Posted 04 Jan 2013
Matthew 4:23-24 (NLT) reads, ‘Jesus travelled throughout the region of Galilee, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. News about him spread as far as Syria, and people soon began bringing to him all who were sick. And whatever their sickness or disease, or if they were demon-possessed or epileptic or paralyzed—he healed them all.‘
Notice the parts in the text which I have highlighted… & which really struck me as I read these verses just now! From the text we can see that Jesus healed EVERY kind of illness & sickness in the people he encountered. Verse 24 explicitly says, ‘he healed them all.’ That’s EVERYONE who came to Jesus with ANY kind of illness or sickness was definitely healed.
I belabour that point as much for myself as for other people.
It’s easy to be confronted with an illness & to doubt God’s ability to heal it… it’s like a little debate session is going on inside our heads, ‘will He heal this person in front of me, or not?’, ‘will He?… Won’t He?’ ! Man, that can be tiring to listen to!
But this text gives me (& hopefully you too!) hope in God’s miraculous powers for today. Jesus, under the advice & power of the Holy Spirit, was able to heal ALL illnesses He encountered. It would be easy to say, ‘well, of course Jesus healed everyone… He was God!’ But remember, Jesus laid aside his divine powers when He chose to come to earth & live life as a human being. And remember that all of Jesus’ life, everything He ever did on earth, was as an example for us. All Jesus said & did was to provide an example, a model, for us to follow. Therefore, if Jesus did it (healing, signs & wonders) then He expected us to do it too!
Not only that; Jesus expected us to exceed His amazing, miraculous feats! We know that because Jesus said (in John 14:12-14 (NLT)), “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!”
Again, I’ve emboldened the bits I want us to remember. And notice that Jesus said, “ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” not once, but TWICE, in the space of 2 sentences! Isn’t that Jesus making a clear, definite call to us? Why would Jesus say the same thing twice, in quick succession, unless He wanted us to take special note of what He had just said?!
Repetition is an important, significant writing device in the Jewish mind & writing culture. Points in a text or narrative that are important or note-worthy are often repeated. I’m sure this is why much of the Bible is written in a repetitive style… it’s so that we think, ‘Ah-ha, that must be important, the writer has written this thing twice, so I’m supposed to pay attention here!’
What’s my point: we need to recognise that Jesus told us that we would do even more amazing, fantastic, miraculous things than He did. Forget the times we haven’t seen that healing. Forget the times we didn’t see the miraculous happen, as we had prayed. The Devil wants us to remember our “failures” & to stay in the shadow of them… of the doubt in God that they caused. But we’ve got to deliberately choose to put our faith “on the line” again & again, & to eagerly pursue the compassionate, life-affirming, love-in-action power of the Holy Spirit. It can’t be a matter of God not wanting to heal the person who is before us, because Jesus healed EVERYONE who was before Him. If Jesus life is an example to us, then He MUST want us to pray for the healing of everyone who comes to us & asks for healing. QED!
When Jesus walked the earth, He did so as a man. We can not claim that He healed because of his own (human) ability because, like us, He didn’t have any miraculous ability as a product of being a human being. However, Jesus had the miraculous, life-giving power of the Holy Spirit & it was the co-operation of Jesus & the Holy Spirit within Him, that achieved all the amazing miracles of Jesus. Had Jesus not been baptised a few verses before in Matthew’s Gospel?! We read in Matthew 3:13-17 that Jesus received the Holy Spirit upon His baptism. And after His baptism, we begin to read of all the amazing miracles & healings that Jesus performed. We are rightly dumbfounded & in awe of Jesus’ miraculous feats. But His achievements were a product of 1) Deep love & compassion for people and 2) a close “walk” & co-operation with God the Holy Spirit. Again we see that Jesus life was intended to be an example that demonstrates to us how WE can also perform miracles & healings. It’s the same Holy Spirit who was in Jesus who now inhabits us Christian believers. It is not us who perform miracles &/or healings… how can we, we have no innate power within us! However, just like Jesus, we Christians have the Holy Spirit within us, & it is Him (the Holy Spirit) who has ample power to perform as many miracles, signs, wonders & healings as He feels like! Perhaps it is more about us ‘getting out of the way’ & allowing the Holy Spirit to do what He wants to do… now there’s a thought?!
A confession… & a hope
I haven’t seen much in the way of the miraculous in my church.
I haven’t raised anyone from the dead.
I haven’t been involved in a miraculous sign or wonder upon the earth.
BUT.. Oh, how I LONG to see the miraculous, the awe-inspiring, the power of God within our churches & to experience that myself.
The healing miracles of Jesus proved that all nature was under his control… & it still is!
I’ve seen video clips of Christians in Australia praying for people in the streets & amazing miraculous events unfold before the camera’s lens & people’s eyes.  How I long to be a part of that. To see that occurring in the UK.
Maybe the desire to see the miraculous & the healing power of God is being birthed inside my heart? Maybe that’s how God moves in someone’s life, before they start to see the miraculous happen? Wow! What a great thought that is!
Bring it on Jesus! I want to be a part of that new movement of God.
Many times last year (2012) I kept being reminded of what the apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 4:20 (ANIV), ‘For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.’ I believe that. I believe that church life should automatically demonstrate the power of God. Our churches may well have great teaching & preaching in them (& thank God for that!) but without a demonstration of God’s power, isn’t it all simply a matter or words & opinion & interpretation, without the accompanying demonstration of the power of God?
I believe that modern Christian church life should have all the powerful, Biblical, appropriate preaching & teaching, but it should also have a corresponding, co-operative demonstration of the love & power of God.
If I’m wrong, then I’ve misunderstood what Jesus was saying when he said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works…” But if I’m right in my interpretation of that simple sentence, then it is appropriate & correct to expect our church leaders & our congregations (that includes me!) to ask God for His power, through the Holy Spirit, and to see that power demonstrated right now, here on Earth.
That’s what I want for Christmas! The power of Jesus through the presence of Jesus, the best present we could receive!
 Livestream video’s of the Glory City Church in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. http://www.livestream.com/glorygathering/folder
SWOLEN FOOT SHRINKS ON CAMERA!! Outbreak at Westend (Glory City Church)
scroll along to 4:30 mins to see the swollen foot shrinking!
There are hundreds of other videos showing God’s amazing power at work here, today, in this world!
I want to be a part of that healing work.
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