Summary: Being an Authentic Follower of Jesus: Helping Others Find Freedom
Being an Authentic Follower of Jesus:
Helping Others Find Freedom
I am convinced that the greatest tool of Satan in the western, industrialized world is the covert nature of his work. Satan works within the commonly accepted worldview of any culture. So in the western world where we are influenced by secularism, the enlightenment, and anti-super naturalism he works under the surface, in hidden ways, and so we are ignorant of it. We have been influenced by our culture to the point that we deny Satan’s influence or else relegate it to Jesus’ time. This is a commonly accepted view by Christians in the West. What I have done is group together the passages in Luke dealing with demonetization to address in a systematic way the most common issues associated with Demonetization. My goal in dealing with this issue is to help us have a better understanding of the demonic realm so we can experience freedom and also help others find freedom.
1. All followers of Christ are Called to Partake of Kingdom Ministry (10:1-2)
The first two verses of chapter ten set the stage for our passage. The text tells us that Jesus appointed seventy two others, meaning other than the twelve apostles. Luke refers to this event to inform us that the ministry of the kingdom is not for just the twelve but for any and every follower of Christ. He is delegating power and authority to them just as he did with the twelve. Luke goes on to tell us that their ministry is the ministry of the gospel of the kingdom including healing and deliverance.
Jesus’ first assignment to them is to pray. The key to all mission and ministry is prayer. Prayer is God’s means of getting laborers into the harvest is prayer. Prayer is our means of acquiring God’s resources. You pray, you have resources; you don’t pray; you have no resources. Last week we saw that the disciples could not cast out the demon because of a lack of prayer. God’s resources are not automatic but come or flow out of a life of dependent trust and relationship with God. You cannot assume you will have the resources without prayer; they are not automatic.
2. All Opposing Spirits are Subject to the Name of Jesus (10:17-19)
The seventy two returned to Jesus with joy surprised, kind of taken aback that demons are subject to the name of Jesus. Apparently they went out with a bit of uncertainty. Jesus responds describing three things: Satan’s defeat, their authority, and their protection. First, he says he saw ‘Satan falling like lightening from heaven.’ How would you describe lightening falling – fast, swift, hard? He is talking about God’s victory and Satan’s defeat. But what defeat? The cross has not happened yet! He is talking about Jesus’ temptation in the desert – Satan trying to sidetrack and sabotage his mission as the Messiah. Jesus is saying that he has bound the strong man as the stronger one. Satan has been bound and the troops are to go in and plunder. He is describing the ministry of deliverance as the troops plundering the strong man.
Second, he says that ‘I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.’ He has given them, and us, authority to tread or trample on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy? What Jesus is saying is that what they represent, Satan and his minions, can be opposed and crushed. Spiritual authority is not a tug of war on a horizontal plane but it is a vertical chain of command with Christ on top. The key to spiritual warfare is knowing two things - what Jesus has done to Satan and what Jesus has done to you. The last thing he says is a promise, ‘nothing with hurt you.’ This is not an absolute statement because all the apostles as well as many others have been martyred. What he means is something like Romans 8:35-39. Nothing can separate us from the love of God.
3. A Model for Helping Others Find Freedom
If we look at all the accounts of Jesus delivering people from demonic spirits we see a pattern that we can use for finding freedom ourselves or helping others find freedom. Remember what I said about demonization. The word possessed is not a good nor is it a biblical word. The Greek verb describing demonic influence literally translated means demonized and the noun form is with a verb and is literally translated ‘have demons.’ It literally means to be under the influence of the mind or the will by a demonic spirit. The New Testament writers are not even concerned with the meaning as much as they are concerned to show that the demonic realm must submit to Jesus and his followers. So whether I say come out or go or leave, your goal and intent is to help the person find freedom.