Jesus was doing a very significant amount of traveling, as He sent out the seventy “in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come” (10:1). At a minimum, they announced His coming to 35 cities. Like the twelve sent out before them, they were expected to trust God to meet their needs as they went, and not before they went. Faith acts. Doubt waits.
Theirs was a mission of mercy, manifested by divine healing, and also a mission of condemnation upon those cities that rejected them. Some cities had already sealed their doom, such as Chorazin and Capernaum, not having repented after being visited by the Son of God.
According to Jesus, Satan was in heaven before he fell (10:18). Scripture doesn’t tell us everything that happened, but passages in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 indicate that the devil was lifted up in pride because of his beauty. He attempted to exalt himself above God, and for that reason was cast down. There was no cosmic struggle or “spiritual warfare” between God and the devil. He fell like lightning. One second he was in heaven, and the next second he was on the earth. Satan’s power compared to God’s power is of no comparison.
Incidentally, if Jesus was able to give the seventy authority over “all the power of the enemy” (10:10), then He first must have had that authority Himself. This disproves the theory that Satan gained authority beyond God’s control when Adam fell. God always has been and always will be sovereign over Satan.
Now it is time for our (almost) daily instruction in the errors of Calvinism. Calvinists sometimes point to Luke 10:22 as proof that God selects certain individuals for salvation: “No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” Considering the verse just prior to this one, however, reveals that Jesus believed that God was hiding truth from the “wise and intelligent” and revealing it to “infants.” This is just another way of saying that God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. God has not chosen arbitrarily to hide or reveal truth to certain pre-selected individuals. Rather, He has chosen to hide it from or reveal it to those who don’t or do meet His conditions. So we see once again God’s “conditional election” rather than the Calvinists’ “unconditional election.” God reveals Himself to those who seek Him. He saves those who repent and believe.
Jesus obviously believed that the way to eternal life could be found in the Old Testament, and He affirmed the lawyer’s belief that the way was to love God with all one’s heart, soul, strength and mind, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, that is, following the two greatest commandments (10:25-28). This is troublesome to those who do not understand the inseparable correlation between faith and works and to those who have a faulty grasp of God’s grace. Clearly, the questioning lawyer was not obeying the second greatest commandment (10:29), being a typical Jew who would have walked right by the wounded man in Jesus’ parable, just as the priest and Levite did. But Jesus was giving the lawyer an opportunity to repent and begin to love his neighbor as himself, as He told him to do what he had not been doing and imitate the example of the Good Samaritan (10:37).
So there was the grace God was offering Him, the same grace that God is offering everyone who is not obeying the two greatest commandments. God will graciously forgive those who repent. Repentance implies a striving to obey from the moment of repentance. And of course, it is those who believe who repent.
I’ve written more extensively on Jesus’ encounter with the lawyer and His parable of the Good Samaritan if you are interested in a more in-depth look.
I’m so glad you are spending time each day sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening. Like Mary, “You have chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from you” (10:42).