A Brief Sermon Summary from Books At a Glance
by Steve West
Note: You may access the entire address online (PDF) here.
In Luke 10, Jesus sends his disciples out to engage in ministry. They return, filled with excitement at what they have experienced. In the end, Jesus says to them, “Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” When people in ministry talk about all that they are doing, this does not seem like the sort of thing we would reply to. Jesus, however, teaches his disciples four important things in his response to their report.
First, he teaches that it is his ministry expressed through the disciples that advance God’s saving reign and defeat Satan. Even though at one level they only preached in a few obscure places and did a few miracles, Jesus saw it as a defeat of Satan, even though nobody else cared very much about what had happened. The angels, however, rejoice when even one person is saved. In what seems like little ways, Satan is defeated and the angels rejoice.
Second, Jesus has given us the necessary authority and all that we need to advance God’s saving reign and defeat Satan. Jesus said that he had given them authority to trample on snakes and scorpions. This was not mere triumphalism: his followers also experienced scorn and rejection. Paul came to know how much an apostle could suffer. The church in North America has been in the fairly anomalous position of experiencing very little persecution. We may see revival at some point, but Christians in North America do not yet seem hungry for it. Some missionaries labor in obscurity and see very little fruit. God has authority and power, but he brings things to pass in his own time. . . .[To continue reading this summary, please see below....]
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REJOICE THAT YOUR NAMES ARE WRITTEN IN HEAVEN: GRADUATION ADDRESS, by D. A. Carson