Ever wondered what the Bible has to say about what to eat? Then this post is for you.
“When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’” Read the rest of this entry »
As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to destroy them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went to another village.
“Master,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”
The name of Jesus has power. Even if someone’s relationship to Jesus is not as intimate as the disciples’, the power of Jesus can still work through their lives to bring healing to others.
God, thank you for not limiting the use of your healing power to only the disciples.
The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him.
Jesus was returning from a semi-private mountain-top experience, during which amazing things had happened. When he came down from the mountain the next day, with Peter, John, and James, he didn’t have to go looking for someone who needed healing. The crowd met him.
When we look for God, we will find him.
God, thank you for being easy to find, for wanting to be found by us.
A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him. I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.”
“O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.
Why couldn’t the disciples heal this boy? They had the power and the authority to drive out all demons (Luke 9:1) and they had used that power and authority to heal before (Luke 9:6). So who is being rebuked in Luke 9:41? The boys’ father? The disciples? All of them, and more?
The word for “unbelieving” here is the Greek word “apistos.” It means doubting. And Jesus is not amused. It was quite possible to heal the boy, as Jesus immediately demonstrated.
So what had stood in the way of the boy’s being healed earlier? Apparently the very thing Jesus rebuked them for, as a form of wickedness: unbelief.
God, I believe in your unlimited power to heal. Help my unbelief, so that my lack of faith won’t be an obstacle to the freedom of healing for me or others.
Luke 9:28, 34-35
About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.
…a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”
Eight days before, Jesus had told his disciples that some of them would see the kingdom of God before they tasted death. And now, they were. They had just seen incredible things, and were now hearing the audible voice of God.
And God was giving the highest possible endorsement anyone could ever receive. God was saying, “I have chosen Jesus. Listen to him.”
Relationship: confirmed. Trust: implicit. Recommendation: total.
God, I love your clear endorsement of Jesus. Help me wholeheartedly accept and follow it.
… and [Jesus] sent [the Twelve] out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them:
“…If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them.”
There are some people who don’t want to hear the kingdom of God preached, and—as bizarre as this seems—who don’t want their sickness healed. Jesus gave his 12 disciples instructions for the right response to those people: a procedure for leaving them peacefully.
Whom would they heal? Those who welcomed them.
“[Jesus] welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.”
Whom did Jesus heal? Those who needed healing.
Maybe people who don’t welcome healing are those who don’t realize they need it. Or maybe they have embraced the brokenness of their bodies as unchangeable and are unwilling or afraid to let go of that reality to grasp another reality in which they are healed. Maybe they simply don’t believe the power exists to heal them.
God, give me the wisdom to understand how to apply your teaching to my own life. Speak to me about the kingdom of God and heal me.
Luke 9:1-2, 6
When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.
Together, these 2 things set people free: the kingdom of God, and healing of the physical body. This is what Jesus spent his power on. What he used his authority to do.
He didn’t prioritize one over the other. His was always—and remains—a twofold mission: creating wholeness of a man’s spirit and his body.
Jesus modeled this dual approach first, during all the healing and teaching he had done up to this point. And then he equipped his 12 disciples to do the same.
Being God, Jesus had unique, omniscient, insight into the brokenness of men. He saw that our bodies are broken from before birth and that our spirits and souls are in need of rescuing.
Only his power and authority can repair and restore what the broken world has taken away, not just for this life, but also for the eternity. And he used it for that. And still does.
God, I want that. And I want to help others have it. Give me your healing power and authority, like that you shared with your disciples.
Luke 8:52, 54-56
Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”
…he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.
There are so many layers of truth in this story. I love to look at the whole thing and imagine it from the perspectives of each of the different participants.
However, when the time came time for the final resolution, the situation simplified very quickly: Jesus took her hand. He commanded her. Her spirit returned. She stood up. He said to feed her. He said to keep quiet. The end.
When Jesus had arrived at the house, this girl had been about as undone as someone could probably be and still be alive. Her spirit and body had separated. Yet his command put them back together. I like that, I like it very much.
And then he wrapped things up with what else the family needed, instructions on how to get on with life: Feed your daughter, and don’t make a fuss.
God, you made this healing look so easy. Because for you, it was. Thank you for being that powerful.