(Part 15)


October 7, 2017

Today’s gospel:  Luke 10:17-24

Our work of evangelization and mission automatically engages us in spiritual warfare. We face a formidable enemy, a fallen angel that retains a lot of its powers. Satan is the strong man, but Jesus is the stronger man. Jesus has already crushed the head of the serpent and is victorious. As the armies of God, we share in that victory.

Such was the experience of Jesus’ disciples. “The seventy-two returned rejoicing, and said, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.’” (v.17). Acting in the name of Jesus, as his representatives and chosen instruments, disciples are able to overcome and subjugate demons. They and their leader fall at the onslaught of Jesus and his armies. Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky.” (v.18). The dominion of Satan over the world is being dismantled as the Kingdom of God is being established in the world.

As Satan is already defeated, the armies of God are in mopping-up operation. The enemy is still very dangerous, as the tail of the serpent thrashes about and continues to bring many to damnation. But in this war, God empowers and protects His armies. “Behold, I have given you the power ‘to tread upon serpents’ and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you.” (v.19). We are now in the final battles and the enemy is mounting an all-out counter-assault. But the armies of God can withstand the full force of the enemy and crush the enemy’s serpents and scorpions.

Crushing a great enemy in a great war, what is that about the armies of God? We are destined for greatness. And we look to the final victory. And to our final reward. “Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (v.20).

There have been great wars and battles in the history of salvation. There was Joshua as Israel took over the promised land. There was David the great king. There were the great prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah who kept Israel and Judah on track. They were on mission and accomplished great things in the power of God. But now God Himself, in the person of Jesus, has walked the earth and directly confronted the enemy. We as the armies of God continue with his work. What awesome work this is! We are truly blessed to be living in these times, the end times, and engaged in the final conflict. “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.” (v.23-24).

We have seen it, we have heard it. We march on to the end of time, knowing we are destined for greatness, as we engage the enemy in this final conflict. Onward, holy warriors! Ho-wa!

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