Monday, December 13, 2010

What authority and power this man’s words possess!

Luke 4:33-44 NLT  
   Once when he was in the synagogue, a man possessed by a demon—an evil spirit—began shouting at Jesus, 34 “Go away! Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” 
   35 Jesus cut him short. “Be quiet! Come out of the man,” he ordered. At that, the demon threw the man to the floor as the crowd watched; then it came out of him without hurting him further. 
   36 Amazed, the people exclaimed, “What authority and power this man’s words possess! Even evil spirits obey him, and they flee at his command!” 37 The news about Jesus spread through every village in the entire region. 
   38 After leaving the synagogue that day, Jesus went to Simon’s home, where he found Simon’s mother-in-law very sick with a high fever. “Please heal her,” everyone begged. 39 Standing at her bedside, he rebuked the fever, and it left her. And she got up at once and prepared a meal for them. 
   40 As the sun went down that evening, people throughout the village brought sick family members to Jesus. No matter what their diseases were, the touch of his hand healed every one. 41 Many were possessed by demons; and the demons came out at his command, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But because they knew he was the Messiah, he rebuked them and refused to let them speak. 
   42 Early the next morning Jesus went out to an isolated place. The crowds searched everywhere for him, and when they finally found him, they begged him not to leave them. 43 But he replied, “I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other towns, too, because that is why I was sent.” 44 So he continued to travel around, preaching in synagogues throughout Judea.

At his trial and execution, Jesus' detractors kept demanding evidence. Yet he had provided evidence and the testimony of those who saw for the previous three years was widely known. Many had seen the fruit of his powers. That they were beyond normal human powers no one could deny. They had witnessed him speak vision into blind eyes, hearing into deaf ears, activity into paralyzed legs, and life into lifeless bodies. They had witnessed him producing food for thousands from food for an individual. Everyone was talking about it. But those who would ask Jesus for proof wanted none, really, they merely wanted to eliminate him from their way. Little did they know they were fulfilling the prophesy of the ages about the Messiah, the Lamb of sacrifice for mankind's sin.

Before this, Jesus had a mission. He could have spent a comfortable lifetime healing and providing for those in his home region and becoming acclaimed as King. He could have raised armies and defeated political oppressors. But he had a bigger mission. Jesus was not to be deterred from the mission God called Him to. It was to preach the good news until the human leaders could stand no more of it and would either repent themselves or fulfill prophesy and kill Him. Jesus knew what would happen, he had studied the scriptures and he had the knowledge of the will of God in his mind.

Are we as focused upon the mission that Jesus has given us to do? Are we living in His will, His purposes, His strength, and walking His paths? If not, why not?

Your servant in Christ's love

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