Luke 10:19: Our authority over demons

Commentary on Luke 10:19 on a Christian’s authority over Satan and his devils

Luke 10:19
Look, I have given you the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and, overall, the enemy’s power; nothing will ever harm you.

Given to you

It is clear that 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.

Matthew 28:20
“… 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, the reason they begged Him to send them to the pigs instead of elsewhere where they would be scattered. (Mark 5:9-12)

Those who are God’s true children have righteousness in Christ. It comes with greater power that is in them than demons in the world. We can exercise this authority, but the power belongs to Jesus alone.

1 John 4:4
You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is 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

Deliverance author Richard Ing experienced the power and authority of Christ when delivered demonized Christians and demon-possessed unbelievers. Apostle Paul commanded a demonic spirit to come out of the young girl (Acts 16:18).

When a pastor on TV said that the key to defeating Satan in Luke 10:19 is loving the person, he rebuked it by saying Jesus didn’t cast out devils by loving them to death; the enemy has powers. (Ephesians 6:12)

  • Wrestle against principalities.
  • Against powers.
  • Rulers of darkness.
  • Spiritual wickedness in high places.

Pastor Ing said that we have the same delegated authority. However, some demons do not come out quickly. It depends on how strong the demonic spirit is and how it possesses the person.

Jesus also warned in verse 20 that we should not rejoice in the ability to command demons to leave because it leads to pride (exorcism). Instead, we rejoice because our names are written in heaven. Demons who were angels are condemned.


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