17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18 He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like lightning. 19 Look, I have given you the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy; nothing at all will harm you. 20 However, don’t rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
There is great joy and celebration when well-laid plans come together, and successes are achieved. When a football team executes the game plan, and the team wins exactly the way the coaches said they would, a big celebration is had on the field after the game ending whistle. When a business executes the strategic plan, and it has remarkable growth, employees celebrate and are rewarded.
Luke tells us when the 72 disciples were sent out into Judea “like lambs among wolves,” they returned full of joy because they experienced the power of Jesus’ name. They were excited and pumped-up exclaiming “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name!” Jesus shared in their enthusiasm and 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.” Okay, you know they must have been really pumped-up by now thinking it doesn’t get any better than this. And then Jesus’ next words remind the 72, and us, there is something better to rejoice than the gifts and abilities He bestows upon us. He said, “Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but that your names are written in heaven.”
Jesus is saying, “Yes, this is good. But through Me, you’ve been blessed with something even greater to give you everlasting joy. Your name is written in heaven, and as your Advocator, it will never be blotted out.”
He tells us of this again in Revelations 3:5 when He says, “He who overcomes (believes in Christ) will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father, and his angels.”
Regardless of the different gifts, abilities, mountain tops, and dark valleys we each experience on our earthly journeys with God, we should always rejoice for the great gift of grace and knowing our names are written in heaven.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What feelings do you get when you picture your name written in heaven’s Book of Life?
- How does it change your perspective on life today knowing it’s written there now, and Jesus assures you it will not be blotted out?
- Rejoice and celebrate today!