I can’t imagine what it would have been like. To see spirits subject to you I mean.
To command a demon to leave someone, and they promptly obey. To tell a man to see, and his eyes are opened for the first time. It had to be the closest thing to being a superhero anyone has ever come to.
And yet, as impressive as that must have been for the 72 disciples Jesus sends out, there was something far greater. Salvation. Peace with God. Redemption. Adoption.
As the disciples return to Jesus in their excitement and thrill of seeing and using God’s power and authority first hand, He says to them…
Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.
Jesus is essentially saying: Do not put your hope and significance in your ministry. It will come and go. Be amazed at your salvation, for that will never leave you.
Marty Lloyd Jones, the British 20th century preacher, had declining health due to cancer. Towards the end of his life and ministry, he quoted Luke 10:20 and said,
Bear that in mind, our greatest danger is to live upon our activity. The ultimate test of a preacher is what he feels like when he cannot preach.
Holy Spirit, help us not to look to ministry to be our ultimate significance and hope. Amaze us every day that we are your children in Christ. Let that alone be where our identity lies.