On Thursday morning, it was the comedian, Brian Regan.
Or thought at appropriate moments.
Yesterday, in Luke 10:17-20 , I was reading about "The Return of the Seventy Two." The passage goes like this:
17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
You need to know a little background on this passage before I proceed. At the beginning of chapter 10, Jesus had sent the disciples out two by two ahead of him. They took no moneybag, knapsack, or sandals. It was quite the spartan trip. He sent them out as "lambs among wolves." He told them to heal the sick and proclaim that the kingdom of God had come near to them.
Apparently, some spectacular things happened, because in verse 10 we are told they returned with joy saying that the demons were subject to them in Jesus' name. I'd say that's spectacular. I think I must have expected Jesus to say something like, "Wow! That's awesome!" But he surprised me in verse 18 when he said "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven."
After a statement like that, you don't typically think of a line you've heard a comedian say, but that's what I did. Brian Regan's "I walked on the moon," was the first thing that popped in my head after Jesus said he saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. (What!?!)
"I walked on the moon," is part of the climax at the end of one of Regan's routines that's all about one-upmanship. (I'm including a video of it at the end of this post for your enjoyment :)
When I read what Jesus said back to the disciples, it sounded a bit like one-upmanship at first. (Satan falling like lightning tops demons being subject to disciples). But let's just be clear about the fact that if anybody has the right to and can always "top" someone's story, it's definitely Jesus. It just seemed like something he wouldn't say here - especially since the disciples were so excited. I was expecting Jesus to match their excitement with something like, "Way to go!"
I was in the middle of all these thoughts when our Faith came downstairs. I proceeded to tell her what I just told you, knowing she'd appreciate the whole Brian Regan side of things. She chuckled as expected, but then said something that I don't remember exactly word for word, but roughly, it went like this.
"Oh, funny...But you know what I think? I think Jesus is telling the disciples that he saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven when (because) the disciples were doing all the miraculous things they were doing!"
When what she was really saying sank in, I nearly screamed! What a cool insight!
Jesus wasn't one-upping the disciples, he was affirming them. He was letting them know that when they obeyed him, not only were the demons dealt a blow, but so was their "master," Satan. Jesus was letting them know just how far reaching obedience is - what effect it has in the spiritual realm.
This conversation has had an effect on me. I thought about it all day yesterday, and my fingers were itching to type the whole scenario out.
One other truth occurred to me as I mulled all this over: the benefit/importance of community.
Of talking over thoughts and ideas with someone else. I, thankfully, stumbled into this conversation with Faith. Boy, am I glad I did. My world was expanded. My faith was strengthened. Our chat in the kitchen at 7 a.m. made me love God more. It was unplanned and unexpected, but very good. We can reap similar benefits in planned and expected times of conversations like small groups and Bible studies. Our world will be expanded. Our faith will be strengthened.
And, we'll probably laugh, too. You never know when Brian Regan might be mentioned.