There must have been much discussion between Jesus and His disciples as they walked the dusty roads, sat and ate in the evenings, and ministered to others who were demonized. Jesus took every opportunity to teach the disciples what they would need to know to continue the battle when He was gone. Only a very small part of all that happened is recorded in the Gospels for us. As John so aptly states, “If everything Jesus did was written down there wouldn’t be enough room in the whole world for all the books!” (John 21:25)
Because of this, what is recorded about spiritual warfare is all the more important. There must be good reasons for choosing that which is recorded for us. It must be information we need. God Himself kept it accurate for us (2 Timothy 3:16). That being said, Jesus’ comments about the power and authority believers have over Satan and demons are all the more significant (Luke 9:1; 10:1, 17-19). These comments were recorded because they are something we must know.
“When Jesus had called the Twelve together, He gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases” (Luke 9:1). “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of Him to every town and place where He was about to go. … 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. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you’” (Luke 10:1,17-19).
“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.”
Authority, ‘exousia’ in the Greek, is used 108 times in the New Testament and refers to the right to use power. He gave the disciples the authority to enforce His spiritual commands and laws. Policemen have authority, a badge, which allows them to enforce the laws of the government. It’s not their own authority but that which comes from their government. It is delegated authority, like a husband has over a wife and a parent over a child. Everything Jesus did was because God had given Him authority to do it (John 5:19). He had laid aside His own divine authority (Philippians 2:6-8) to live life as any other human being. All He did was by God’s own authority given to Him, as it is to us as well.
LESSON FOR TODAY: Jesus has given us that same authority to use today (John 14:12; Matthew 28:18-20). Satan deceives us into thinking we are powerless victims but that is a lie. As God’s children we have access to the same resources Jesus did when He lived on earth. God has given us His full blessing because we are His children. He planned salvation and chose us to receive it before creating the world (Ephesians 1:4; Jeremiah 1:5). He created us in His own likeness (Genesis 1:26). He paid for our sins before we were ever born (Romans 5:8). He formed and cared for us while we were still in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-15). He chose us and He calls us His friends (John 15:15-16). We are born into His family, He is our Father (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6) and we are His children(John 1:12; I John 3:-2). He rescued us from slavery (Galatians 4:4-7) and put His Holy Spirit inside us (John 14:17). He gives us an equal inheritance with His Son, Jesus (Romans 8:14-17). When He looks at us He sees us as holy because of what Jesus did for us (Romans 1:7; 2 Corinthians 5:17). We can come into His presence in prayer any time we want, we have eternal life guaranteed, we are free from any condemnation and He has delivered us from the power of Satan. All these things and more He gives us.
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)