Back in 1958, I was on a boys’ little league baseball team in Gitmo Bay, Cuba, where my dad was stationed in the Navy. Being only 9 years old, I don’t remember much about those days, but I do remember the awards day at the end of the season. My teammates and I each received a trophy of a shiny golden slugger. It had a small plaque at the bottom with our names individually engraved. It was my first trophy and I put it in a special place in my room.

A few years later, my parents were visiting their home church in Johnston County, and I was captured by the beauty and simplicity of an old Baptist church. At the end of each pew there was a gold plate with the names of families who had donated money to help provide for the pews. How cool was that? But then a few moments into the sermon, I was captivated by the stained-glass windows, and I noticed that there were people’s names etched into the glass of each biblical scene. My favorite was Jesus kneeling to pray as He leaned on a rock.

There is something special about having your name out there for the world to see. It humbles you; well, it should humble you, but it might actually have the reverse effect if you’re not careful.

In Luke 10 we have the story of Jesus sending out 70 people with instructions similar to the ones He gave His 12 disciples. These 24 verses beg for further study, and I would encourage you to mine some gold nuggets here in your daily devotions. Why seventy? What were their instructions? What warnings did the Lord give? It is a rich passage for sure.

Here is one encouraging lesson that I gleaned: All seventy are nameless.We do not have the name of a single one of those chosen for this special mission. Not one. I find that a little strange since we have all twelve of the disciples’ names. But here are the words I love, found in verse 20, “…rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.“ From the lips of Jesus Himself we know all seventy names are written forever in Heaven.

Rest in the truth that your name is in Heaven rather than written on the waters of time. Trophies, plaques, and stained-glassed windows will not last. It’s better to be one of the nameless seventy known only to God and be happy in it. Consider all the faithful souls who prayed, followed God’s will for their lives, and died unknown to us. But they are not unknown or forgotten by God.

Did you know that these seventy people brought great joy to the heart of our Savior? Verse 21 says, “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.” Jesus rejoices when His nameless ones prosper and know the blessings of obedience, even when others do not know and do not see their works. It is for His glory, not ours. Our Father rejoices in Heaven when we succeed. I would say He is even jubilant over us.

We can conclude that it is worthwhile to be a Christian, in our own nameless ways, when we have a Friend like Jesus to please. These seventy people may be nameless on earth, but they are not nameless in the Place where it really matters.

That beats my lost baseball trophy and the stained-glass names hands down.