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They Didn't Understand

... your names are inscribed in heaven
Luke 10:1-12, 17-20 or 10:1-9

Sermon Topic Understanding

Sermon Week Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 10:20


In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus dispatches seventy-two of the disciples to precede Him into the villages He planned to visit, and to prepare the people for His coming. Their mission is to explain to the people that Jesus is of God. "Cure the sick there" and tell the people "The Reign of God is at hand," Jesus instructs them (Lk. 10:9). Later, the seventy-two return in jubilation. They are anxious to tell Jesus about their successes. "Master, even the demons are subject to us in Your Name," they say triumphantly (Lk. 10:17). Jesus answers, "Do not rejoice so much in the fact that the devils are subject to you as that your names are inscribed in heaven" (Lk. 10:20).

Jesus wanted them to understand that they would miss the whole meaning of their discipleship if they saw it in terms of their own glorification. He did not send them out in pursuit of power and prestige. He was saying, in effect, "Do not rejoice in your newly-found exalted status as miracle workers. Do not rejoice over the big impression you made on the townspeople by your healing and curing and power over devils. If you depend on these passing things for your life's fulfillment you are heading for a fall. They will let you down. The reason your names are inscribed in heaven is that you are following Me in doing God's Will. Obedience to God's Will is the only genuine source of your life's fulfillment as human persons. Obedience to God's Will is the only genuine source of the abundant life I am offering to those who follow Me."

In "The Screwtape Letters" by C. S. Lewis, Satan is giving instructions to his demon followers, preparing them for their hellish mission to the world. He says, "Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring but still intending to do God's Will, looks around upon a Universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys."

There is one very basic concept in [...]

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