Return of the Seventy

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., was a member of the U.S. Supreme Court for 30 years. His mind, wit and work earned him the unofficial title of “the greatest justice since John Marshall.” At one point in his life, Justice Holmes explained his choice of a career by sa … More



The events of this chapter should not be confused with the sending out of the twelve apostles, even though there are similarities in the instructions given. The twelve apostles ministered in Galilee while these seventy disciples were sent into Judea. In this passage we find them rejoicing as they return to give a report of their victories to Jesus (v. 17). They had seen tremendous results as they ministered in Jesus name and with His authority. They were elated by the victories they had witnessed and Jesus shared their enthusiasm. There is a threefold joy recorded here:

  1. The joy of service (vv. 17-19) - They were thrilled that even the demons were subject to them  (v. 17). Vance Havner use to say “Any man who takes Jesus Christ seriously becomes the target of the devil and most church members do not give Satan enough trouble to arouse his opposition.”
  2. The joy of  salvation (v.20) - Although Jesus gives His messengers great power over Satan, they are not to rejoice boastfully over the possession of this power, but rather that their names are written down in heaven.
  3. The joy of sovereignty (vv. 21-24) - We should rejoice because the understanding of truth does not depend on our natural abilities or education. Instead, people must become as little children as they place their trust in the Son and the Father.



I need to give myself a little test. How do I  rate myself in each of the three areas above, as to what I get the most joy from

            _____ Joy of Service

            _____ Joy of Salvation

            _____ Joy of Sovereignty

Luke 10:17-24 (English Standard Version)

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