This Week’s Gospel: Click Here to read – Luke 8:26-39
Who would have believed that a man with multiple demons, a man no one could control, not even keep chained up, could ever be healed? You would think having witnessed the most incredible miracle of their lives, the people of the community where the possessed Gerasene man lived, would believe. How could they dispute the goodness of what was done? The man was released from his demons. He was made whole again. He was healed. Yet, the people asked Jesus to leave.
Before we get too surprised at their unbelief and their audacity of asking Jesus to leave their community, perhaps we should take a look at our own lives. All around us are hurting people who need the healing of Jesus, but do we even offer it to them? It seems the one thing we all need, is the one thing we least believe in.
Where in the Bible does it say that miraculous healing left our world when Jesus ascended into Heaven? Why do we seem to think that it was okay for Jesus to work such miracles because He is God? But, as for us, well we shouldn’t expect ourselves to do what he did. Or should we?
Jesus told his followers they would do even greater works than He: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.…” (John 14:12-13).
St. Peter raised a dead woman to life (Acts 9). St. Paul raised a man from the dead (Acts. 20). I would say those are greater works than Jesus did, just like He said. Why? Because Peter and Paul were men and not God. It is really quite remarkable when you think about it. The early church moved throughout the world with the miraculous power of God. Some have said that such “apostolic” power died out with the twelve apostles. But, did it?
In St. Matthew’s gospel, chapter 10, we read how Jesus commissioned the twelve to heal the sick and raise the dead. Paul was not even one of the original twelve disciples, yet the power was manifest in him. We know the twelve apostles ordained successors to their offices out of concern to pass on the apostolic ministry to the next generation (Acts 1). In fact, the ancient history of the church is filled with accounts of saints who worked great miracles, and even raised the dead.
So, why don’t we believe in such apostolic power filling the church of today? Is it because we have become too smart for such things? Have we become so sophisticated in our thinking and our ability to save lives through modern medicine that we don’t really believe in miracles anymore? Or do we even acknowledge the healing we bring in modern medicine is not from us at all, but from God? I wonder.
I look around our world today and see so many lost and hurting people, people in need of miracles. Yet, it seems the church offers little if any; most churches anyway. Again I ask, why? The very thing our world needs most, seems to be the very thing we believe the least – a church filled with apostolic power!
What miracles do you need? Is your life bound up with demons? Perhaps the common demons of today are not the possessive kind, but rather the kind we allow to plague us through our lack of faith. Jesus is still able to do through His church today, all the miracles He did then, but He won’t do them without the consent of our faith.
As you go through this week, read the miracle stories of Jesus and His apostles. Consider your own life. Do you need a miracle? Jesus said, “For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” (Matt. 7:8). As a minister who stands in the line of apostolic ministry, I’m asking for faith to believe He wants to do miracles through me. Won’t you ask Him for your miracles too?
Feel free to comment or ask a question. We must build each other up to the fullness of faith as we journey together. Until later in the week…
Grace & Peace,
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
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