The seventy-two disciples returned full of joy. They said, “Lord, even the demons obeyed us when we called on your name.” Then Jesus replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. You see, I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the Enemy, so that nothing will harm you. Nevertheless, don’t rejoice because the evil spirits submit to you; rejoice, rather, that your names are written in heaven.”
At that time, Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and made them known to little ones. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. I have been given all things by my Father, so that no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son, and he to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said to them privately, “Fortunate are you to see what you see, for I tell you, that many prophets and kings would have liked to see what you see, but did not see it; and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
There is infectious joy in the air. The disciples rejoiced at their first successful ministry. Their Master partook in their joy, celebrating their little triumph. He gave His disciples the chance to revel in the good they had done because it would help them face the obstacles and hardships they would meet in the future. But Jesus directs their attention to what they should truly celebrate. It is not their success but the fact that they are now part of God’s team. Their names are now in heaven. Successful or not later on, they should take comfort in the fact that God made them as their own. In our life, the source of our true joy should not be our work and its favorable result alone. Rather we should rejoice that God selected us to be His co-workers in the unfolding of His plan for the world.
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