“The seventy-two returned with joy and said, ‘Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.’ He replied, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.’” (Luke 10:17–18, NIV84)
Sometimes as we contemplate the realities of good and evil in our world, we can get pretty overwhelmed by the destructive power of evil. It’s easy to grant too much control and power to the kingdom of this world. I’ve heard even Christians conclude that it’s a yin and yang thing. They think that good and evil are two equals that coexist out of necessity in the world we live in. Our text today tells us that is not true. Jesus sent out 72 of His disciples two-by-two to spread the gospel message that the kingdom of God was at hand. Our verse for today reveals the result of their work. The disciples came back to Jesus reporting that even evil spirits fell under their command. Jesus says that He “saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
The kingdom of this world (evil) and the kingdom of heaven (good) are not coexistent equals. The kingdom of God rules over and has defeated the kingdom of this world. Satan’s head has been crushed through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Even as we live out our lives in this world we are told that “He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.” We are members of the winning team. The victory has already been won. We now live in that victory as we strive to live transformed lives in this broken and defeated world. As the Spirit of God works to transform our lives, we in turn reach out to share the message of the kingdom of God with everyone we can. The work of the 72 disciples continues today as we witness to our Christian faith. Every day the kingdom of God advances toward the day when it alone will reign and the kingdom of this world (evil) will be completely destroyed.
May we remember always that these two kingdoms are not equals. May we daily believe in and serve the kingdom of God.