Over the last couple of posts I’ve been talking about the 72 disciples that Jesus sent out ahead of Him. Having been trained by Christ, they went out and saw the power of God manifest through their lives.
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
Luke 10:17 NIV
After having been out for a while, these men started returning. They came back rejoicing in what God was doing.
Obviously they had learned how to operate in the Name of the Lord. They were seeing, first hand, the power of Jesus’ name.
Demons had to submit to that name. This is a great step forward. If you remember, in chapter 9 of Luke’s Gospel, the disciples were unable to free a young man from his demonic oppression. Now they’re learning the joy that comes through setting captives free.
As the Lord was listening to their reports, He wanted to make sure their hearts were right. He didn’t want them to get caught up in pride.
He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Luke 10:18-20 NIV
When the disciples had told about the demons submitting to them, Jesus tells them of an even greater victory. There was a day when Satan, himself, was cast out of Heaven. That occurred ages before and is probably what’s recorded in Isaiah 14:12-15.
Literally, Jesus says that He was there, watching, as Satan fell from the sky as a bolt of lightning. Jesus was victorious then, and His power over the enemy’s kingdom is still as great today.
The Lord wants the disciples to always be mindful of where this power and authority comes from. It’s not about their goodness or ability. It only flows from their relationship with Christ.
It was wonderful to see the power of God working through them. But, there was a greater reason for them to rejoice. Because they had submitted their lives to Christ, their names are written – engraved – in Heaven.
We need to realize that same truth. Even though we look for, and praise God for, the abundant blessings we receive from Him, our greatest treasure is the salvation we’ve been given. That’s the foundation for everything else in our lives.
So often we get feeling down because a prayer wasn’t answered when we thought it should. We lose sight of the fact that if God never did another thing for us, we’ve already received more than we could ever hope for or even imagine.
However, even in this teaching, Jesus was not trying to put a damper on the disciple’s joy. He rejoiced with them in what they experienced.
At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.”
Luke 10:21 NIV
Here’s a verse that totally falls short of what it says in the original Greek. This verse literally says that Jesus jumped and danced in the Holy Spirit because of the report He heard.
I’ve been at meetings where people jumped or danced in the spirit. I’ve heard them get criticized by believers who think it’s unspiritual and undignified. Jesus is our great example. If He could jump and dance in the Spirit, then we’re free to do so as well.
We need to rejoice in what the Lord has done for us and in us!
Question: What have you experienced in Christ that you can rejoice over?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi