi·tan+ traveling the road came upon him, and at seeing him, he was moved with pity. 34  So he approached him and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them. Then he mounted him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35  The next day he took out two de·narʹi·i, gave them to the innkeeper, and said: ‘Take care of him, and whatever you spend besides this, I will repay you when I return.’ 36  Who of these three seems to you to have made himself neighbor+ to the man who fell victim to the robbers?” 37  He said: “The one who acted mercifully toward him.”+ Jesus then said to him: “Go and do the same yourself.”+ 38  Now as they went on their way, he entered into a certain village. Here a woman named Martha+ received him as a guest in her house. 39  She also had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the feet of the Lord and kept listening to what he was saying.* 40  Martha, on the other hand, was distracted with attending to many duties. So she came to him and said: “Lord, does it not matter to you that my sister has left me alone to attend to things? Tell her to come and help me.” 41  In answer the Lord said to her: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and disturbed about many things. 42  A few things, though, are needed, or just one.+ For her part, Mary chose the good portion,+ and it will not be taken away from her.”


Or “Master.”
Or “to his teaching (message).” Lit., “to his word.”

Study Notes

After these things: The events recorded from Lu 10:1 to 18:14 are not mentioned in the other Gospels. However, some of the subjects in these chapters were recorded by the other Gospel writers, apparently in connection with earlier occasions during Jesus’ ministry. It seems that the events mentioned by Luke took place after the Festival of Tabernacles (or Booths) in the autumn of 32 C.E. (See App. A7.) At this time, Jesus apparently moved the focus of his activity southward, to the area in and around Jerusalem and the districts of Judea and Perea. He concentrated his preaching in that area during the last six months of his earthly ministry.

70: Some early manuscripts read “72,” and this reading is reflected in some Bible translations. However, the reading “70” can be found in many other early authoritative manuscripts, including the Codex Sinaiticus of the fourth century C.E. and the Codex Alexandrinus and the Codex Ephraemi Syri rescriptus, both of the fifth century. Bible scholars have offered various explanations, but this minor difference in manuscript readings does not affect the overall message. The abundance of ancient manuscripts and translations agree on all fundamentals, verifying that Jesus did send out a large group of disciples by twos, or in pairs, to preach.

70 others: This evidently refers to 70 disciples in addition to the 12 apostles, who were trained and sent out earlier.​—Lu 9:1-6.

sandals: Referring, it seems, to an extra pair because Jesus told them not to carry sandals. It was common to take along extra sandals on a long journey, as the soles on one pair might wear out or the laces might break. When giving similar instructions on an earlier occasion, Jesus directed his disciples “to put [or, “bind”] on” the sandals they already owned. (Mr 6:8, 9) And as recorded at Mt 10:9, 10, he instructed them not to “acquire” sandals, that is, not to get some in addition to the ones they already had on.

greet anyone: Or “embrace anyone in greeting.” In certain situations, the Greek word a·spaʹzo·mai (“to greet”) may have involved more than saying “hello” or “good day.” It could have included the embraces and long conversation that may take place when friends meet. Jesus was not encouraging his disciples to be rude. Rather, he was emphasizing that his followers should avoid unnecessary distractions and make the most of their time. The prophet Elisha once gave similar instructions to his servant Gehazi. (2Ki 4:29) In both cases, the mission was urgent, so there was no time for delay.

friend of peace: Lit., “son of peace.” Though written in Greek, this wording apparently reflects a Hebrew idiom that conveys the idea of a peace-loving or peaceful person. In this context, it describes someone who desires to be reconciled with God and who listens to and embraces “the good news of peace,” giving him peace with God.​—Ac 10:36.

Do not keep transferring from house to house: On an earlier occasion, Jesus gave similar instructions to the 12 apostles. (Mt 10:11; Mr 6:10; Lu 9:4) He was now instructing the 70 preachers that when they reached a town, they should stay in the home where hospitality was extended to them. By not transferring from house to house, seeking a place that could provide them with more comfort, entertainment, or material things, the disciples would show that those things were of secondary importance when compared to their commission to preach.

it will be more endurable: Evidently used as a form of hyperbole that Jesus may not have intended to be taken literally. (Compare other graphic hyperboles that Jesus used, such as those at Mt 5:18; Lu 16:17; 21:33.) When Jesus said that it would be “more endurable for Sodom in that day,” that is, on Judgment Day (Mt 10:15; 11:22, 24; Lu 10:14), he was not saying that the inhabitants of Sodom must be present on that day. (Compare Jude 7.) He could simply have been emphasizing how unresponsive and culpable most people were in such cities as Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum. (Lu 10:13-15) It is worth noting that what happened to ancient Sodom had become proverbial and was often mentioned in connection with God’s anger and judgment.​—De 29:23; Isa 1:9; La 4:6.

