17The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” 18He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. 20Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
21At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 22All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
23Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! 24For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
Now the authority belongs to the disciples. Jesus sends the seventy with his own power and they return with the results, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” Jesus makes it clear that this has nothing to do with the inherent worth of the disciples, who are described as not wise or intelligent but infants. This is the reversal Jesus brings. The kings of the earth would want his power and see what Jesus’ disciples see but instead it is given to his people as a gift. This is the Spirit we share, who enables all that we do together as the people of God. We may not feel like we’re especially intelligent or wise; we may feel flawed or broken; distant or dispirited. Jesus shows that it’s through people just like us that God works. We don’t always get power—we get the power of God. Would we want anything else?
God, help us to be faithful stewards of the great gifts you have given us—above all, the gift of your presence, to help and encourage and bear witness to your love that extends to all, even us. We pray through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Art: Christ the King of Kings, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=55319