Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Do you ever think about the importance and significance of numbers? One of the first topics students taking theological courses encounter, is numerology. Although the study of numbers, as the world knows it, is mostly associated with the occult arts, numbers, when they appear in the Bible, all have significance and are not there by accident. For example, as I was reading yesterday in the 10th Chapter of Luke, the very fist verse said that Jesus sent out 72 "other" disciples to go minister in every town and place He himself would visit later. As I pondered the significance of the number 72, I quickly realized that it was 6 dozen, and since these were not the original 12 disciples, together they formed 7 dozen. As most of you know, 7 is God’s perfect number and always shows completion. Even before reading the rest of the chapter, the very fact that Jesus now had 7 dozen men in His service, was an indication that these would meet with much success, which they did. In fact, because they rejoiced so much with their success when they reported back to Jesus, it brought another matter to my mind.
These 72 other disciples were not as close or as familiar with Christ as the original 12. It should be no wonder then that they were so amazed to discover that even the demons were subject to them when they invoked His name. I really like these 72; I think most pastors would too. Think about it: They did not come back moaning about the long distances they had walked, or about the opposition they met with, or about the less than desirable food they were offered; No sir, they rejoiced in discovering that the "one" who had troubled or tormented them in the past, was no match for the power Jesus had equipped them with. To confirm and multiply their joy, Jesus quickly added, and I’m paraphrasing, “Boys, when you were out there ministering, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” Nevertheless, He also added this necessary advice: “However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)
Psalm 144:15 says that God’s people are a blessed and happy people, and Paul, in his letter to the Philippians reminds us all to rejoice in the Lord always. (Ph. 4:4) As God’s children we have so many things to rejoice about. We can rejoice, like the 72 did, that Satan and his evil spirits have no control over us, or that God loves us, hears our prayers, and is always with us, or about the honor and privilege of serving Him and being called by His name, or simply because He has forgiven us and made us His own. However, Jesus made it very clear that the greatest source of our joy is that our names are written in Heaven. Now, that's something we can rejoice about every day.
Memory Verse for the week: (Proverbs 16:2) “All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord