Jesus said to the men, "I saw Satan (the devil) falling like lightning from the sky. Listen! I gave you power to walk on snakes and scorpions. I gave you more power than the Enemy (the devil) has. Nothing will hurt you. Yes, the spirits obey you. And be happy. Why? Not because you have this power, but be happy because your names are written in heaven."
— Luke 10:18-20
If you are like me at all, you find yourself distracted from the ultimate goal by all sorts of temporary opportunities, achievements, and victories. However, I've come to realize that Satan lets few victories remain without counter-attack and that I often let my guard down after a major victory. While Jesus is thrilled about the disciples' successes, he also knows their vulnerabilities and wants to keep them focused on the ultimate blessing—eternity with God in Heaven. Let's "keep our eyes on the prize" while we rejoice that Jesus does his great work through us!
Father, I confess that I let the world, and those moments of glory that I find in the world, distract me from my ultimate goal of spending eternal life with you in Heaven. Keep my hope focused on the glory yet to be revealed in me at Jesus' coming. At the same time, Father, please work through me to do your work and to bring you praise. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
After this, the Lord (Jesus) chose 72 more men. Jesus sent the men out in groups of two. He sent them ahead of him into every town and place where he planned to go. Jesus said to them, "There are many, many people to harvest (save). But there are only a few workers to help harvest them. God owns the harvest (people). Pray to God that he will send more workers to help gather his harvest. You can go now. But listen! I am sending you, and you will be like sheep among wolves. Don't carry any money, a bag, or shoes. Don't stop to talk with people on the road. Before you go into a house, say, 'Peace be with this home.' If a peaceful person lives there, your blessing of peace will stay with him. If the person is not peaceful, then your blessing of peace will come back to you. Stay in the peaceful house. Eat and drink what the people there give you. A worker should be given his pay. Don't leave that house to stay in another house. If you go into a town and the people welcome you, eat the food they give you. Heal the sick people that live there. Then tell them, 'The kingdom of God is soon coming to you!' But if you go into a town, and the people don't welcome you, then go out into the streets of that town and say, 'Even the dirt (dust) from your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. But remember that the kingdom of God is coming soon.' I tell you, on the judgment day it will be worse for the people of that town than for the people of Sodom. "It will be bad for you, Chorazin ! It will be bad for you, Bethsaida ! I did many miracles in you. If those same miracles had happened in Tyre and Sidon, then the people in those cities would have changed their lives and stopped sinning a long time ago. They would have worn sackcloth and put ashes on themselves to show that they were sorry for their sins. But on the judgment day it will be worse for you than for Tyre and Sidon. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to heaven? No! You will be thrown down to the place ofdeath! "When a person listens to you, that person is really listening to me. But when a person refuses to accept you, that person is really refusing to accept me. And when a person refuses to accept me, he is refusing to accept the One (God) that sent me." When the 72 men came back from their trip, they were very happy. They said, "Lord, even the demons obeyed us when we used your name!" Jesus said to the men, "I saw Satan (the devil) falling like lightning from the sky. Listen! I gave you power to walk on snakes and scorpions. I gave you more power than the Enemy (the devil) has. Nothing will hurt you. Yes, the spirits obey you. And be happy. Why? Not because you have this power, but be happy because your names are written in heaven."
Related Scripture Readings
Jesus said, "Don't be troubled. Trust in God. And trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father's house. I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you. After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back. Then I will take you with me, so that you can be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."
The Father (God) has loved us so much! This shows how much he loved us: We are called children of God. And we really are God's children. But the people in the world (people who don't believe) don't understand that we are God's children, because they have not known him (God). Dear friends, now we are children of God. We have not yet been shown what we will be in the future. But we know that when Christ comes again, we will be like him. We will see him like he really is.
1 John 3:1-2
Brothers and sisters, I know that I have not yet reached that goal. But there is one thing I always do: I forget the things that are past. I try as hard as I can to reach the goal that is before me. I keep trying to reach the goal and get the prize. That prize is mine because God called me through Christ to the life above.