Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
This verse was written as a rebuke of Jesus to his disciples who were delighted with the miracles they performed and the fact that the demons obeyed their commands. Indeed, it was the return from the first mission, the mission of the 70. The enthusiasm of their first success was at its height. The disciples come to experience not only the strength of the Gospel for the salvation of every believer, but the power of the Name of Jesus, that is, the power of his person and his authority over the stronghold of the enemy of the Kingdom of God.
The disciples, all happy, were astonished that such power had passed through them. Jesus then refocused their attention and their success in the framework of his own victory: since his triumph over the Adversary is inaugurated, since the energies of the Kingdom of God are already at work in the world, it is normal that the demons are submitted to those that He sent. In verse 18 of Luke 10 he says, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning. In Revelation 12:10 John clearly states this statement of the Lord :”Now salvation has come, as well as the power, the reign of our God, and the authority of his Christ; because he was thrown down, the accuser of our brothers, the one who accused them before our God day and night “. In Matthew 28:18 He declared, “All power has been given to me in heaven and on earth.”
This portion brings a lesson of optimism and confidence that Jesus wants to inculcate in those who bear his name. This lesson is presented in two points:
I. The Christian service will continue in victory until the end of the Church’s time. The word of God is infallible, it was powerful at the time of creation, it remains powerful in the time of the church. If we believe in the power of Christ who saves us, we will never be surprised at what he will achieve in us and by us, in our poverty and despite our poverty. On the one hand, some would like to lock God in a box and claim that miracles no longer exist; on the other hand, people are enjoying using miracles as a bait to draw people and to get rich and make profit. In the middle of the equation is Jesus, who says in John 5:17, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working “.
But Jesus wants to filter the joys we find in serving him: “Do not rejoice that spirits are subject to you.” There can be no question of taking ownership for the success of the mission. If Christ has entrusted to us the ministry of reconciliation “(2 Cor 5,18) and if he wants to make us the messengers of his project in the world, the power for salvation comes from him and from him alone.
We have no personal glory to draw from this, and we must not manipulate or intimidate. God does not want any help from us, He is Almighty.
Jean Leveque writes in his page “Bible and monastic life”:
No witness of Christ can seize for his benefit the victories won by the love of God. No community can act as an owner on what God, through it, gives to the Church: Paul says in 2 Cor 4:5, but we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for the sake of Jesus [..] We are embassadors for Christ (2 Cor 5,20), we who have been chosen to be simple ” stewards of the mysteries of Christ “.
II. Miracles are not more important than your name written in the book of life.
The “book of life,” also called “scroll of life,” or book of remembrance, contains the names of those who make Jesus their Lord to receive eternal life. Many scriptural verses among them Revelation 3: 5; 20:12; Malachi 2 3:16) make reference to this book. God writes in this book the names of those who belong to him and who remain obedient to him (John 3:16, 1 John 5: 3).
Since the foundation of the world, God has kept each of his faithful servants in his memory, as if he were writing their names in a book (Revelation 17: 8). The book of life is more than just a list of names; it is proof that God loves and “knows those who belong to him” according to 2 Timothy 2:19 and 1 John 4: 9.
How can one be assured that his or her name is actually written in the book of life?
Your birth, your spiritual talents, your religious titles, the miracles that you have accomplished, are not a guarantee that your name is written in the book of life. Jesus says in Matthew 7: 21-23
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.’…
What is the day he refers to in verse 22? The last book of the Bible, Revelation 20: 11-12, calls that day the day of great judgment.
11Then I saw a great white throne and the One who sat on it. The earth and the heavens fled from His presence, and no place was found for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne. And there were open books, and one of them was the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their deeds, as recorded in the books.…
The Bible teaches that it is the Holy Spirit who bears witness to our spirit that we are children of God, that is, saved or “written in heaven” (Romans 8: 15-16).
And you have not received a spirit of servitude, to be still in fear; but you have received a spirit of adoption, by which we cry: Abba! Father! 16The Spirit himself testifies to our spirit that we are children of God …
We have this assurance that our names are inscribed in heaven when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and walk in his ways. We read in John 1:12 To all who have received it, to those who believe in her name, she has given the power to become children of God.
Paul written in Galatians 4: 4-7
when the times were fulfilled, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 that he might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive adoption. And because you are sons, God has sent into our hearts the Spirit of his Son, who cries, Abba! Father! 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if you are sons, you are also heirs through the grace of God.
Having been adopted by Jesus into the family of God, your names are in the book of life. The true guarantee of eternal life is conversion and new birth. Certainly, there are miracles that accompany those who believe, but what makes the joy of salvation is our names written in the book of life.
Dear friends from everywhere, is your name written in the book of life?
If you are not sure yet, you have only three steps to make: admit, believe, and confess.
Admit that you are sinners, believe that only Jesus Christ can save you and confess your faith to Him.