Tyre and Sidon: These were non-Jewish cities in Phoenicia, along the Mediterranean Coast.​—See App. B10.

heaven: See study note on Mt 11:23.

the Grave: See study note on Mt 11:23.

heaven: Here used metaphorically to denote a highly favored position.

the Grave: Or “Hades,” that is, the common grave of mankind. (See Glossary, “Grave.”) Here used figuratively to represent the debasement that Capernaum would experience.

70: Some early manuscripts read “72,” and this reading is reflected in some Bible translations. However, the reading “70” can be found in many other early authoritative manuscripts, including the Codex Sinaiticus of the fourth century C.E. and the Codex Alexandrinus and the Codex Ephraemi Syri rescriptus, both of the fifth century. Bible scholars have offered various explanations, but this minor difference in manuscript readings does not affect the overall message. The abundance of ancient manuscripts and translations agree on all fundamentals, verifying that Jesus did send out a large group of disciples by twos, or in pairs, to preach.

I see Satan already fallen like lightning from heaven: Jesus is evidently speaking prophetically, seeing the ouster of Satan from heaven as if it had already occurred. Re 12:7-9 describes the battle in heaven and associates Satan’s fall with the birth of the Messianic Kingdom. Jesus was here highlighting the certain defeat of Satan and his demons in that future battle, for God had just empowered those 70 disciples, mere imperfect humans, to expel demons.​—Lu 10:17.

serpents and scorpions: In this context, Jesus referred to these creatures in a figurative sense to symbolize injurious things.​—Compare Eze 2:6.

to young children: Or “to childlike ones,” that is, humble, teachable individuals.

to young children: See study note on Mt 11:25.

Jehovah: In De 6:5, quoted here, the divine name, represented by four Hebrew consonants (transliterated YHWH), occurs in the original Hebrew text.​—See App. C.

heart . . . soul . . . strength . . . mind: Here a man who was versed in the Law quotes De 6:5, where the original Hebrew text uses three terms​—heart, soul, and strength. However, according to Luke’s account, written in Greek, the man refers to the four concepts of heart, soul, strength, and mind. The man’s reply evidently shows that in Jesus’ time, it was commonly accepted that these four Greek concepts were included in the three Hebrew words of the original quotation.​—For a more detailed discussion, see study note on Mr 12:30.

your whole soul: Or “your whole being (life).”​—See Glossary, “Soul.”

your neighbor: See study note on Mt 22:39.

strength: As mentioned in the study note on mind, in this quote from De 6:5, the original Hebrew text uses three terms, ‘heart, soul, and strength.’ The Hebrew word rendered “strength [or, “vital force,” ftn.]” could include both physical strength and mental or intellectual ability. This may be another reason why the concept of “mind” has been included when this scripture is quoted in the Christian Greek Scriptures. This may also explain why Mt 22:37 uses “mind” but does not use “strength” in the same quotation. Whatever the case, when a scribe (according to Luke’s account [10:27] written in Greek) quotes the same Hebrew verse, he refers to the four concepts of heart, soul, strength, and mind, evidently showing that in Jesus’ time, it was commonly accepted that all four Greek concepts were included in the three Hebrew words of the original quotation.

