Luke 10:17–24

Read the passage.

However long they were gone, the seventy(-two) disciples returned to Jesus filled with joy because they had exercised authority over supernatural beings. Jesus responds with a cryptic statement about Satan falling from heaven. There is a sliding scale between literal and metaphorical in how it should be interpreted, and there are not a lot of clues on where on the scale we should fall. In the context of the disciples’ return, somewhere towards the metaphorical end seems more likely. Satan probably wasn’t exiled from heaven at that time because of the disciples’ mission, but describing a defeat or foiling of schemes this way sounds plausible.

Jesus informs the disciples that they have been given authority over the power of the enemy, but they are not torejoice in it. This is to keep them from being proud and taking this authority for granted. Second Peter and Jude both have verses about not reviling angelic majesties, which is what false teachers and charlatan faith healers do when they act like they can order demons around. Instead, we are to rejoice that our names are written in heaven, for then we are safe from all danger, ultimately. For then even if we die, we win.

Jesus is then moved by the Holy Spirit to praise the Father for hiding these truths from those who think they know but also revealing His will to those who otherwise had no chance at knowing. We who have heard God’s Word are blessed to receive it not because we deserve to, but because He chose to give it to us despite our undeservedness.

Your ways are higher than our ways, and we are sheltered under Your wings.

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