The Book of Luke, Rejoice, Because Your Names Are Written in Heaven, Part II - Lesson 134
Luke 10:17‑24, And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. 21In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight. 22All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. 23And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: 24For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
The seventy disciples completed their mission of preaching to the cities where they were sent, the message that the kingdom of God is nigh unto you along with the healing of the sick.
They have returned to the Lord Jesus Christ in high spirits rejoicing that even the devils were subject to them through the name of Jesus.
After hearing of their joy, the Lord Jesus Christ relates to them a vision of Satan’s fall from heaven as lighting falls from the sky.
This is his instruction that the fate of Satan is fixed and the fate of his helpers that were subject unto the disciples is also fixed.
This vision of Satan’s defeat brings the Lord to tell the disciples that there is a better basis for their joy than Satan’s defeat.
And that basis is the fact that their names are written in heaven.
20Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
The destruction of Satan was good news but it was not news to Jesus Christ, for from the mind of the eternal this was already accomplished and therefore not a cause for rejoicing.
Again this was instruction from Jesus Christ to look at things from the proper perspective, the proper point of view.
An example of this is looking at a mountain range.
If you look at the mountains from ground level you do not know the distance to each mountain.
But if you rise and look at the mountains from a high altitude you can see each mountain in relation to the other mountains.
This is looking at things from the proper perspective, the proper point of view.
Jesus Christ always saw things from the proper perspective because He is the Word of God.
If you want to see things from the right perspective you must study the Word of God so that Christ’s mind will be in you.
If His mind is in you, you will have the proper perspective about all things.
And Christ’s perspective to His disciples is that they should not waste their time rejoicing on things temporal but they should rejoice in things eternal.
Jesus told them that they should rejoice in the fact of their salvation which is eternal, rather than the fact of Satan’s downfall and defeat.
There are those as reported by Matthew that will come to Christ at the judgment, reminding him of the devils that they cast out in his name.
But Christ checked the book and their names were not written in the heavenly book so he told them: depart from me, ye that work iniquity, I never knew you!
So what is important? The important thing is to make sure your name is in the book.
Salvation is basic to everything spiritual.
Salvation separates you from those who defile, those who work abomination, those who make a lie as we may read in:
Rev. 21:27: And there shall in no wise enter into it (the Holy City, the New Jerusalem) any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
The Lamb’s book of life is what will be checked, not how many devils you cast out, not how many sick folks were healed though your efforts, not how many good works you did, but is your name in the book?
So far as a man or women is concerned, there is nothing more important than the matter of his or her salvation.
Each of Christ’s disciples is encouraged to find his joy in the fact that his own name is written down in heaven.
Salvation is an urgent matter, for no man or women has a guaranteed tomorrow.
It is a matter of the highest priority, a matter of the greatest importance and the greatest of value.
It is clear from scripture that there are those who will hear and those who will not hear.
But it is also clear that the Bible strongly urges all men everywhere to repent of their sins and to believe in Christ as the Messiah, and to receive Him as their only Savior.
Joy because of the victory over Satan’s helpers is nothing when compared to the certainty of an eternal relationship with God.
Jesus Christ never passed up an opportunity to give the disciples the right perspective in all things
And after doing this Jesus Christ prayed to the Father.
The words that he expresses are moved from the great joy that he has in his spirit.
This is the only time in the scriptures where we are told that Jesus is said to have rejoiced.
We know of Jesus weeping at Nain, that he wept over Jerusalem and that he wept in the garden of Gethsemane.
But this is the only place where we are told of his rejoicing.
And this particular place is a place where we know that Jesus Christ still faced rejection and death in Jerusalem.
He faced his coming crucifixion with an unwavering spirit and yet he expresses here great joy and thanksgiving to his Father and the subject matter is the salvation of men.
We are told that the source of His joy was from the Holy Spirit, of which we read in:
Luke 10:21‑22, In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight. 22All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.
In verse 21 we find the Lord Jesus directing thanksgiving and praise to the Father.
I believe the seventy disciples heard this praise for it was connected to their evangelistic work in the cities.
In verse 22, He is speaking to the disciples, and His words to them are very much related to His words of praise and thanksgiving to the Father in the previous verse.
He has told his disciples to rejoice that their names are written in heaven and here he rejoices because the names of babes or little children that were saved because of the work of the disciples, are written in the book.
This joy was not humanly produced for: In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit.
Joy that is from the Spirit of God is present even though the cross of Christ lay ahead.
Joy that is a fruit of the Spirit is not affected by the flesh and what the flesh faces.
The Joy that is the fruit of the Spirit overcomes the flesh.
