Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”

And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”

Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see; for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it.”
Luke 10:17-24 NKJV

There were more than just the twelve apostles that followed Jesus. Crowds of both men and women followed him everywhere he went. From those followers, Jesus selected seventy for a special ministry, where they not only taught Jesus’ words, but also performed many of the same sorts of miracles that he had. The seventy came back excited most by the fact that demons would obey them.

Jesus informed them that Satan could no longer harm them. As spectacular as a lightning strike was, so had been Satan’s defeat at the hands of the seventy. Although Satan was a dangerous figure in the Bible, he was always completely subject to God and his people. He was minor figure who showed up rarely, and then only to be beaten up by either God or God’s servants. That the demons were subject to the seventy was therefore par for the course.

One of the proverbs says that we should not rejoice at the fall of our enemies (Proverbs 24:17). Jesus encouraged his followers to move past their glee over Satan’s defeat. He told them that rather than being excited by the destruction of their enemy, they should instead focus on something far more exciting: the glorious reality that their names were written in heaven.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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