Comments on Luke 10:17-20 by J.C. Ryle--
How ready Christians are to be puffed up with success! (v.17.)
There was much false fire in their joy when the seventy
returned from their mission. There was evidently 'self-
satisfaction' in the report of achievements.
The lesson is one which all who work for
Christ should mark and remember.
Success is what all faithful laborers in the gospel field desire.
Whether at home or abroad, they long for success.
All long to see Satan's kingdom pulled down and
souls converted to God.
We cannot wonder.
The desire is right and good.
Let it, however, never be forgotten that the time of
success is a time of danger to the Christian soul.
The very hearts that are depressed when all things seem against
them, are often unduly exalted in the day of prosperity.
Few men like Samson and can kill a lion without
telling others about it (Judg. 14:6).
Paul warns of pride in the successful novice (1 Tim. 3:6).
Most of Christ's laborers probably have
as much success as theirs souls can bear.
Let us pray much for humility and especially for
humility in our days of peace and success.
When everything around us seems to prosper and all our plans
work well, when family trials and sickness are kept from us, and
the course of our worldly affairs run smooth, when our daily
crosses are light and all within and without is like a morning
without clouds- then, then is the time when our souls are in
danger! Then is the time when we have need to be doubly
watchful over our own hearts. Then is the time that seeds of
evil are sown in us by the devil which may one day astound us
by their growth and strength.
There are few Christians who can carry
a full cup with a steady hand.
There are few whose souls prosper in their days
of uninterrupted success.
We are ready to think that our own might and
our own wisdom have procured us the victory.
In the midst of our triumphs let us cry to God for humility.