It’s All About Jesus.
Reading through the stories in the O.T and the N.T we know that the Bible is one big story in which Jesus is the ultimate hero. The scriptures are for us, but not about us. They are mainly about Jesus. This is why Luke said of Jesus: “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24: 27). Later, Jesus said to His disciples himself:“everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled“ (Luke 24: 44). So the scriptures are not just about what Moses and the prophets did, or even what we do, but they are all about what Jesus did on the cross.
Passion For His Name.
Now in Luke 10 Jesus’ chose 72 of his followers and sent them out in his name. And they had incredible ministry success in healing the sick and in casting out demons. Verse 17 tells us: “The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord,even the demons are subject to us in your name!”” But Jesus was not impressed by their temporary ministry success, as He was on His way to accomplish what no man could accomplish– the forgiveness of our sins on the cross and the new life given to us as a result of the resurrection. So in verse 18 “he said to them,“I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven”( referring to the ultimate fall of Satan in the past, his defeat on the cross, and his future when God will have no more place for him). The disciples succeeded with the little demons because, in essence, Jesus had already defeated their boss. In other words all their temporary ministry “success” could never be compared to what Christ achieved on the cross in order to secure their eternal salvation!
And he tells the disciples in verse 19 & 20:
“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Rejoice Your Names are Written in Heaven.
Our highest joy is to know that our names are written in heaven. By unplugging the disciples’ joy from their temporary ministry effectiveness, Jesus likewise protects them (and us) from depression during seasons of seeming fruitlessness. But He also does more than that! It means that we no longer have to strive to build a name for ourselves, because Jesus knows our name. We no longer have to seek platforms and build a reputation for ourselves because our “names are written in heaven.” God has registered our names “in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain” (Rev. 13: 8). We are well pleasing to the Father and known by Him, not because of anything we’ve done, can do or will do, but because of what Jesus did on the cross. This means we are now free to live only for one name–the name of Christ, by whose Spirit we say, “Our Father in heaven hallowed be Your Name!” (Luke 11: 2)
We no longer have to build a little kingdom for ourselves where we seek only to increase our own tribes, with the self ruling on the throne. As our hearts have been taken captive to the awe-awakening grace and glorious saving power of our Savior, we can now lay down everything before His throne. If we have been with Christ, we can now begin to say with Paul not only with our mouths but with our whole lives: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2: 20). We no longer have to try hard to become moralistic people, because Jesus has become our righteousness (I Cor. 5: 21). We can now be free to “seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness” and not our little kingdoms in which our self-righteousness rules (Matt. 6: 33). We can pray in the Spirit: “Your Kingdom come (not mine). Your will be done (not mine)” (Matt. 6: 10) We have been made alive and we are a new people, with a new identity in Christ. Jesus has become our new master, for sin no longer has dominion over us. Therefore, we are free to live not for our names, but for His name.
“Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!” (Psalm 115: 1).