7657 - A Reason to Rejoice

Listen

It can often be encouraging and challenging to listen to a report from a missionary.

In our last Bible study we looked at the record of Jesus sending seventy-two of his disciples on a ministry mission. The pattern of authority established earlier by Jesus as he sent out the twelve Apostles in Galilee was applied with the seventy-two, as they were sent out in Judea.

Today we read about the return of these seventy-two. In Luke 10:17-24.

The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name." 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."

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. "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."

Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it."

Friend, Scripture does not indicate how many days or weeks these thirty six ‘teams of two’ were out in the countryside carrying out the mission to which Jesus has sent them; but verse 17 gives the feeling that there was great joy among them as they returned. They had been used by God to do spiritual warfare. Even demon spirits had submitted to the power of the name of Jesus as these seventy-two were obedient to the Lord’s instruction.
The passage indicates that they were thrilled and excited in seeing the power of God at work.

Jesus calls for them to refocus their priorities. Yes, Satan had been defeated in these battles in which they had engaged. Jesus had equipped them to overcome all the power of the enemy. What a positive statement from Jesus for His followers. They were fully equipped to overcome all the power of the enemy. But notice, the power was not personally theirs. It was delegated from Jesus and by Jesus. The power is in Jesus. Jesus reminded the seventy-two that the power to do battle was not the important principle. There is a greater privilege in the life of believers, and that is the eternal relationship into which they have entered when they, by faith, submitted to the Lord; and the proof of this eternal relationship is contained on the record books of heaven where their names are now written. This heavenly record declares their eternal, blessed relationship as a chosen child of God.

Jesus then reminds these precious believers that they are receiving a blessing for which many prophets and kings had asked in ages past, when they sought spiritual insight so they might understand about some of the things which they were writing in prophesy.

1 Peter (1:10-12) tells us they searched with greatest care, trying to understand what was to truly happen and when it would take place. Paul tells us (Eph. 3:5) that some of these prophetic writings were not explained to holy apostles and prophets in the past, but they have now been revealed in the early ‘Church Age.’

We can understand that God’s eternal plan is being unfolded according to God’s own timetable; and His plan will surely be fulfilled.

We can likewise understand that anytime we see His mighty hand at work, revealing His eternal nature and character, that this is ample reason to praise and worship our Triune God, even as the seventy-two did.