“Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy—and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding, in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice because your names are written in Heaven.”
Our greatest joy is not seeing what God does in/through us; it’s knowing we’re His and He has a Place prepared for us (Jn. 14:1-3).
Casting out demons in Jesus’ Name must have been pretty exhilarating. At least that’s what caught the disciples’ attention when they returned from the Mission the Lord had sent them on (v.17).
Even now we can see them. . .going from village to village. . .encountering those bound by the devil’s companions. . .and the disciples crying, “Demon, in the Name of Jesus, the Christ, be gone!”. . .and, suddenly, that evil tormenter was gone, like 3,000-6,000 demons that were cast out of Legion that day (Mk. 5:1-13).
Yet, today’s Manna reveals that Jesus refocuses their attention on something else: The basis for true rejoicing.
He said, “Yes, I’ve given you power (Grk. ‘exousia’—‘authority, privilege, competency, mastery, control over, jurisdiction, strength, etc.’) power over earthly enemies (serpents and scorpions) and spiritual enemies (‘principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, spiritual wickedness in high places, etc.’—Eph. 6:12). But, there’s even a greater reason for your rejoicing—and that’s because your names have been written down in Heaven.” Hallelujah!!
No doubt this didn’t make much sense to them right then, even as so many things that happen to us nowadays are “beyond” us. But, later on, after Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension, many of the pieces of the “jigsaw puzzle” would begin to fall into place. And, that’s why Jesus’ Promise of “a Place prepared” (Jn. 14:1-3) and John’s reference to “the Book of Life” (Rev. 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27; 22:19) are so meaningful to us today.
Yes, when you invite Jesus into your heart as your Savior and Lord, your name is written into that precious Book in Jesus’ indelible Blood. And, even though we’ll still sin after we’re born again, our security is in what Jesus did on the Cross, not how well we tow this mark. This isn’t a “license to sin” (Rom. 6:1-2, 15); however, it is a call to consecration and service (Lk. 9:23).
Dear Pilgrim, in reality, each one of us has a “book” on our lives being recorded in Heaven (Rev. 20:12). Everything we’ve ever thought, said and done is being recorded in there. Every “idle word” has been captured and placed there (Mt. 12:36). And one day we’ll give an accounting of them at Jesus’ Bema Seat (II Cor. 5:10)—which is His Bridal Chamber wherein our works are examined and rewards are given or withheld.
But, as we leave that Chamber we’ll know the only reason we’re in Heaven is because of His Mercy and Grace. And, for the rest of eternity we’ll join the Redeemed in singing, “Worthy is the Lamb” (Rev. 5:12). Why not pause right now for a few minutes and give thanks to the Lamb for shedding His Blood at Calvary so you can enjoy “the Joy of our Lord” (Mt. 25:21-23) and look forward to that which He’s “reserved for you” (I Pet. 1:3-4)?