“However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” – Luke 10:20From Dave Atkinson
In Luke 10, we read that Jesus sent out seventy-two disciples on an advanced mission to spread the word about Jesus and to build the number of Jesus’ followers. It is clear that Jesus didn’t try to mislead them into thinking it would be an easy task when he tells them, in verse 3, “I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.”
However, verse 17 tells us that they returned with joy because it had all gone well (verse 18 tells us that Jesus had given them authority and power). In fact, it appears that things went better than they could have expected as they recount, “even the demons submit to us in your name.”
Jesus’ reply is, “…do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
I think this was only a soft rebuke from Jesus, as Luke goes on to tell us that Jesus was full of joy at that time. But it is a really helpful reminder to us not to get carried away with our own self-importance or our achievements – whether that is in direct church related ministry or any other aspect of our life.
Whatever we’ve achieved, however successful others think or say that we are, Jesus is clear that the main thing to rejoice about is that he has saved us for an eternal relationship with God.
Jesus says in verse 20 that a guarantee of our eternal life is that our names are written in heaven. In fact, in Revelation 2:17, Jesus says that we will have new names. I’m really excited to find out what my new name will be – are you?
The other thing that really excited me as I read this passage in Luke is the joy between Jesus and the Father through the Holy Spirit – verse 21. When we are saved by Jesus, we join that perfect, joyous, loving relationship of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Isn’t that just magnificently brilliant!
If you have committed your life to Jesus, rejoice today that Jesus has rescued you for eternal life – your sins are forgiven – your name is written in heaven.