What’s in a name
LUKE 10: 1–12, 17–20
Today’s gospel is one of the most powerful, as it states clearly what our status is, given by God Himself through Jesus Christ. It is the whole raison d’etre to our relationship with God. It is our anchor through the turbulent times as we go through this valley of tears…it is the most awesome gift, the ultimate gift of God, the result of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
There were 72 others, whom Jesus sent out to preach and minister, and who returned to Jesus, all excited and thrilled to tell Him “even the devils submit to us when we use your name”.
They were amazed; they were mind-boggled that demons submitted to them through the name of Jesus Christ. Today, many of us who do the work of the Lord are always in awe when we witness a miracle in the lives we touch.
Jesus upon hearing their excitement, told them don’t get so overjoyed about having the demons subjected to them, but rather rejoice over something greater: “your names are written in heaven”.
Let us look a little deeper at this statement by Jesus. Why was it so important? One’s identity is important—it opens and closes doors. In this world, anything we do, we need documents to prove who we are, that is why our names are written on birth certificates, death certificates, passports, ID cards, driver’s licenses, bank accounts, resumes, in the Department of Human Resources at our jobs and the list goes on.
We cannot do anything without them and here it is Jesus is telling them that their names are written in heaven. They have an identity recognised in Heaven. Glory to God!
That is why the demons submitted to them, not because they spoke through the name of Jesus only, but because they were given the permission and the authority to use His name.
They too belonged to the family of God. They were not strangers or aliens, but sons of the Most High God, which is what activated the miracle. That is why He told them to rejoice.
The gospel also said that Jesus told the 72 “I have given you power to tread underfoot serpents and scorpions and the whole strength of the enemy; nothing shall ever hurt you.”
Somehow many of us have missed that decree, that part of our inheritance. We can recall Psalm 91.
Why are you going to the obeahman? Why do you want to commit suicide, or get strung out on drugs, on alcohol, on sex, on lies, on pride, envy, jealousy, whatever you do in order to survive, when you have the power over the enemy, not part, but power over the full force of the enemy and can in the authority given to you, tell it to flee out of your house, out of your family, out of your job, out of your finances, out of your mind, out of your relationships, your marriage.
Let us remember this week to lift our heads, knowing who we are, children of the Most High God, with our names written not at President’s House, nor Prime Minister’s house, nor the Archbishop’s House, but rather it is written in Heaven.
The Gospel Meditations for July are by Jemma Redman, founder of A Way of Living in Christ International, a spiritual support group for adults; the artistic director of the Southern Christian Drama Ministry, and a television co-host. She is a parishioner of St Peter’s RC Church, Pointe-a-Pierre, and St Mary Magdalene RC Church, Houston, Texas.