Read Luke 10
Key Verse: Luke 10:20 “…do not rejoice…that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
In the last chapter, we read of Jesus sending out the twelve disciples “to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick” (9:2). In this chapter, He sends out seventy more. It’s in this context that Jesus says the famous words, “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field” (v.2)
So the seventy rookies went out, and came back, a few days later, with a glowing report. “Lord, even the demons submit to us in Your name,” they exulted. “We have power! Authority! We’re special!” Or so they thought.
And so they were. No doubt Jesus was pleased to hear it had gone so well. He had hand-picked these special people. they had gone out to preach, heal, and deliver — and they had succeeded. They tried to follow Jesus’ example — and they did, with one glaring exception: they had become overly impressed with their spiritual power, especially as it related to their ability to rout demonic spirits. Spiritual pride was beginning to raise its ugly head.
Jesus put things in perspective. “It’s no big deal about the demons,” He said, in effect. “That’s no reason to rejoice. Rather rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” As great as a miracle of deliverance or healing may be, it’s small bananas compared to the greatest miracle of all — passing from death into life. Salvation is a miracle number one; beside it the other miracles pale in significance.
God isn’t impressed with a panoply of miracles and a plethora of miracle workers. Unlike humans, He’s not moved by the outward show of things (after all, there are false miracles and false prophets who, on the outside, are very impressive). He is impressed with those He calls His children. He likes dependents, not co-deities.