What did I learn about Jesus?
- I got an insight into his prayer life in his praise of the Father in verse 21.
- Jesus spent time in this disciples’ homes, and he knew and loved them well even when he is correcting them (verses 38-42).
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- Many disciple-makers are needed in the Kingdom (verse 1-3).
- Jesus has given us “authority… to overcome all the power of the enemy” (verse 19).
Extended thoughts and observations from Pastor Mark:
I am fascinated by the 70. We don’t hear much about them—of how they were chosen or how Jesus trained them. But it is obvious that Jesus had layers to his discipling philosophy:
- Three were his closest lieutenants- James, John, and Peter (the ones, by the way, that have the most screw-ups recorded in the gospels… very interesting that the heroes of the apostolic band are the ones whose warts are most on display). Good lesson in humility and, I think, in the reliability of the Bible. If this stuff was made up, surely they would have painted the heroes more favorably?
- Next comes the twelve. And of course, we know about the masses that gathered on mountains and plains and in the streets of Capernaum to listen to and be ministered to by Jesus.
- But the seventy. Little is known about them.
When the Seventy return and report to Jesus of their success in ministry, he replies in a powerful and fascinating way: “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning.” In other words, as Jesus entrusted and empowered the 70 to do ministry, he was able to stand back and watch Satan’s kingdom take a hit. Don’t we want to raise up a small army of people who are about the business of shooting down the Devil?
One last thing: I believe this is the only place where Jesus is said to have rejoiced. (If you find another, let me know.) “Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit….” Luke is the “rejoicing” gospel, kind of the Philippians of the gospels. (Philippians is filled with “joy” words.) In Luke some form of that word appears three times as much as the next most frequent, John, about twenty times in all.
We are told that Jesus was full of joy “at that time.” Why there, and no other place is Jesus “filled with joy?” Because he saw his plan coming together. His greatest joy was not when HE did great acts of power… but when his followers had reached a point of obedience and faith that THEY were performing his Satan-defeating acts of power.
Jesus is filled with Joy when I carry out His ministry in HIS name by His power to His glory. Don’t you want to make Jesus joyful??? And I suspect that OUR greatest joy will come, not when God uses us in some powerful way, but more, when God uses OUR disciples in some powerful way!