Commentary on Luke 10:19 on a Christian’s authority over Satan and his devils
Look, I have given you the authority to trample on snakes, scorpions, and the enemy’s power; nothing will ever harm you.
Given to you
Clearly, Jesus was speaking directly to His disciples when He said: “to you.” At that time, a great Holy Spirit movement engulfed those who brought the Gospel of Jesus. Hence, it could mean that the power and authority were exclusive to the apostles and disciples—and that it died with them.
However, the great commission is given to the disciples and to “them,” referring to the rest of the “discipled generation” where Jesus’ teachings will be passed on.
Thus, faithful disciples of Jesus have the same authority over the enemy of God. Jesus also promised that He would be with us till the end of days. He presumably referred to the rest of the “future disciples” who can exercise the same delegated authority.
“… And remember, I am with you always to the end of the age.”
Authority to trample on snakes and scorpions
The Greek translation of authority is ἐξουσίαν. It refers to delegated authority or conferred power within a jurisdiction.
To trample (πατεῖν or step on) snakes (the devil or ancient serpent) and scorpions (symbol of torment) meant to have the authority to command it to leave. (Ezekiel 2:6)
Demons lose their power in Christ’s presence, so they beg Him to send them to the pigs instead of elsewhere, where they would be scattered. (Mark 5:9-12)
1 John 4:4
You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them because the One in you is greater than the one in the world.
Nothing will ever harm you
Nothing (οὐδὲν) means what it is but refers to the fact that Satan and his devils cannot harm those who participate in the great mission. The enemy may have powers, but it is limited and cannot do harm unless God allows it to do so.
The apostles died a horrible death, which is their glorious testament as they willingly shared in the suffering of Christ. (1 Peter 4:13)
Delivering demonized Christians and possessed unbelievers
But for John Macarthur, only Jesus and His apostles can cast out demons. But we can resist it. “You don’t have Apostolic power. You can’t go around casting out demons like Christ and the apostles,” he said (Acts 16:18).
Our authority to cast out demonic spirits can be debated, but what is important is we acknowledge the authority of Jesus in all things.