The Harvest Is Plentiful 2 – Fallen Devil, Risen Christ
Updated: Jan 13, 2020
Chan Gin Kai
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:17-20)
The 72 returned with joy because they were victorious. They were excited that they were able to cast out demons. I believe they met people who responded positively to their preaching too (which was the main reason why Jesus sent them out). They reaped good results this time, but that would not always be the case subsequently. Jesus taught them not to rejoice because demons submitted to them, but because their names are written in heaven. They might not always rejoice because of successful results, but they could always rejoice because they've got salvation through Jesus.
How often are we like these disciples, basing our joy on success? Don’t get me wrong; we should be happy with every victory that God gives us. We must be grateful for God’s blessings. But we will face failures too. Disappointments, rejections and persecution will sap our joy away if we've built it on results. However, we can always be happy if we place our joy in what really matters – our names are written in heaven.
We will face many battles in life. We will fight often for others’ salvation, but at times, find our own soul at risk too. There will also be battles at work, at school, at home and sometimes with complete strangers. Some will be for the consequences of the mistakes we make, and many more the result of others’ weaknesses. Not all battles are for souls, but every contest is spiritual. Will we preserve our righteousness through it all and emerge glorifying God?
Yes, good people do suffer and bad ones do triumph. The innocent are not always vindicated and the guilty do get away. Life is not always fair. We will lose sometimes. We may despair and feel like giving up. But be encouraged. We may not win every battle, but we have won the war.
Jesus said that he saw “Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” Satan has been cast down and defeated!
At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.” (Luke 10:21)
I am sure Jesus must have been happy many times in his life, but this is the only occasion in the gospels where it is specifically said that Jesus was full of joy. He was excited that God has revealed His wisdom and plans for humanity’s salvation to the unlikely. The 72 were neither especially wise nor learned. They were ordinary people. Often, it is the simple hearted and humble that respond to the gospel and obediently carry out God’s plan. They are the ones who will glorify God for the victories and patiently trust God’s timing.
Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him. (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)
“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Luke 10:22)
Jesus spoke of his unity with his Father and the special relationship they enjoy. Jesus has in the end obediently fulfilled the mission God assigned him. He sacrificed his life so that we may be saved. But he has risen, to sit on the right hand side of God.
Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” (Luke 10:21, 23-24)
We live in special times, and we are uniquely blessed. Even the prophets and kings of old hoped for but couldn’t have the gospel that we now enjoy. They only knew of the Old Covenant, but we live in the New Covenant. Jesus has completed his mission to redeem humanity, and we know the path to salvation.
Let us rejoice as we step confidently into the harvest field... for the devil has fallen, and Christ has risen.
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Chan Gin Kai
Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. In church, he serves as a mentor to young professionals in the EDGE Ministry. He describes himself as "just a sinner who wants to get right with God".