REASON TO REJOICE
17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 He said to them, “I saw Satan having fallen like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I give you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. Nothing will in any way hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, don’t rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (WEB)
Can you imagine the scene when Jesus' disciples came back to Him rejoicing after they saw demons fleeing at the very mention of the name of Jesus? They knew that they had confidence in their Messiah to cast out devils, but I am sure that they were surprised at the authority that Jesus imparted to them to do the same.
Their response... WOW! Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name! That was pretty big news to them. Probably more than they could have ever hoped for or imagined. But what was Jesus' response to them? Well, first and foremost He affirmed the authority He gave them, then came a big BUT...
Of course Jesus wanted to encourage them in what they did because that was why He sent them out two by two in the first place. However, He wanted to keep His disciples grounded in what was really important. And the most important thing was not that the demons were subjected to them, BUT... that their names were written in heaven!
Nothing has changed today. It is natural for us to be wowed by the outward manifestations of the power of God because they are awesome whenever they happen. However, may our cause for rejoicing always be first and foremost that we have been born into an everlasting Kingdom where God has become our Father and Jesus is our Elder Brother.
May the simple revelation of being part of the most amazing family in the universe shadow every sign and wonder that we experience on this side of heaven. If we keep grounded in the reality of the relationship that we have with God through Christ, then we will never try and follow signs. Signs will always follow us!
17 These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new languages; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it will in no way hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (WEB)