GOD PROMISES PROTECTION
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:17-20
In the previous blog we saw Jesus giving His disciples the assignment to spread His message. He gave them power and authority to prove they were representing Him. Power over demons and disease showed God’ power. If the physical body, which can be seen, can be healed and restored, then so can the spiritual soul which cannot be seen. Sure enough, Jesus kept His promise and worked through the disciples, a we see in Luke 10:17-20.
The first promise is for power and authority, as seen in Luke 9:1-2. “I HAVE given you” Jesus says indicating it happened in the past, it is already done. It’s not something for them to wait for in the future. The Greek tense indicates the action is completed and the results continue on. Jesus had given to them, and therefore to us as well, two things: “power” and “authority.”
Jesus says they can “trample on snakes and scorpions,” pictures of Satan and demons in the Bible. Jesus’ power over demons was from God, but those who didn’t want to recognize this needed to find a different way to explain His power because clearly it was super human. The only other power source in the universe besides God is Satan, and so they were forced to say that what Jesus did was by demonic powers (John 7:20; 8:48-52; 10:20-25). They said Jesus was an imposter, a deceiver (Matthew 27:63; John 7:12, 47). When Herod heard about Jesus’ miracles, he thought it was some kind of supernatural ‘magic’, somehow John came back to life (Matthew 6:14-16).
The second promise here is that “nothing will harm you.” That is important to remember because fear is one of Satan’s’ greatest tools against us. Demons are bullies that act like they have more power than they really do. Of course, we alone are no match for them, but with God’s power and authority working through us we don’t have to fear them. They have to submit (Romans 16:23).
The disciples said, “even the demons submit to us in your name.” Now, in the present, we have authority and power over him in Jesus’ name (John 14:12; Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 9:1; 10:1, 17-19; Acts 1:8). It’s not our name or authority, but only through Him that we can have this victory. There is no excuse, no reason for us to fear or give in to demons. We don’t have to be defeated by them – following Jesus brings victory. It may be slow and gradual in coming, but it does come.
Another important lesson from this is that Jesus sent the disciples out to minister (Luke 10:1). The way we learn is by doing, not by waiting, by letting someone else do it, or by trying to learn everything there is to know. We will never know it all, never feel competent, never be on top of everything – we must keep depending on God which is how He wants it (2 Corinthians 12:9). All you need to know to begin your own spiritual warfare is that Jesus is greater than Satan (I John 4:4). That is enough to start. God will be with you; honor your attempts and help you learn. God knows when we start this work, we will not be experts but will learn as we go. Read worthwhile books, talk with others who do this in a Biblical way and do whatever it takes to learn more about spiritual warfare. Fight wisely, or the demons will not leave, or if they do they will come back even stronger (Matthew 12:44-45; Luke 11:25-26). Do your best with God’s strength and keep growing in wisdom and skill.
Not only did Jesus send them out, but He sent them out by twos. As much as possible have someone with you to pray for you, to help you and encourage you, for extra wisdom, and so you can train them (or learn from them) so that they can then go on their own and train someone else. Especially when getting started, try to have someone else with you when you confront the demon’s realm.
Jesus concludes this passage with a warning: “Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Some can become distracted by their spiritual warfare abilities, even feeling pride at the power Jesus gives us. Jesus warns against that, reminding us that our salvation is what we are to focus on, not our spiritual warfare successes.
This is a longer verse to memorize but well worth it. If you struggle with fear it is a great reminder of Jesus’ victory over Satan and demons, and then ours through Him. It is well worth memorizing.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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