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Jesus Rejoices with the 70 Luke 10: 17 - 24 Part 2

January 19, 2020 Speaker: Jim Galli Series: The Gospel According to Luke

Topic: Sunday AM Passage: Luke 10:17–10:24

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Luke 10:17 - 24 Part II

17 And the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” 18 And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. 19 “Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you. 20 “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”
     21 At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes. Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Thy sight. 22 “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and 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.” 23 And turning to the disciples, He said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see, 24 for I say to you, that many prophets and kings wished to see the things which you see, and did not see them, and to hear the things which you hear, and did not hear them.”

Last week we began to enjoy this passage together.  And we noted of first importance that the one time we see Jesus in full rejoicing is connected to this event where the 70 prototype missionaries have returned rejoicing and saying that even the demons are subject to them.

What makes Jesus rejoice is that the Kingdom of God is expanding and the kingdom of Satan is retreating.  And that happens one soul at a time as Jesus re-captures and delivers those who were captured and enslaved by sin and by the ruler of this world.

We could state it simply as a big picture.  God made man in His image for the joy of companionship with Him and to glorify Him.  Satan, the spoiler, in some sense robbed God of that glory and fellowship by causing sin to spoil God's creation that He loved.

We are born into a world that is in a raging rebellion against God.  Satan is the ruler of this world and it is condemned to destruction.  God destroyed all men once except 8 people in the flood.  And He has told us in this book that fire is coming on this world to cleanse it of evil a second time.

The good news, the gospel message is that individuals can escape that condemnation and be re-united with God, cleansed of their sin, forgiven by believing in the substitutionary atonement of the Son of God who took our punishment and died in our place on the cross.

This single time we see Jesus rejoicing in the Bible is because He has sent out 70 missionaries 2X2 as a prototype of how He will send out His church and they have returned victorious over Satan.  Jesus rejoices when Satan suffers loss in this world.  When souls that were captives of Satan are set free to be in God's kingdom, Jesus rejoices.

Some day He's coming again to remove Satan, to lock him up in prison and to rule this world in holiness and joy and glory.  But these few victories that the 70 have returned rejoicing over are like first fruits.  

For this time that we live in before He returns, this age of grace that theologians call the "church age" we called out ones, we christians dwell together with Satan's kingdom in a tension that makes the headlines almost daily if anyone is attuned and paying attention.

Two warring factions dwelling on the same real estate.  God's chosen ones, His people who He owns, separated out of Satan's kingdom and into God's Kingdom.  And all the rest who are duped, held captive to sin in a perishing world.  What does that look like?  

First, we are massively outnumbered.  Is it 1000 : 1?  500 : 1?  100 : 1?  We don't know the real numbers.  But suffice to say the odds are against the christians when it comes to pure numbers.  We're about to find that out in this land.  Hold that thought.

But, think of the numbers involved when say, a Seal team parachutes into enemy territory.  10 men against thousands?  But remember the power behind that Seal team and the numbers don't mean so much.  Those men have all the powers of the United States Military backing them up.  Not so outnumbered after-all.  And they don't act foolishly in enemy territory.  Get in, accomplish the task wisely, smartly, get out.

We christians are massively outnumbered as far as sheer numbers.  But our enemy is massively out powered, overpowered by our King and Commander.  That's what Jesus alluded to in the verses we looked at last week.

Massively outnumbered, but the enemy is powerless against us.  We are protected with all the power of Sovereign God.

18 And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.

Do you think Satan wanted to fall from heaven like lightning?  Of course not!  He falls like lightning bolts because he is totally overpowered by the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Lord Jesus.  He is over-ruled by heaven.  We may be physically outnumbered, and massively so, but the over-powering ruling power of God is with us.  He can't touch us.

 19 “Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you.

No wonder that Paul writes;  31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?  And then he says;  37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:31,37

We are more than conquerors because all the powers that created the universes, ex-nihilo, out of nothing, are with us.  God is for us in this battle.  

