Then turning to the disciples he said privately, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it."
These words from Jesus served notice to His disciples that they were a unique generation. They were getting something in relationship with Him that many others in Israel had longed for. And Jesus was the big blessing that so many wanted to see and they were with constantly.
These words were directed to His disciples after they had completed an intense round of service. Luke details the assignment: Seventy-two followers of Jesus were commissioned by Him to go ahead of Him into the towns and villages in pairs to do His work. They preached the kingdom, healed the sick, and trusted in God to provide for them from village to village. And these itinerate preachers returned with remarkable stories of spiritual victory (Luke 10:17). Jesus rejoices with them and reminds them of the real things to rejoice over in their relationship with the Father (Luke 10:20).
There is a beautiful prayer in Luke 10:21-22 that proceeds the blessing of the disciples. In this prayer, Jesus praises the Father for His sovereign choice of these simple men (He calls them “little children”) to do the work of the kingdom. These “little children” had been given profound revelation! And they had experienced the same sort of results in their preaching of the gospel that Jesus Himself had experienced. They were becoming like their teacher. That was the goal of discipleship (see Luke 6:40).
And the privileges continue. Today, I am part of a generation of Christians who are called to proclaim the gospel with just as much authority and clarity as these disciples had. And lives are changed by Jesus today. Spiritual victories are wrought by the hand of God. The kingdom of God advances in the lives of people who come to Christ and become His followers. And the privilege of doing this work is beyond description. It is eternal. It is focused on the glory of Almighty God and the loving atoning work of His Son on the cross. It has power over death itself because of the resurrection of Christ. It shakes down the foundations of the gates of hell and sets captives free from the chains of sin. I can think of nothing more important, or more potent than this.