Friday, November 04, 2011

New Year: Luke 10-11 for Nov 1

If we want to learn it, we often have it repeated to us. Luke 10-11 emphasizes and repeats.

Those who can barely believe that Jesus miraculously healed may have not believed back in 9:1 when this power and authority was given to "the twelve apostles." More than barely believing that is necessary, when we see that Jesus here sends out "seventy others" in 10:1, and they succeed at bringing the kingdom of God near (10:9) to all the places they go, including the healing of the sick (10:9), plus the subjection of demons (10:17).

Jesus responds to them about their success in 10:18. This response shows that the healings of the sick and the subjection of demons, and the casting of them out (11:20), are NOT merely what people often call verification of His identity. That would make them only like a "sign," which is what Jesus preached that generation to be wicked for seeking (11:29). His healings and command over demons and unclean spirits (11:24) spread to the twelve and to the seventy. And the result? Verification to people, of His ministry? No. Instead, His estimate of the work of the seventy is "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning." Healings are not ancillary to the coming of the kingdom; the subjection of demons and of Satan, "a strong man, fully armed" (11:21), is part of the victory of the coming of the kingdom and the devil's fall. It is not mere verification. The ministry of Jesus was truly for the sake of those it ministered to, not to verify Himself to a generation that sought for a sign.

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