Wednesday in the Sixteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Luke 10:13-20

The Chief End of Man

We continue Jesus’ instructions to the seventy-two other disciples that he sent to cities that he would visit before his passion.  In a way, their task was like that of John the Baptist in that they were to prepare these cities for the coming of Jesus.  The same could be said for us as we are to prepare and thereby warn the world of the second coming of our Lord through witness and godly living.

But after telling these disciples to wipe the dust off their feet of those cities that refused their witness, Jesus then names specific cities that had not repented at his preaching despite the mighty works he had done there, which reminds us again that the mighty works of Jesus are first and foremost signs and proofs of who he is that we might repent, and not just miracles at which we may gawk.  He names cities which he had visited: Chorazin, Bethsaida, and above all, Capernaum, where he ministered to God’s people.  Even pagan cities such as Tyre and Sidon would have repented, even Sodom!  Sometimes we just don’t realize how relaxed and casual we are when we hear God’s word.  And, as in the Gospel of John, we hear the same recurring theme, “The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects Him who sent me” (italics added).

The verses which immediately follow obviously skip some time; Scripture does this on occasion (e.g., Luke 24:50-53 skip the forty days before the ascension).  But the seventy-two return saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”  That’s worth getting excited about.  And then Jesus tells them why: He had given them authority over “serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.”  And because of our Lord’s coming, his binding of Satan (Mark 3:27), and the gift of the Holy Spirit whereby he has given us authority over the devil and his schemes, Jesus beheld “Satan fall like lightening from heaven,” as the kingdom of our ancient foe was crumbling to dust under our Champion’s banner.  And as wonderful as the defeat of him who held mankind under his demonic dominion – and still holds millions today – even this does not compare to having our names written in heaven.  The defeat of Satan is not the goal; it is the means.  The goal is residing in the kingdom of heaven, worshiping our Lord, the One who has made us for Himself.  The chief end of man is to know God and enjoy Him forever, to glorify His name forever, to finally find ourselves in and with Him forever.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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