The Messiah Confronts the Reign of Satan

Jesus did not pursue his ministry alone. He discipled twelve apostles, and he also sent seventy-two disciples into surrounding villages to further the Messianic mission.

When Jesus sent out the seventy-two, he told them (Luke 10:9), “Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you’.”

During his life, Jesus called others alongside him to participate in the mission of God, and Jesus still calls disciples to continue his ministry. Just as Jesus declared the message that the “kingdom of God is near” (which is the “good news of the kingdom”) and healed the sick (which is reversing the curse), his disciples follow him into the world to announce the nearness of the kingdom and to participate in the reversal of the curse. Disciples proclaim the good news of the kingdom and heal the sick.

Healing the sick is but one example of the kingdom’s presence.  Doctors, nurses and medical professionals, as healers, are instruments of the kingdom of God.  Environmental scientists, protecting and presevering the environment, are also instruments. Educators, dispelling ignorance and equipping students for responsible living, are instruments of the kingdom of God. Social workers, seeking social justice among the oppressed and neglected, are instruments of the kingdom of God. And the list could go on. And all disciples announce the good news of the forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God, and disciples also make disciples.

At the same time, as disciples of Jesus, our careers should serve the ends of the kingdom of God. We do not pursue our careers for the sake of money, greed, and power.  Rather, our vocations–whether medicine, law, education, or service industries–serve the kingdom of God in the world. Disciples recognize this as part of the good news of the kingdom.  Disciples proclaim the reality of God through their careers and by those careers enact the good news of the kingdom. And they announce the forgiveness of sins and seek to make more disciples.

When the disciples returned, excited by their success, Jesus celebrated their joy by saying (Luke 10:18), “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”

When the curse is reversed–when the poor receive good news, the blind see, the oppressed get justice, sinners are forgiven, and prisoners are released–Satan falls. Satan is crushed by the heel of the kingdom of God. Satan falls every time the kingdom is breaks into the world, whether in the forgiveness of sins, the reconciliation among people groups, the healing of the sick, or the liberation of the oppressed. Satan falls whenever and wherever the curse is reversed.

Disciples of Jesus know their mission is about reconciliation—the reconciliation of God with humanity, the reconciliation of people groups within humanity, and the reconciliation of humanity with the creation. The mission of Jesus is about how the kingdom of God breaks into the present to reverse the curse and renew blessing–to heal and bless all nations. Every victory now anticipates the future; every victory is a promise of the future. Satan is falling, and that is good news.



2 Responses to “The Messiah Confronts the Reign of Satan”

  1.   Dr. Tony Hopper Says:

    Thanks for a great series of comments on the Kingdom. With your permission, I’d like to incorporate some of the remarks into my lessons on the promise to the First Beatitude

    Thanks

    Tony Hopper

  2.   John Mark Hicks Says:

    Of course, you have my permission. Thanks for asking. Generally, whatever I put out on the blog I hope people will use with or without attribution. Peace

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