Saturday, October 25, 2008

Two by Two

October 25: Luke 10-11 & John 10

1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. 2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.

17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 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. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Luke 10:1-2 & 17-20

Two by Two

When we think of Christ's disciples, we usually think of the 12 disciples who walked with Him during most of His ministry here on earth. However, in our reading today we find that Jesus sent out seventy-two disciples, two by two, to go to every town and place where He was about to go. What happened when these disciples returned to Him with a report of their success? Though this is covered in four short verses, it is well worth our time to consider the words of Christ to these disciples.

The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”

What were the first words Christ spoke in response to the seventy-two?

And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." That seems to be a rather unusual response; what was Christ saying to them? Satan, the most beautiful of all the angels, fell from heaven because of the sin of pride. We, being so much less than the angels, must be very careful that we do not succumb to the same temptation.

Is it wrong to be filled with joy when others come to Christ? Of course not! Is it wrong to be filled with joy when others come to Christ because we were the ones who "saved" them? Yes! When God gives us the opportunity to share Christ with others and they respond positively, we do not gain another "notch" on our belt because we led another one to Christ. If your hear someone say, "I have led 24, or 48, or 258 people to Christ" (the number is irrelevant), run!

Look at the rest of the words that Jesus spoke to the seventy-two.

"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.”

Christ is reminding them that when people come to Christ through our words or actions, it is Christ who saved them, not we ourselves. We are to rejoice in their salvation, humbly praising God for what He has done in their lives as well as what He has done in ours.

As a Christian, remember to rejoice that your name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life as you go about the duties of this day.

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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