Listen to the language Paul uses with the Corinthians regarding marrying people in the opposing kingdom.  Marrying unbelievers.  He is speaking about marriage in particular, but the language is far broader than just that one distinct subject.  
The principal here is much broader than just marrying unbelievers.  These words are a picture of the interaction of two opposing rulers and kingdoms.

2 Cor. 14 - 17  Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,
            “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM;
            AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.

     17 “Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord.
            “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN;
            And I will welcome you.

That language describes warring factions.  The Kingdom of God, the people who are under the authority to reign of God, and the kingdoms of this world that are under the authority of the ruler of this world.  

Yet, the christians in America don't even know they're in a battle.  They're standing around wringing their hands with Rodney King saying, Can't we all just get along?

Well, not according to this book.  And in our passage this morning we come upon the singular time when Jesus is full on rejoicing in the Holy Spirit.  And why is that?  Because His men have been out doing battle, and winning.  They've come home rejoicing with story after story of engaging with the enemy, and winning.  And Jesus is rejoicing.  21 At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit,

Now at this point, you may be thinking to yourselves, wow, to steal a phrase from Joe Biden, we're bad dudes.  God must have looked out of heaven and found the bad dudes and picked them for His team.  God must have cherry picked the mighty men.  The strongest of the strong.  The noblest and wisest.  The bad dudes.  

Umm,  Maybe not so much.  
21 At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes. Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Thy sight.

Right here we have to put on the brakes for a moment or two and look at some interesting words.  This is a fascinating verse and it's worth our while to just unpack several of the greek words that make up this statement.  The first is the word that is rendered praise.  I praise thee Oh Father.  

If we compare translations it's about half and half the ones that say Praise, I Praise thee oh Father, and the others say Thank.  I thank thee oh Father.  

I had gone to the greek interliner to look at some of the other words and this word struck me first.  It's an unusual word and not the regular word that would be used for thank or praise, and our english is missing something important here as Jesus addresses the Father.

The word is ex-om-ol-og-eh'-o and it has within it the idea of agreement.  Someone does something and you say That's exactly how I would do that, I couldn't agree more.  Thanks and praise are built into it because of the idea of agreement.

A form of this word is used in repentence which is agreeing with God about your sin.  The idea of agreement, one-ness of thought and idea is present in the word.

But in the case of our word in this passage, God the Father has done something and God the Son is saying Thank You for doing it that way.  Praise you for doing it that way.  I'm thrilled you did it that way because we are in perfect unison about how you have done it.  There is perfect, thankful, praiseworthy agreement.

So we miss something if it just says I thank you, or I praise you.  Behind the thanks and the praise is the hearts concurrance.  The perfect agreement.

This is the single time we see Jesus rejoicing.  And in His rejoicing He bursts into a prayer of praise to His Father.  And the second thing we note in that praise is how He addresses the Father.  His Father is Lord of heaven and earth.  

His Father is Lord of heaven and earth.  And next in our word studies, we want to unpack the word translated Lord.  It's simpler for us.  Kryie means someone who has supreme authority and control over whatever it is attached to.  The root word is Kuros which means authority.  Kyrie means the one in authority.  The owner.  The one who can do with as He pleases whatever it is He owns.

And in this case, what the Father owns and has complete disposition of is;  heaven and earth.  Or we could say it simpler.  Everything.  Everything that is, belongs to Him and is under His ultimate authority.  

Every created thing, is His to do with as it pleases Him to do.  Every molecule and atom and every other building block of creation that we haven't even discovered yet, it all belongs to Him and falls under His authority.

As R. C. Sproul used to put it;  There are no renegade atoms in the universes.  Not one that doesn't belong to Him and answer to Him.  No renegade molecules.

We might add, there are renegade beings.  Millions of them.  But ultimately He is still Lord of everything, and the day is coming when;  EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Ppn. 2:10,11

All of the renegade beings will bow, in judgement.  How much more wonderful to bow the knee now, in this life, while grace is extended to us!  He is Kyrie.  Lord of everything.  And He showers blessing and benefits on all who accept His gracious offer of forgiveness, paid for by His Son, Jesus.

