In this part of the chapter, we get to see a side of Jesus that we rarely are privileged to see – and so do the disciples! We see here a very real and human connection with these excited disciples. The seventy (or seventy-two) return from the mission Jesus had sent them on, “filled with joy.” They excitedly told Jesus how they had even had authority over demons they had encountered among the people. Jesus states that He “saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
It is unknown to us whether Jesus saw something in a vision while the seventy were about their work, but clearly He knew that what they were doing had diminished Satan’s power on earth. For His own reasons, God had allowed these demons to have much power over people in the time leading up to Jesus’ ministry. But this is the turning point. There would still be demon possessions during the apostolic age, but they would become much fewer in number as the lives on earth of the twelve came to an end. There is much we do not know about this subject, and there has been much speculation. But we must trust that God has told us what is important for us to know about it for now.
Jesus acknowledges the authority He has given them, and promises that nothing will hurt them (verse 19). But He stresses that what is important is the place they will have in heaven. But Jesus is obviously excited as well, and verse 21 says hat he “rejoiced in the Holy Spirit.” In His prayer to God, He praises Him for revealing these things that the disciples have seen to them instead of “the wise and understanding.” These were common ordinary people from all walks of life, yet God had seen fit to reveal to them what no others would see.
Jesus then turns to them and tells them that very thing – that they were blessed to see and hear what any of the prophets would have loved to have the privilege of witnessing. But none had that privilege. That blessing had been saved for these “children.” Jesus told His apostles in chapter 9 that he who is least will be great. Not one of us should think that we are not as important as others in His kingdom.
Christians must use the talents that each one has to do the most good for others that we can do. The elderly couple who visits the sick…the soccer Mom who cooks meals for shut-ins..the woman who teaches preschoolers Bible class…and those who send cards of encouragement or sympathy to their brothers and sisters. All of these are just as important as one who serves as a missionary in a foreign land.
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.