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. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:17-20
Today’s passage from Luke is one of those that gets yanked out of its context and used by some to demonstrate how much faith they have all the while putting the spotlight on themselves rather than on Jesus where it belongs. Jesus did not do things to entertain he did them to prove to an unbelieving world that He was from God. Today people handle snakes and scorpions to entertain or prove they have more faith that the rest of those in the group.
When we read this passage we see that the seventy-two are rejoicing that even the demons were subject to them. Jesus lets them know that it was He who gave them the authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, that is demons. Then Jesus follows up with this saying, “Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” What these disciples need to be rejoicing is not being able to drive out demons but being saved, having their names in the Book of Life. Their job was not to drive out demons or heal, even though Jesus gave them the authority to do both. Their job was to let the people know about Jesus.
The job has not changed in two thousand years. Our job is to let others know about Jesus and make disciples of them. Our job is not to entertain. It is not to willfully seek danger by handling poisonous animals. We are here not to make demons obey us but to circumvent Satan’s mission by turning those who might follow him to follow Jesus instead. We need to be careful when dealing with the demonic as we may be able to resist them but we are also capable of being deceived by them. Remember we are still in our sinful flesh.
We can get so caught up in the show that we forget the main reason we are here. We get so caught up in the here and now we forget what is really important. No matter what our gifts. No matter how much we do nothing is more important than where we will spend eternity. Jesus as always said it best, “Rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Have a blessed day,