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Luke 10:19-21 (NIV) 19I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” 21At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
Jesus had just sent out the 72 to go before Him healing the sick and preaching that the Kingdom was approaching. Such a demonstration of the power of God surely prepared people’s hearts for Jesus’ visit. This was an army with real power preparing for the entrance of the King. They returned to Jesus with the news that even the demons had to submit to the name of Jesus. Then Jesus uttered the above passage. We can easily take a portion of scripture out of context and do exactly what the people of Jesus’ day did. They were always taking Jesus’ symbolic expressions literally. Snakes and scorpions represent the evil forces that are a part of the power of the enemy. It can also be true in a literal sense as we see in the testimony of Paul on the island of Crete, but that is not the focus of the context.
Then Jesus tells them not to get too carried away with the power and authority that comes with His name. Power can go to your head. Instead, He tells them they should be enthusiastically joyful that their names are written in heaven. There is the Book of Life in heaven with the names of all the redeemed children of men. Do you know that your name is written there? That should give you great joy everyday.
It’s not that we are the great wise and mighty people of the world. On the contrary, Jesus was rejoicing that God had chosen the simple. Today man boasts of His education, degrees and accomplishments. Careful! Jesus was thanking the Father that this power was given to simple, childlike people. It was the wise and learned that did not see.
Remember: Be a simple child of God who rejoices that your name is written in heaven.
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