“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
What Does it Mean?
This is a remarkable passage that can teach us a great deal. Within this passage we have the seventy two disciples that Christ had commissioned out in the beginning of Luke 10. He told them to go ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place. These disciples obeyed the voice of their Lord and went.
As they were going, these average, ordinary disciples began realizing that they had remarkable power given to them. They began seeing demons submit to them. Fishermen were seeing the forces of evil submit to what they were saying. Farmers were seeing the works of satan stopped by the command of their mouths. Fathers were seeing the powers of darkness defeated with their spoken words. This was incredible. They had seen the Christ do these certain acts, but they never had seen each other do them. This was cause to celebrate, right?
They begin returning to Jesus wide eyed and full of joy. They all begin telling Christ with enthusiasm that the demons were subject to them in His name. Jesus responds telling them about seeing Satan fall like lightning from heaven and about how He has given them authority to tread on serpents and scorpions. He continues telling them that they have authority over all the power of the enemy and that nothing shall hurt them. This is cause for more joy. This is good news. The disciples are hearing this from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. But then the word “nevertheless” appears.
Rejoice in This!
When the term”nevertheless” is used in a sentence it means that in spite of everything I just said, what I am about to say next is what your focus needs to be on. This means we should take heed to what Christ says in the last sentence. He says, “Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” What? Do not rejoice in Satan falling from heaven like lightning? Do not rejoice that we have the power to stop the works of Satan? Do not rejoice that demons are submitting to us?
The reason is because sinners names being written in heaven is far more astonishing than demons submitting to a sinner’s command. Satan falling from the heavens is no where near as glorious as sinners ascending to the heavens. Having authority over all the powers of darkness is nothing compared to sinners being accepted by the Creator of the universe.
Believer, sometimes you may experience great victories in this life. You may see a harvest produced by your labor day in a day out. You may see people that you have been praying for get saved time and time again. You may see all kinds of victories in this life. But if your rejoicing is always based upon those things then your rejoicing will stop. Believers in this life go through droughts. They, at times, see people they pray for perish apart from Christ. They see family members continue on in disobedience against the things of God. They see defeats as well. If your rejoicing is because of the victories then your lack of rejoicing will be because of the defeats.
This is Glorious!
This is why we must rejoice that our names are written in the heavens. There is nothing that can change this. God the Father, from before the foundation of the world was laid, predestined His beloved Son to come in the fullness of time and give His life for His Church. In the fullness of time, Christ Jesus came and fulfilled what God had willed for Him to do. His death and resurrection secured the salvation of those whom God elected to eternal life. This is eternal. This never changes. The victory of Christ is once and for all. If we always rejoice in this, then we will always be rejoicing, for Christ has saved us to the uttermost.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”