“…rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10.20
Seventy-two disciples were appointed by Jesus and sent out in pairs to minister to people in the local towns. They returned full of joy, recounting all the wonderful things they had seen. After sharing in their joy Jesus spoke these words: “Rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” What does this mean for us?
The essence of what Jesus is saying is that we are always in God’s presence. Our ‘names’ are not simply identifying titles chosen by our parents, but signify everything about us – our character, individuality, history, hopes and dreams. Knowing that our names are written in heaven gives us a deep assurance that everything about us is being held before God’s loving presence.
The full wonder of this is that in the seemingly mundane moments of your daily routine, or when you temporarily get side-tracked and forget about God, the reality is that you are actually always in his presence, regardless of whether or not you perceive it. This suggests that finding his presence should not be a great struggle, but simply a matter of tuning in to the reality that you are with him already; your name is continually before him.
No wonder Jesus said that this really is a cause for rejoicing.