The Holy Spirit produced His joy and His joy was in knowing that names were written in the book.
The Lord Jesus also had great joy because of the sovereignty of the Father.
He points out this sovereignty by the fact that God reveals His salvation to some and he conceals it from others.
God the Father had chosen to reveal “these things” (v. 21) to some men, (babes they are called, meaning little children) and to conceal them from the wise and the prudent.
“These things” are the knowledge of God’s salvation in the person and the work of the Messiah.
“These things” are the believing on the Lord Jesus Christ as the Savior.
In verse 20 Jesus spoke of the disciples’ salvation as “having their names written in heaven.”
This statement shows that this is an act of God, a divine act, made in eternity past, not the human decision made in time.
The human decision of salvation made in time is just the outcome of God’s decision to reveal his Son to little children and to conceal his Son from the wise and the prudent.
Jesus clearly revealed this sovereign decision when he said in:
John 6:44, No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
This is a sovereign act of God the Father.
It is interesting and revealing that Jesus Christ rejoiced in this sovereign act of election when many take issue with the sovereignty of God in the matter of salvation.
The sovereignty of God in our salvation means that our salvation is certain, for it is His will that is accomplished.
He is able to do what He purposes and He finishes what He begins.
Paul put the matter this way:
Philippians 1:6, Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
God finishes what God starts, and God has started our salvation.
He purposed it in eternity past, choosing us long before we were given the opportunity to choose Him.
He then accomplished our salvation on the cross of Calvary, paying the debt of our sin.
It means that it was grace that saved us, sovereign grace, undeserved grace, and thus God alone is to be praised.
Likewise, in the revealing of His salvation to some and in the concealing of it from others (Luke 10:21), God’s sovereign will in salvation is shown.
If God wishes to hide “these things “from some, it shall be hidden from some.
If God wishes to reveal “these things” to some, it shall be revealed to some.
This is the prerogative of a sovereign.
If Jesus Christ rejoices in this so ought we to rejoice in this.
God chose to hide truth from the wise and learned, the Pharisees and the scribes, those who were already satisfied with their own truth.
And God chose to reveal truth to the little children, such as the disciples who were mostly untaught and uneducated and were open to truth.
These were the ones who recognized Jesus as God’s salvation because God ordained it so to reveal the Messiah to those whose names were written in the book.
In addition to rejoicing over the Father’s plan of salvation the Lord Jesus rejoiced because the Father chose to accomplish the salvation of these “little children” through the Son.
In the Father’s plan it was the Son who was to make Him known to men.
Those to whom the Father had chosen to reveal Himself were those to whom Jesus made the Father known.
The Father chose to reveal himself though Christ and Christ alone.
John 14:6, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father.
The Father has chosen by his sovereign will that no man will know him unless they know the Son.
And those from whom the Father chose to conceal the truth were those from whom Jesus concealed it (Luke 8:9‑10).
As far as salvation and condemnation is concerned it is all done though Jesus Christ.
It is Jesus Christ with whom we have to do!
If you do not engage in a transaction with Jesus Christ you cannot engage in a transaction with the Father.
In the plan and purpose of God, Jesus worked out the sovereign purposes of the Father with respect to the salvation of men.
In this role Jesus greatly rejoiced.
Jesus’ joy here was not only subject to the will of the Father, it was founded on the will of the Father.
Jesus found His joy, He found His delight in that which delighted the Father.
It was our Lord’s pleasure to bring pleasure to the Father.
Since it was the Father’s will to save men through Him, He rejoiced.
It was this joy which sustained our Lord through His suffering on the cross.
Hebrews 12:2, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The disciples had found great joy in the devils being subject to them but Jesus found great joy in being subject to the Father.
It is not being in authority which is as important as being under God’s authority.
Our salvation is based not on who or how many men (or spirits) are under us, but on our being rightly related to God through Jesus Christ.
Luke 10:23,24, And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: 24For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
Jesus Christ now takes time to share his joy with his disciples for he brings words to them designed to make them look at their own situations.
He wants them to know how they should have great joy in the priveliges they have been given by being witness to such great things that many kings and prophets of the past have desired to see and hear but did not.
I Peter 1:10 also addresses this subject, Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
Isaiah, through the eyes of faith in a vision saw Messiah’s glory, and spoke of him.
King David in the Spirit attributed to the coming Messiah the name Lord.
Prophets spoke of him but prophets nor kings never saw the incarnate Christ, they never heard his words, never saw his miracles.
Hebrews 11:13, These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off,
Jesus Christ is telling his disciples to realize where you are in the plan of God and rejoice.
You are witnessing that better thing, the fullness of the Messiah, spoken of in:
Hebrews 11:40, God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.