Luke 10:17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”
Luke 10:18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
Luke 10:19 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 10:20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Luke 10:21 ¶ In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.
Luke 10:22 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
When those 72 guys came back from their short-term mission trip, they were as fired up as a youth group returning from Mexico. Ok, even more.
They are excited and astonished that even the demons submitted to them, but look at how Jesus wants them to be excited. It’s not that they beat the bad guys. Rejoice, He says, in the fact that the disciples have their names written in Heaven.
This same guy, via the Holy Spirit, wrote this:
’ Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, ’ Proverbs 24:17
Rejoicing must never revolve around what happens with the devil and his demons, but always around Christ.
So Jesus rejoices in the process of His victory. Not only are people being healed and freed from the curse of sin, but they are finding out about God’s true love for them. He rejoices that the little simple people are the ones that are learning more and more about God. (There are more of us like that, after all.)
Jesus reassures the disciples that Satan’s power is so minuscule, so tiny. Serpents, scorpions, — whatever, will not stop the Kingdom of Heaven from breaking out into all of creation.
If Jesus has everything that God has to offer, don’t you want to know more and more about Him? For all of the power those disciples had, they all came back to continue to learn from Jesus. They didn’t go off on their own to build their own kingdoms.
He’s doing the work in the disciples as He is inviting them to participate in the work that He’s doing in the world. It was the same in 29 AD as it is today. We can learn a lot about Jesus by sitting in our basement reading the Bible, but we’ll know Jesus by going out and talking about what we read and acting on it with others.
He loves to teach us stuff, more than we’d ever desire to learn. Let’s give Him as many chances as we can today.