Faithlife Sermons

The Right Reason to Rejoice

Luke  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Jesus has sent out the 70 or 72 throughout the cities on his path to Jerusalem.
He has warned them of the dangers that they will face.
He has also assured them of God’s future vindication.
According to Time Magazine, last year only 33% of Americans claimed to be happy.
One of the fruit of the Spirit is “joy.” It is an identifying mark of a believer and of the work of the Spirit of God within our lives. What makes the believer different than anyone else? Isn’t it the case that everyone is in search of happiness? If we can be “truly happy,” can we be falsely happy? Don’t people often say, “I thought we were happy, but I guess we weren’t?” This is an admission that what we think was happiness turns out not to be because there was no real reason to classify it as happiness.

17 Ὑπέστρεψαν δὲ οἱ ἑβδομήκοντα* °[δύο] μετὰ χαρᾶς λέγοντες·* κύριε, καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια ὑποτάσσεται ἡμῖν ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου.*

Some routinely point out that Luke omits any record of what Jesus’ disciples did. We should note that too.
Notice that Luke states how they returned. Their joy finds expression in what they report.
Jesus had warned them of rejection and persecution, but perhaps they were encouraged to find the situation better than the intense opposition for which he prepared them.
Look at how much authority they wield. Look at how the demons obey them.
In this report to Jesus, they must have misplaced joy. What has caused them to have joy is the wrong thing.

18 εἶπεν δὲ αὐτοῖς· ἐθεώρουν τὸν σατανᾶν ⸉ὡς ἀστραπὴν ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ πεσόντα⸊.

Jesus responds with what are universally recognized to be striking, yet not fully comprehensible words.
We could take this statement as an ironical statement. Compared to what the disciples claim they have witnessed, Jesus has witnessed something far more significant.
Almost everyone who has looked at this passage has interpreted it as a major theological statement by Jesus. He proclaims that he was observing Satan fall from heaven like lightening. The latter is usually interpreted to be a reference to speed.
If Jesus does refer to the final overthrow of Satan, it would not be out of character. From Genesis to Revelation, God teaches us in HIs Word that He and Satan are involved in a real, personal conflict. See for example. Look at .
If, however, we take the statement literally, then the successful transfer of divine power and authority to Jesus' disciples only serves as a confirmation of his person. Thus, Jesus was not merely sending the 72 to announce to Israel his presence, but it was also another cosmic demonstration to Satan, like the temptations, that Jesus is the Messiah, the one who would defeat Satan. This would coincide with the meaning from Joel as applied by Peter in . This is also what Jesus meant in . The spirit coming upon his disciples was the final confirmation of Jesus' deity. Thus, Jesus would be teaching them that the proper reason for rejoicing is that they know the true identity of the Messiah. Since the demons obeyed them in Jesus name, it should confirm for them HIS identity.
If, however, we take the statement literally, then the successful transfer of divine power and authority to Jesus' disciples only serves as a confirmation of his person. Thus, Jesus was not merely sending the 72 to announce to Israel his presence, but it was also another cosmic demonstration to Satan, like the temptations, that Jesus is the Messiah, the one who would defeat Satan. This would coincide with the meaning from Joel as applied by Peter in . This is also what Jesus meant in . The spirit coming upon his disciples was the final confirmation of Jesus' deity. Thus, Jesus would be teaching them that the proper reason for rejoicing is that they know the true identity of the Messiah. Since the demons obeyed them in Jesus name, it should confirm for them HIS identity.

19 ἰδοὺ ⸀δέδωκα ὑμῖν τὴν ἐξουσίαν τοῦ πατεῖν ἐπάνω ὄφεων καὶ σκορπίων, καὶ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ ἐχθροῦ, καὶ οὐδὲν ὑμᾶς ⸋οὐ μὴ⸌ ⸁ἀδικήσῃ. 20 πλὴν ἐν τούτῳ μὴ χαίρετε ὅτι τὰ ⸀πνεύματα ὑμῖν ὑποτάσσεται,* χαίρετε δὲ ὅτι τὰ ὀνόματα ὑμῶν ⸁ἐγγέγραπται ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.

It is only when we come to adopt the view of ourselves in light of cosmic struggle between God and Satan that we can embrace the true reason to rejoice.
19 ἰδοὺ ⸀δέδωκα ὑμῖν τὴν ἐξουσίαν τοῦ πατεῖν ἐπάνω ὄφεων καὶ σκορπίων, καὶ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ ἐχθροῦ, καὶ οὐδὲν ὑμᾶς ⸋οὐ μὴ⸌ ⸁ἀδικήσῃ. 20 πλὴν ἐν τούτῳ μὴ χαίρετε ὅτι τὰ ⸀πνεύματα ὑμῖν ὑποτάσσεται,* χαίρετε δὲ ὅτι τὰ ὀνόματα ὑμῶν ⸁ἐγγέγραπται ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.
Luke is emphasizing what Mary has already said in her song of praise. Note
Note also and .
It is more important that we rejoice in who Christ is than in what we do for him or than what he has enabled us to do for him.
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