The Lord takes joy in our joy, especially as we serve Him.
17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
22 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
23 Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
There are so many moments of joy in today’s passage. Imagine the excitement of the disciples as they returned to Jesus bursting with the news of what they had done and seen.
And Jesus, quietly joyful on their behalf, reminds then that they are just doing what He gave them power to do. He also turns their focus to the real reason for joy, not just the miracles they had seen, but importantly that their names are written in heaven. The amazing things that they been part of were only possible because Jesus had written down their names, and was going to ink that with His blood.
When we experience joy and great news, we normally want to share it with those who are closest to us. We see the Son sharing his joy with the Father, through the Spirit. God in three persons in joyful celebration at this start of the spread of the Gospel in the hands of those who believe.
We see the Father is pleased: an expression of joy that was also used at the start of Jesus’ ministry (Luke 3:21-22). He is now showing the same joy at the start of His disciples’ ministries.
By following Jesus we become part of His work, part of the cycle of joy that comes from spreading the good news about eternity; part of the joy of knowing that we have a place in the kingdom because of our Saviour. This is indeed the good news that should come bursting from us, so that we can hardly contain the rivers of joy that will flow out to those around us.
Head: Think why the signs and miracles accompanied the declaration of the gospel. How would seeing quicken people’s belief?
Heart: We often say that our hearts swell with joy. Can you think of any heart-swelling moments in your life when you could feel that the Father was pleased?
Hands: What can you do today or this week to share the joy that you have in Christ with those closest to you? It could be talking about something you have read or as simple as being there for them as a demonstration of the assurance you have in God’s faithfulness.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that it pleased you to send Christ to write our names in Heaven and thank you that you are pleased to send us to spread that joy into the world! Amen.
A song to listen to: The Love of the Father Nicole Davenport – Living Church Creek Road