24 “Students are not greater than their teacher, and slaves are not greater than their master. 25 Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master. And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names!26 “But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. 27 What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!28 “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. 30 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.32 “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.34 “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword. 35 ‘I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 Your enemies will be right in your own household!’ 37 “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. 38 If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. 39 If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. 40 “Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me. 41 If you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God, you will be given the same reward as a prophet. And if you receive righteous people because of their righteousness, you will be given a reward like theirs.42 And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.”
17 When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”18 “Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! 19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. 20 But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.”
After being reminded of who is in charge, we now see that we are called to be:
We are called to be coworkers, yet many Christians have made it about their cares or their comfort and convenience instead of the call. Jesus is glad to have us as His coworkers, but we need to realize that the Christian life is not one of comfort but one of conflict. It’s here that we see:
- The Certaintyvs 24-25 – Just as He is persecuted so will His disciples be. Discipleship is costly
- The CareVs 26-31 – Don’t focus on what others can do focus on what God can do. He cares for His sheep
- The ConflictVs 34-39 – We want to cling to our life to comfort but the truth is that Christianity divides people.
- The CompensationVs 32-42 – We will be:
- Honored by the Son in the presence of the Father.
- We will find our life
- Given great rewards.
I want to encourage you to write your own story. Be a key disciple in the family of Jesus, because that is what Jesus gave His life for. There is a good chance your story won’t become a best-selling book. Most likely we will all stand in line with James son of Alphaeus who represents a long line of disciples of whose stories are unrecorded and unknown. And it will be a story full of mistakes, failings, second chances and missed opportunities. Yet that is OK because while others might not see the story we write Jesus does and He will bless you for it.
Jesus first sent out the Twelve by twos, then He sent out other disciples. Both times, Jesus gave those He was sending out power over sickness, disease and demons. When they return what are they excited to report? “even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”We tend to rejoice over the results, but it’s here that Jesus makes a remarkable statement. He says, Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven. Instead of rejoicing based on results we should be rejoicing over the relationship. Their names are written in heaven as are ours when we are a child of God. We focus on the temporary instead of the eternal. The message here is that it’s not about the miracles it’s about the Master. Jesus is saying. “That is where you will be one day with me. That is what really maters.” The most important thing of all is that your names are written in heaven.
Here in Revelation John describes the new heaven and the new earth … what it will be like when Jesus returns. In that vision he describes the New Jerusalem and part of the description says: Revelation 21:14 “The wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”the name of James son of Alphaeus, a person who is barely mentioned in the Bible will get the same recognition as all the other apostles. Inscribed and immortalized into the very foundation of the New Jerusalem. And for us our name will be written in a very significant book which Revelation 20:15 calls the Book of Life and “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Today you might feel like a great unknown but your significance is not found in being known but being named. When you have your name in God’s book you aren’t just known your loved. So, what about you, are you saved is your name in God’s book of life?