We, just as the early disciples, must learn from Jesus what is real power and who is our real enemy. Until they attended the Lord’s on-the-road Bible school for three critical years, their thoughts of “power” centered in the storms that turned the Sea of Galilee into a monster – or by the size of machines, men and muscle. And any enemies – like the Roman conquerors – would have been flesh and blood stuff.
Now Jesus was telling them of the real world – that of the spiritual, invisible and eternal. They had returned in shocked surprise after obeying his orders to preach the good news of forgiveness of sins, heal the sick and cast out demons. Sure enough, they said, “even the devils are subject unto us through your name.” (v 17) They had discovered something more powerful than any weapon yet formed (and any force that man would ever conceive!) – the Name of Jesus that had caused sickness to vanish and demons to flee. The Lord reminded them that He had beheld Satan’s fall from heaven to earth and that now He was giving His followers full power and authority over all the power of their real enemy – the devil.
That same delegated authority is yours. It is not who you are – but who is within you. When a 150 pound policeman stretched out his hand to stop traffic, a 250 pound driver brought his semi to a sudden halt. The officer’s small stature didn’t matter; only the power of the state behind that badge. It is the same with you and the authority of the Kingdom of God which you represent. Your “badge” is the Name of Jesus. Use His Name to resist temptation, to pray for the sick and to resist demon powers as the Holy Spirit guides you. You, too, will see God work. But remember, you are to use God’s authority but never gloat or glory in it. Your rejoicing is to be centered on one fact – your name is written in heaven! (v 20)