Besides the 12 Apostles, Jesus also had Seventy Two (72) disciples, whom he sent to “preach the Good News to all nations”. The Seventy Two Disciples are firmly rooted in Scripture, but only the Gospel of Luke mentions them. Unfortunately, those disciples’ names are not mentioned in the Gospels.
In the New Testament the word “disciple” is used of the followers of the Jesus Christ. “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few,” Christ said as he dispatched the 72 disciples. “So the Lord of the harvest has to send more workers out into the fields.” (Luke 10:1-4)
Christ sent out his apostles and disciples, two by two, “as lambs among wolves,” without purse, bag, or sandals. He told them to live simply, but urgently. Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me…” (Luke 10:16).
And the message they were told to convey was equally simple and urgent: “The kingdom of God is coming near you”.
Their mission was clearly a success as they returned saying with joy, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
It is not the gifts and abilities we have received from the Father that should have our rapt attention. The predominant source of our joy should be the close, personal relationship we enjoy with our Heavenly Father. No matter what position we are given in this world, and irrespective of the gifts and graces we have received from above, our everlasting joy should be in the fact that we have been saved by grace, through faith and have an inheritance that is kept for us, in heaven.
Praise God that in Christ, our sins have been forgiven and eternal life is our present possession. And although we should delight to praise God for the many blessings we receive from Him, day by day, let us rejoice in heart, soul, mind and strength that our names are written in heaven.