Matthew 10:7-8 “As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”
Jesus told His disciples to do exactly what they had seen Him doing. Mark tells us that Jesus’ message was, “The time has come, the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15) All of the Gospels record that Jesus healed, cleansed lepers, cast out demons, and even raised the dead on occasion. In other words, here He was telling them, “You’ve seen and heard me do it, now you do it.” After this first run with the 12, He later did the same thing with a larger group, and Luke records how totally excited they were when they came back, having experienced Jesus’ authority operating through them (Luke 10:17) Jesus doubled down on this after His resurrection, telling His disciples, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20:21) To be honest, we don’t really want to hear and accept this, because we look at ourselves and look at our circumstances, and the idea of having to do stuff like this scares us witless, because we know we can’t do it. It is totally true that we can’t do it, but God never tells us to do anything He won’t enable, if we will allow Him to do it through us. I have long maintained that the world would be a different place if the Christians would wake up to who they are in Christ and do what Jesus has told and is telling them to do. That that is the case is proof of the shallowness of our faith and commitment. If we were already perfect, the world would be, too! Easy conditions tend to generate casual faith. In times and places of persecution, reports of dramatic healings and even resurrections come in even today. When we’re focused on ourselves, we miss the abundance of God.
I believe and have proclaimed this, but how much do I walk in it? I feel like I have faith, but how much do I exercise it? There was a time when I was expecting God to raise someone from the dead through me, but it never happened. In recent years I have come to believe that such temporary resurrections are strictly for non-believers, so that they may experience the reality of God and so believe, For a believer, being with Jesus is far better than being on earth! Cathy died back in 1975 and the Lord sent her back, but it was certainly not because of my faith. Rather, God knew that He had a lot more work for her to do, specifically in relation to me and our daughters. I’m very grateful He did that, but in no way can I take any credit for it. I am to keep proclaiming the kingdom of heaven and pray for people, particularly for physical and spiritual healing, and leave the results up to God, knowing that He is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20)
Father, thank You for this reminder. Help me follow through, as well as communicate it effectively, so that Your children may indeed rise up as the mighty army You created us to be, for the salvation of multitudes and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!