OK, back to the Lord's prayer of thankful praise to His Father.  We've not yet gotten to the subject of the agreement and thankful praise.  The reason behind the rejoicing.

At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes. Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Thy sight.

Jesus is rejoicing in blessed agreement and thankful praise, because of how His Father, who is Lord of everything, has decided to engage with the devil, Satan, and all of the rebellers on earth.  And the first word we want to look at in that sentence is the word translated babes, or some may have it as infants.

God the Father, will establish His kingdom, His authority to reign on earth, not with the mighty men, not with the noble of this world order, not with the brilliant and intelligentsia of this place, but rather with the least.

That word translated babes, is the lowest order in the human pecking order.  Just above animals, actually FAR above animals, but lowest in rank among humans, is the category of infants.  epios.  From the roots ne (not) and epos (speach).  

An infant that hasn't yet learned to speak.  Metaphorically it means someone who is childlike, untaught, unskilled.  Basically it's how people in New York think about me.  Untaught.  Simple.  Stupid by comparison to those who are the learned, the wise.

Jesus could have landed on earth, and in fact this is what the jews thought would happen, Messiah would rise up from within the midst of the top rulers of Israel, the chief priests and pharisee's, the learned men.  Messiah would come from there.  He would be the pinnacle example of . . . them.

Instead it pleased God to have His Messiah born in obscurity, yes, certainly, in the kingly line of David, but that line was lost in obscurity.  The virgin Mary, of the line of David, Joseph, Mary's husband, but not the earthly father of Jesus, also in the immediate line of the kings, but now in total obscurity.

People of Nazareth, the farthest hick outpost of Israel.  Jesus grows up in obscurity and appears one day at the Jordan river and heaven opens and the Spirit descends like a dove on Him.

And now, at the end of His ministry in obscurity first, and conflict quickly with the rulers of Israel, it has pleased God the Father to reveal the Son of God, and to advance the Kingdom of God with completely obscure, unlearned men.  Men of no letter, no import, at all.  

God doesn't choose the most important of this world to conquer this world, it pleases Him to choose the least important, the least gifted, the smallest and most insignificant of men, to turn this world upside down.

Compared to the literati, the intelligentsia, we are like babies who haven't yet learned to speak.  That's the comparison here that Jesus uses as He praises His Father in total agreement.

Well, we've looked at babes, which is what we are, not too complementary . . . and we may as well look at the wise and intelligent, which is what we aren't.  The sophon and the syneton.  that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes

The wise = Sophon;  skilled, expert:  wise, i. e. skilled in letters, cultivated, learned: Romans 1:14, 22; of the Greek philosophers (and orators), 1 Corinthians 1:19f, 26; 1 Corinthians 3:18f,(20); of the Jewish theologians, Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21;

In the greek, a sophistes is a wise man and we get our word sophisticated from that root.  Remember, this is who we aren't.  We're the bumpkins, not the sophisticated.

Jesus thanks and praises His Father, in complete agreement for not picking wise, intelligent, learned, sophisticated, skilled in letters, cultivated people to do the task of turning the world upside down.

The second word is syneton, and it means the same thing, but in a mathematical way.  Synthesizers.  People who are smart enough to add things up.  Great thinkers.  literally; to understand by synthesizing.  We aren't that either.

Folks, when you asked me to do this job, I was painfully aware of what Jesus says here.  That's actually my only job qualification.  I'm dumb as a rock, but I'm chosen.  And perhaps no dumber than these guys that turned the world inside out.  With God's help.

OK, we still aren't finished.   Jesus said;

“I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes.  

What is it that God the Father did that Jesus the Son agrees with with thankful praise?  What is the verb.  What was the action.  We get it that He does something with those who are intellectually babes and not the wise of this world, not the learned sophisticated of this world.  What's the action involved in all of this?

I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes.

God hid something from the wise and learned of this world, and revealed something to the simple, the babes.  These things.  What things?