mind: That is, intellectual faculties. A person must use his mental faculties to come to know God and grow in love for him. (Joh 17:3; Ro 12:1) In this quote from De 6:5, the original Hebrew text uses three terms, ‘heart, soul, and strength.’ However, according to Mark’s account, written in Greek, four different concepts are mentioned, heart, soul, mind, and strength. There may be several reasons why different terms are used. The word “mind” may have been added to complete the meaning of overlapping concepts in the Hebrew language. Although ancient Hebrew did not have a specific word for “mind,” this concept was often included in the Hebrew word for “heart,” which refers figuratively to the whole inner person, including a person’s thinking, feelings, attitudes, and motivations. (De 29:4; Ps 26:2; 64:6; see study note on heart in this verse.) For this reason, where the Hebrew text uses the word “heart,” the Greek Septuagint often uses the Greek equivalent for “mind.” (Ge 8:21; 17:17; Pr 2:10; Isa 14:13) Mark’s use of mind may also indicate that there is some overlapping of ideas between the Hebrew term for “strength” and the Greek term for “mind.” (Compare the wording of Mt 22:37, which uses “mind” rather than “strength.”) The overlapping of ideas may help to explain why the scribe’s answer to Jesus uses the word “understanding.” (Mr 12:33) It may also explain why the Gospel writers when quoting De 6:5 do not use the exact terms found in that passage.​—See study note on strength in this verse and study notes on Mt 22:37; Lu 10:27.

neighbor: This Greek word for “neighbor” (lit., “the one near”) can include more than just those who live nearby. It can refer to anyone with whom a person interacts.​—Lu 10:29-37; Ro 13:8-10; see study note on Mt 5:43.

a certain Samaritan: The Jews generally looked down on the Samaritans and refused to have any dealings with them. (Joh 4:9) Some Jews even used the term “Samaritan” as an expression of contempt and reproach. (Joh 8:48) One rabbi is quoted in the Mishnah as saying: “He that eats the bread of the Samaritans is like to one that eats the flesh of swine.” (Shebiith 8:10) Many Jews would not believe the testimony of a Samaritan or accept a service from one. Aware of the scornful attitude generally held by Jews, Jesus made a strong point in this illustration that is often referred to as the parable of the good, or neighborly, Samaritan.

bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them: The physician Luke here carefully records Jesus’ illustration, describing wound treatment that was consistent with the methods of the day. Both oil and wine were commonly used as household remedies to treat wounds. Oil was sometimes used to soften wounds (compare Isa 1:6), and wine has certain medicinal value as an antiseptic and mild disinfectant. Luke also describes how the wounds were bandaged, or bound, preventing further aggravation.

an inn: The Greek word literally means “a place where all are received or taken in.” Travelers, along with their animals, could find accommodations at such places. The innkeeper offered basic provisions to travelers and, for a price, might look after those left in his care.

denarii: See Glossary, “Denarius,” and App. B14.

The one who acted mercifully toward him: The man versed in the Law may have been reluctant to use the word “Samaritan.” In any case, his reply, together with Jesus’ final comment, makes the application of the illustration clear: A true neighbor is someone who shows mercy.

about two miles: About 3 km. Lit., “about 15 stadia.” The Greek word staʹdi·on (singular) denotes a linear measurement that equaled 185 m (606.95 ft), or one eighth of a Roman mile.​—See Glossary, “Mile,” and App. B14.

a certain village: Apparently referring to Bethany, a village on the ESE slope of the Mount of Olives at a distance of about 3 km (2 mi) from Jerusalem. (See study note on Joh 11:18.) The home of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus was located here. Just as Capernaum was Jesus’ home in Galilee (Mr 2:1), Bethany might be called his home in Judea.

Martha: Only Martha is mentioned here in connection with receiving Jesus into her house. Martha generally took the lead (Lu 10:40; Joh 11:20), indicating that she may have been the older sister of Mary.​—Lu 10:39.

A few things, though, are needed, or just one: Some ancient manuscripts have a shorter reading that can be rendered: “One thing, though, is necessary.” This reading is reflected in some Bible translations. But the wording used here in the main text has good manuscript support. Whichever manuscript reading is preferred, the overall meaning of Jesus’ advice remains the same, namely, to put spiritual things first. Jesus then commends Mary for choosing “the good portion” by giving priority to spiritual things.

the good portion: Or “the best portion.” In the Septuagint, the Greek word me·risʹ, here rendered “portion,” is used for a portion, or a share, of food (Ge 43:34; De 18:8) and also for a “portion” in a spiritual sense (Ps 16:5; 119:57). In Mary’s case, “the good portion” included the receiving of spiritual nourishment from God’s Son.



