We continue our study in the Gospel of Luke this week by looking at Luke 10:17-24. The passage comes in three parts. Verses 17 to 20 recounts the report of the disciples and then Jesus' response to them in which He explicitly tells them what it is that they ought to rejoice in. Then in verses 21 and 22, we have recorded a prayer that Jesus prays to His Father in that very context and in that prayer Jesus clearly draws attention to God's sovereignty. And then finally in verses 23 and 24, Jesus turns back to His disciples. First He's responded to their report in verses 17 to 20, then He's prayed to God in verses 21 and 22, now in verses 23 and 24 He gives them an exhortation. And the exhortation to His disciples is basically this: "Dear, dear friends please understand how enormous the privileges are that God has given to you."

What do you get excited about? What really stirs your heart? I was in a car last week and there were three boys in the back seat and for a half hour they talked in sheer delight about the glories of Star Wars the Clone Wars. And I do not begrudge them that. It was nice to listen to people so excited about something. Aren't you tired of cynicism? Don't you love it when you see someone just genuinely delighting in something, relishing something? What do you delight in? Do you delight in anything like that?

What you delight in will show you what your treasure is. What you rejoice in will show you what you think is most important in life.

The disciples come back from this mission, in verse 17, and they are blown away by what they have seen. And Jesus rejoices with the disciples. Do you notice this? Look at verse 18. Jesus responds, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven."

Do you understand what's going on?

Jesus is saying that in this little mission that's gone out to these villages in Palestine we are just seeing a foretaste, a portent of what is to come. The Gospel is about to break loose at Pentecost. After Jesus' death and burial and resurrection and ascension, Jesus from the right hand of God the Father Almighty is going to pour out the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem and the Gospel isn't just going to change Israel, it's going to go from Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria to the ends of the earth and the earth is going to be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

And so Jesus rejoices in what the disciples are rejoicing in - the display of His power even over the dominion of Satan and the demons of hell. But then Jesus says, and you see it in verse 20 - "Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this." Now, He's not telling His disciples you were wrong to rejoice in this. He's using a literary device that's called a relative contrast in absolute terms. He says to them, "Don't rejoice in this; rejoice in that." Now He clearly doesn't mean that it's wrong for them to rejoice that the demons are subject to them because He's just rejoiced about that too. He says, "I saw Satan fall like lightning." He's excited about it too.

What He is saying is there's something deeper that your joy needs to be in. And in this passage Jesus points you to what that deeper thing is. And you know what it is? It's grace. It's saving, converting grace. That's what Jesus tells His disciples that they need to rejoice in. Don't rejoice that you can speak a word and cast out a demon in My name.

Rejoice that you've been converted. Rejoice that you've been saved. Rejoice that your name is written on the Lamb's book of life. Rejoice that your name is written in heaven. That's what you ought to get excited about, that's what you ought to delight in, that's what you ought to rejoice about. You rejoice in that.

In fact I'd like you to see three things that Jesus says.

I. Jesus Rejoices Over Converting Grace

The disciples are excited about this miraculous, spiritual authority that they show even over the demonic world. Jesus, in this passage, rejoices. In only one passage in all of the Gospels are we told what Jesus rejoices over. And you know what He rejoices over? He rejoices over conversions. He rejoices over saving grace bringing someone from darkness to light.

Have you recently delighted in the thought of someone coming to faith in Jesus Christ? Have you rejoiced at someone being converted by the power of the Holy Spirit, trusting in Christ as He is offered in the Gospel? Is that something that delights your soul? Believers rejoice in what their Master rejoices in, and the Master rejoices when men and women and boys and girls come to saving faith in Christ.

II. Jesus Praises God For Sovereign Grace

Then secondly look at verses 21 and 22. Here, Jesus praises God for sovereign grace. In other words, Jesus in this prayer says, "Lord, this is just like You. Your people have been waiting for the Messiah to come for thousands of years and when You send Him into the world the core group around Him is not the kings of Israel or the prophets of Israel or the priests of Israel or the scribes of Israel or the leaders of the synagogues. The core group that You've got around Him is fishermen, tax collectors, farmers, zealots. They're not the great and important people of the land. They're people that other people look down on. It' s just like You, Lord, for You to do this." And He praises God for His sovereign grace in doing it this way.

And you know what that ought to do to us my friends? It ought to humble us. We have so, so much.

III. Jesus Rejoices Over God's Expanding Grace

Finally, Jesus praises God for and delights in expanding grace, verses 23 and 24. He says, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you her, and did not heart it." Do you realize what Jesus is saying to His disciples? He's saying to His disciples, "You disciples know some things that Moses did not understand because you have been given this fuller, fresh revelation of God in Me, the Messiah, the Son of God, and from Me - eventually the writings of the New Testament, the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in the Gospels, the inspired testimony of His apostles in the epistles of the New Testament. There are things you understand, My disciples, that the greatest of Old Testament saints did not understand."

Do you have any idea of that privilege? Do you have any idea of that privilege? Given what you know, and given that you know more than those old covenant saints who looked forward for the day Jesus of His coming, do you rejoice and delight in the things that He delights in more than they did?

Oh, my friends, your delight will reveal your heart. It will reveal the treasure of your heart. May God grant that your delight is fundamentally in the grace of God in Jesus Christ.