True Joy

After the 70 returned from proclaiming the kingdom of God throughout Galilee, they reported to Jesus that they saw that spirits obeyed their commands. Experiencing such authority over the spiritual realm brought them great joy. Even Jesus told them that he had seen Satan fall from the heavens like lightning. However, Jesus cautioned them that they should not rejoice because of the authority they had over spirits, but to rejoice because their names were written in heaven. What did Jesus mean? In no way did he discount the importance of what his followers had done in liberating people from lies and deception; he merely put it in the proper perspective. The followers of Jesus are to rejoice in what is eternal and relational. Being eternal beings the joys that we experience on earth cannot bring us lasting joy, because they are all temporal. They come and go. The joy comes and as quickly as it comes it also fades provoking us to look for something else. Jesus was giving his disciples the secret to true and lasting joy. As we train ourselves to rejoice in our relationship with him and God the Father; our joy never fades, in fact it increases, because relationships are meant to grow and expand. This is true, because our relationship with Jesus is eternal; it is not tied to this world, but to heaven. As we grow to know God in increasingly greater ways, our joy will also grow. Jesus’ point was that we should continue to do what is right on earth, while at the same time cultivating a never ending relationship with him and God our Father.

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