The disciples had misplaced joy:
There was an event in the lives of the first-century followers of Jesus that brought this question very much into play. It’s found in Luke 10. There Jesus sent out 72 disciples, not apostles, but average followers like you and me. He told them to heal the sick and proclaim the presence of God’s kingdom. When they returned to Jesus to give him a report of what happened, we read this:
“The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!’ And he said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you’” (Luke 10:17-19).
I can understand why the disciples of Jesus were so excited and filled with joy. To exercise the authority of Jesus himself in subduing demonic spirits is a wonderful thing. But then Jesus said this:
“Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).
Jesus isn’t saying it is wrong to rejoice that we have authority over demons. This is a standard way of speaking in biblical times. His point is that compared with having your name written down in heaven exercising authority over demons is next to nothing.
This article originally appeared on SamStorms.com. Used with permission.
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