Luke 10:1-22 (NKJV)
After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. 2 Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. 4 Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road. 5 But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house. 8 Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. 9 And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘The very dust of your city which clings to us we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.’ 12 But I say to you that it will be more tolerable in that Day for Sodom than for that city.
13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades. 16 He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”
17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” 18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 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. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
21 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. 22 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.” 23 Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see; 24 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.”
Jesus sends the seventy disciples to prepare His way in the cities and places where He was about to go. He gives them authority to heal sickness, cast out demons, and trample on Satan’s agents. The casting out of demons is a visible manifestation that the kingdom of God has come to them. It is also a visible manifestation of what the seventy’s preaching does in the hearts of those who hear and believe. The gospel that the kingdom of God draws near in Jesus frees men from the kingdom and tyranny of the devil. The gospel dislodges demons and brings the Holy Spirit to dwell in men’s hearts. It forgives sins and removes them as far as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). It unburdens consciences, brings peace, and empowers believers to live a holy life.
When the seventy return they rejoice in the fact that the demons are subject to them in Jesus’ name. Jesus tells them what He saw during their ministry. “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” Whenever the gospel is preached and believed, Satan falls from his position as accuser of men before God. Those who are freed from the devil’s accusations for their sins can join with the voice which says in Revelation 12:10, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.”
The seventy are to rejoice, not in the fact that the demons are subject to them in Jesus’ name, but that their names are written in heaven. Christ has revealed God the Father to them and His will that they believe in Christ and have freedom from the devil and victory over temptation in His name. For as awe-inspiring as the ability to cast out demons is, it is but a picture of what Christ does for them—and all who believe the gospel—each day. Through faith in the gospel Satan falls from heaven and his accusations can harm us no longer.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, increase our faith in the gospel so that we may rejoice that our names are written in heaven and be victorious over every temptation. Amen.