The wolves of Israel are primarily nighttime predators. (Hab 1:8) Wolves are fierce, voracious, bold, and greedy, frequently killing more sheep than they can eat or drag away. In the Bible, animals and their characteristics and habits are often applied in a figurative sense, picturing both desirable and undesirable traits. For example, in Jacob’s deathbed prophecy, the tribe of Benjamin is described figuratively as a fighter like a wolf (Canis lupus). (Ge 49:27) But in most occurrences, the wolf is used to picture such undesirable qualities as ferocity, greed, viciousness, and craftiness. Those compared to wolves include false prophets (Mt 7:15), vicious opposers of the Christian ministry (Mt 10:16; Lu 10:3), and false teachers who would endanger the Christian congregation from within (Ac 20:29, 30). Shepherds were well-aware of the danger posed by wolves. Jesus spoke of “the hired man” who “sees the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and flees.” Unlike the hired man, who “does not care for the sheep,” Jesus is “the fine shepherd,” who surrendered “his life in behalf of the sheep.”—Joh 10:11-13.

Staff and Food Pouch
Staff and Food Pouch

Rods or staffs were common among the ancient Hebrews and were used in a variety of ways: for support (Ex 12:11; Zec 8:4; Heb 11:21), for defense or protection (2Sa 23:21), for threshing (Isa 28:27), and for reaping olives (De 24:20; Isa 24:13), to name just a few. A food pouch was a bag, usually made of leather, carried over the shoulder by travelers, shepherds, farmers, and others. It was used to hold food, clothing, and other items. When sending out his apostles on a preaching tour, Jesus gave them instructions regarding, among other things, staffs and food pouches. The apostles were to go as they were and not be distracted by procuring anything extra; Jehovah would provide for them.—See study notes on Lu 9:3 and 10:4 for a discussion of how the details of Jesus’ instructions were to be understood.

Capernaum, Chorazin, and Bethsaida
Capernaum, Chorazin, and Bethsaida

The panoramic image shown in this video was taken from Ofir Lookout, which is located near the northeast shore of the Sea of Galilee. Chorazin (2) was only about 3 km (2 mi) from the suggested site of ancient Capernaum (1), the city that Jesus apparently used as a base of operations during his great Galilean ministry of over two years’ duration. The apostles Peter and Andrew lived in Capernaum, and Matthew’s tax office was located there or nearby. (Mr 1:21, 29; 2:1, 13, 14; 3:16; Lu 4:31, 38) Peter and Andrew, along with Philip, originally came from the nearby city of Bethsaida (3). (Joh 1:44) Jesus performed many miracles in or near these three cities.—See Appendix A7-D, Map 3B and A7-E, Map 4.

The Road From Jerusalem to Jericho
The Road From Jerusalem to Jericho

The road (1) shown in this short video likely follows a path similar to that of the ancient road that linked Jerusalem to Jericho. That road was over 20 km (12 mi) long and had a steep, 1 km (.6 mi) descent as it wound from Jerusalem to Jericho. Robberies in the wild and lonely terrain were so frequent that a garrison had to be stationed there to protect travelers. Roman Jericho (2) was located where the road emerged from the wilderness of Judea. An older city of Jericho (3) was located nearly 2 km (just over 1 mi) from the Roman city.

From Olive to Oil
From Olive to Oil

Since ancient times, the peoples of the Mediterranean region have considered olive oil to be essential in daily life. They have used it in food, applied it as medicine, burned it as fuel, and even included it in cosmetics and perfumes. The pulp of a ripe olive contains from 20 to 30 percent oil. To extract the finest olive oil, the ripe olives were lightly beaten in a mortar. Such oil was fitting for the lamps in the tabernacle. (Ex 27:20, 21) Larger quantities of olives could be crushed into a paste by means of a revolving millstone (1). Next, this paste was scooped into sacks or onto circular woven mats that were then stacked and placed under a weighted beam (2). The beam press squeezed a watery liquid from the paste. When the oil separated from the liquid and floated to the top, the oil was easily collected (3). In one of his illustrations, Jesus alluded to the medicinal use of olive oil when he said that the neighborly Samaritan poured oil on the wounds of a Jew who had been assaulted. (Lu 10:34) Similarly, James used oil as an illustration for the healing that elders provide to a spiritually sick person. Their kind Scriptural counsel, along with their prayers of faith, can comfort a person and help to restore his relationship with Jehovah.—Jas 5:14, 15.