Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. – Lk. 10:19 KJV
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Jesus Christ had sent an advance party of seventy-two people in pairs to every place where he intended to visit in the course of his missionary journey – Lk. 10:1. Making them aware of the situation of abundant potential harvest and availability of only few harvesters, he gave them guidelines to be followed during the journey adding that whoever listened to them was listening to him – Lk. 10:2-16. The seventy-two eventually returned with testimonies of how evil spirits were submitting to them at the mention of his name with he himself confirming their testimonies by informing them of how he saw the devil falling like lighting from the skies in a vision – Lk. 10:17-18. It was in a follow up to this his confirmation of their testimonies that he empowered them further with the declaration that is the foundation scripture for today’s devotion. In that scripture, he made it clear that he was granting them additional power to tread on serpents and scorpions.
The first take away from this declaration of Jesus Christ is that they embarked on their earlier mission without this new empowerment but by this empowerment, they now possess the dynamic ability to effect changes in situations dominated by serpents and scorpions. This change was in the form of ability to tread on them, which will mean to have such creatures under their feet. When it is used in this context, it will mean that such creatures are under their control and dictate.
The nature of the new challenge that will be before them as seen by him must have warranted this new empowerment. Jesus probably saw that with this new achievement, they will be surrounded by serpents and scorpions, so as a proactive step, they are sufficiently empowered to keep the activities of such creatures under control. What they possessed before was authority which they exercised in the name of Jesus but Jesus Christ anticipated that there could be creatures that may want to question that authority, hence the need for some enforcement ability which comes with power. Authority without power could still lead to embarrassment but once empowered, all stubborn situations are brought under subjection instantly. So why serpents and scorpions?
Jesus Christ definitely was not literally referring to serpents and scorpions but what or who they represent. What is very prominent about these two creatures is that they both in most cases possess very deadly poisons. Whereas, the serpents are very smooth in their movements, barely making any sound when approaching their potential victims, scorpions hide away in unsuspecting locations with disguising skin colours and introduce their poison from behind after trapping their victim with their strong pincers. Jesus Christ anticipated that the exploits of the disciples will bring them into contact with spiritually poisonous people;
- Who will be very smooth in their movements and speech such that they will not be associated with possession of such deadly toxins.
- Who will be able to blend with the good people and so will not be very easy to detect before they strike.
Because of the possession of these characteristics, they will likely succeed in biting or stinging them but the possession of this ability ensures that the poison has no effect on them as they have been given what can be said to be spiritual immunisation against such toxins. The toxins will be their lying, back-biting, hypocrisies, deceit and similar verbal toxins that they will be spewing form their mouth to de-stabilise the church and people of God but Christ says before these chosen and empowered elect, such people will always fail as even if they get close to them like carrying them in their hands or even take them in, they will not hurt them – Mk. 16:18.
The elect of Jesus Christ automatically possess this but the concern is for you who has been brought close with the belief that you are born again but your real person is like that of the Serpent and Scorpion. Not only will the toxins you possess be powerless but you will be under the feet of the people of God. In this position, there can be no growth or expansion in any part of life, there will be pain and distress and the more the person of God is gaining spiritual weight, the more the pressure on you and subsequent discomfort. Such a person can never experience peace and progress. Think about your situation and assess your activities in and around the people of God. Are you a Serpent or Scorpion in character? You may need to change before that your long desired peace, comfort and progress can be achieved. It is a decision that you must make as a Christian, for your life to have meaning. May God help you as you do the needful in Jesus name. Amen.