Life!  Eternal life!  A connection with God.  Forgiveness of sins and dwelling with Him, forever, in eternity.  Coming out of Satan's kingdom and belonging to God.  A family member in His kingdom.

These things looks back to what Jesus just told his disciples, his missionary's;  but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven

And now I'm going to make some of you uncomfortable.  Please notice, and you don't have to like it, or even understand it, it is God who sovereignly chooses who He reveals Himself to, and who He sovereignly chooses to hide Himself from.

Listen to it again, one last time before we move on;  At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes. Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Thy sight

It's God the Father who hides "these things" from some and "reveals them" to others.  God sovereignly chooses every person who He quickens from the dead and dwells with, both now, and forever.  Election makes us uncomfortable.  We aren't sure it's "fair".

If God quickens some and hardens others, isn't He then the cause of some dwelling with Him forever clothed in white garments, dwelling in His joy, and the cause of others, not doing that.

Jesus not only states the answer in this prayer, but also the reason.  Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Thy sight

Yes, that thing that is hard to come to grips with is true, and the reason;  It pleased Him to do it that way.

Our problem is, we ask the wrong question.  The right question is Why did He save anyone.  We were all guilty.  We were all part of the rebellion.  Why didn't He just send everyone to hell?  Why did He choose to have mercy on whom He chose to have mercy.  

Again:  Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Thy sight.  The King Eternal, the owner of heaven and earth, does what He does because it pleases Him.  We don't get to argue.  We just get to praise and glorify Him for His mercy and grace to us.  And we get to spread the good news, who-so-ever will, may come.  We don't have to understand it.

With the hard truths in place, the rest of the passage just kind of falls in place.  What Jesus says next makes perfect sense if we understand the first part.

22 “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and 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.”

In the opening to His prayer of thanks and praise and agreement, Jesus begins by calling the Father the Kyrie, the Lord, of heaven and earth.  And in this verse, Jesus tells us that the Father has given all of that authority, ruler and owner of every created thing, that authority has been handed over to Jesus, by the Father.  All things have been handed over to Me by My Father

We talked about the sovereign choice of election.  And in this verse, Jesus reveals that that choice belongs to Him, it has been given to Him by His Father.

He thanks the Father for revealing "these things"  and here He tells us that this revealing of God, this intimate relationship with God, given to the simple, the babes by God, is His choice.  

Our little pea brains have difficulty.  Who is it that does what.  First it's the Father, and then the Son says the Father gave the choice of who to reveal Him to, to the Son.  Who is it that does what?  In just a few words separation we've got both the Father and the Son doing the same thing.

MacArthur likes to say, Don't try to unscrew the inscrutable.  Our minds are not equipped to fully understand.  Suffice to fall back on what Jesus says to Phillip when Phillip says;  Show us the Father.  John 14

5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.
     7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” 8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me?  John 14:5-10

God reveals Himself to whom He pleases.  Jesus reveals the Father to whom He pleases.

23 And turning to the disciples, He said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see, 24 for I say to you, that many prophets and kings wished to see the things which you see, and did not see them, and to hear the things which you hear, and did not hear them.

This rings just as true for us today as it did for these men 2000 years ago.  

Through the long ages from Abraham forward with the whole Jewish nation and history of Israel, the elect of God looked forward to His Messiah who would come and bring blessing on all the nations through Israel.

The day had come.  The day that all of those kings and prophets longed for is present in Jesus.  And they rejected Him wholesale.

On this side of the cross, 2000 more years, not many are paying any attention to the ubiquitous revelation of God, complete for all times, both now and forever, not a single word will drop from God's revelation of Himself in this book.  

And yet, how many Gideon Bibles have gone to the land fill at this point.  How many Bibles are on the shelves at Whitney's Book Shelf for .50 cents and no one wants them.

Kings and prophets waited breathlessly.  They longed to see the day.  That day is available for anyone who will listen.  Everyone seems deaf.  Even the christians don't seem to care much about God's book.  

Jesus said, Blessed are the eyes that see.