THE seventy disciples returned from their mission in great joy, reporting that even the demons had been powerless before them. Jesus' response was to tell them of a vision he had of Satan falling from heaven like a flash of lightning. In this vision Jesus foresaw Satan's utter defeat so that he would no longer trouble humankind. 

This was, and still is, the good news of the kingdom. "You have been allowed to participate in unusual power," said Jesus. "But don't rejoice in this. Rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven." They were to rejoice, not in what they had been able to do, but in what God was doing with them. Then Jesus gave thanks that God had given his kingdom to simple people like these disciples, rather than to the religious elite.

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In this same mood of gratitude and rejoicing Jesus prayed and referred to the unique relationship he, the Son, had with the Father. Only Jesus knew and understood the Father as a Son would, only Jesus and those to whom he imparted such knowledge.

Then, turning to the disciples who were being allowed to see so much, Jesus said, "Blessed are the eyes which see what you see!" How many prophets and kings of Israel had wanted to see it, and could not! Now these disciples were seeing the fulfillment of the promises of God to Israel. There would never be anything in the history of the world more wonderful to see! 

Shouldn't we, then, also rejoice? We have beheld the fullness of God in the life of Jesus Christ. We have been blessed to see what our spiritual forebearers could only anticipate.