Summary: Jesus gives us His formula for Spiritual Success - 1. Dependence on Him 2. Develop great Teamwork and 3. Deliver and transform lives through the power of Jesus
Title: "I Saw Satan fall"
Proposition: Jesus' formula for spiritual success 1. Dependence on Him 2. Develop Great Teamwork 3. Deliver and Transform Lives through the power of Jesus
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from Jesus Christ who came to take away the Sin of the World. Thank you so much for being here today!
Have you ever heard of a brain teaser called "THE MONTY HALL" problem? It's a probability puzzle that is loosely based on the American TV Game Show called, "Let's Make a Deal" and was named after its original host, Monty Hall. I am sure this morning many of us have seen the "Let's Make a Deal" game show. The problem was first proposed by Dr. Steve Selvin, a biostatistics professor at the University of California at Berkeley. It goes like this:
Suppose you are on a game show, and you're given the choice of three doors: Behind one door is a car, behind the other two doors are goats. You pick a door, say Number 1, and the host before he opens door #1, asks you if you would rather pick door Number 2. Is it to your advantage to switch doors?
If you ever watched "Let's Make A Deal" then you have watched that problem in action. Monty Hall loved to confuse people by trying to get them to either change their minds or go crazy in trying to figure out what to do. Should they pick door #1, #2 or #3. And after they pick door #1 should they change their minds and pick either door # 2 or #3?
How many of us have ever played along with "Let's Make a Deal" and have picked the right door? How about the wrong door?
This morning, our Lukan passage could be seen like "Let's Make a Deal". Jesus wants them to understand where the greatest prize in life actually resides.
In our passage, St. Luke shares that Jesus had sent out 72 of his most committed and consecrated disciples and they had experienced some amazing success. They had been able to do things that just a few week earlier they could not have even imagined. Luke tells us that they had been able to preach about the Kingdom of God, heal the sick and eve cast out demons. Can you imagine being a part of one of those teams?
While they had faced some opposition and trials they didn't want to spend time focusing on the negatives. We don't hear them complaining about not having enough food or shelter or anything in this passage. Instead as we read in verse 17, they all come back rejoicing and celebrating. They had experienced the time of their lives. They were ecstatic over what they had seen and accomplished for Jesus.
Sure, they had been sent out as lambs in the midst of wolves. But in the name of Jesus those lambs had been able to bring freedom and healing into the lives of people. They had been able to do the same miracles as they had watched Jesus perform. They had been able to cure fevers, heal the lame, enable the blind to see and cleanse the leper. They had been able to bring healing and wholeness into the lives of people who were suffering, depressed and decimated.
Can you imagine how they were feeling? How would we feel this morning if for a few days we were able to go out and preach, heal people and cast out demons? How would we feel if we could do the some of the things that Jesus did while he was here on the earth? No wonder they were all pumped up and ready to do some more. They had gotten a taste of what it meant to be anointed and empowered by the Holy Spirit and they wanted more.
In verse 20, Jesus wants to calm them down a little and have them focus on the most important part of their mission. In a way Jesus wants them to choose Door #3. They had already seen and experienced
+Door # 1 - People being healed of all kinds of sicknesses and diseases
+Door # 2 - People being freed from demonic possessions
And now Jesus wants them to look into Door #3 - the most important door of all. Jesus wants them to understand what is even more important than healing and casting out demons. He wants them to understand what should bring the most joy and celebration in their lives. Jesus tells them in verse 20 - " ... do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
The greatest experience and the thing we should rejoice about the most is not how much spiritual power or how many spiritual gifts we possess. The thing that we should rejoice about the most is that our name are written down in heaven. In other words that we have been redeemed, renewed and restored into the image of Jesus Christ. There is nothing as great as knowing that we are saved and sanctified this morning.