Dare We Learn From Jesus?
compassion caused Jesus to touch the most unclean. The power of God’s Kingdom and the blood of the Redemption will make the unclean clean.
- Matthew 8—1When He was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. 2And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean (Lord, if You want to, you have the power to cleanse me). 3And Jesus put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, I will (I want to); be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
- Isaiah 53—4Surely He hath borne our griefs (our sickness and disease), and carried our sorrows (our physical and mental pain): yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
DEAR LORD, since I’ve learned that You took upon Yourself my sorrow, the pain of my heart, and the grief I’ve been holding, I’ve wanted to trust You for deliverance. But, something has hindered me from believing completely that You will make me whole. I know it is because I have felt myself too unclean for You to care about me. But, now I renounce that thought and open myself to Your loving, cleansing, healing power. Oh, heal me, precious Lord!
We are all as unclean things till we are cleansed by the power of Christ’s blood.—Isaiah 64:6; I John 1:6-9
Faith, even coming from a nonreligious person, will draw the compassionate attention of the Lord Jesus.
- Matthew 8:5-13When Jesus entered Capernaum, a Roman commander came to Him. He asked Jesus for help.“Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home and can’t move. He is suffering terribly.” Jesus said, “I will go and heal him.” The commander replied, “Lord, I am not good enough to have You come into my house. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. I myself am a man under authority. And I have soldiers who obey my orders. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes. I tell that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, He was amazed. He said to those following him, “What I’m about to tell you is true. In Israel I have not found anyone whose faith is so strong. ...Then Jesus said to the Roman commander, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that very hour.NIRV®
DEAR LORD, it stirs my heart when I think how caring You are toward anyone who is sick and hurting. Please make me into that kind of person. I want to be the kind of person to whom those who are hurting can feel free to come and find Your healing grace, even those who are not very clean. And now, LORD, here are these persons who are dear to me and who need Your healing power. Please heal them.
God heals by His Word.—Psalm 107:19-21
Christ in us will still touch and heal those who are sick. God’s Word, as it came through Jesus, endures forever and still has power to heal as it too comes through us.
- Matthew 8:14-17—And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, He saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. And He touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them (she began serving them). When the even (the end of the day) was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils (daimoniz’omai, vexed by demons): and He cast out the spirits with His Word (literally, “by a Word”), and healed all that were sick (and He ministered healing to all who were having a bad go of it)... that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias (Isaiah) the Prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
Let us see again, and again, this powerful healing Word from Isaiah.
Demons will respond to us as they did Jesus, but there is one difference. We tell them, “Go, in Jesus’ Name!”
- Matthew 8:28-34—Jesus arrived at the other side of the lake in the area of the Gadarenes. Two men controlled by demons met him. They came from the tombs. The men were so wild that no one could pass that way. “Son of God, what do You want with us?” they shouted. “Have You come here to punish us before the time for us to be judged?” Not very far away, a large herd of pigs was feeding. The demons begged Jesus, “If You drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.” Jesus said to them, “Go!” So the demons came out of the men and went into the pigs. The whole herd rushed down the steep bank. They ran into the lake and drowned in the water. Those who were tending the pigs ran off. They went into the town and reported all this. They told the people what had happened to the men who had been controlled by demons. Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. When they saw Him, they begged Him to leave their area.NIRV®
DEAR LORD, You have taught us much. But, I still feel weak when it comes to dealing with demons. Impress it strongly upon my spirit that the power to drive them away comes from Your Kingdom. Please keep us believing because of the many people around us who are desperate to become free from demonic strongholds.
The Early Disciples and Demons—Acts 5:10; 8:7; 19:12
Only those willing to pay the price of discipleship can expect Jesus to show His power through them. It is apparent some were ready before they knew what would await them in the paths of service.
Matthew 8:18-20—Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about Him, He gave commandment (like a military order) to depart unto the other side. And a certain scribe (a lawyer) came, and said unto Him, Master, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.
Hebrews 12:1b-3—...and let us run with patience (steadfast endurance) the race that is set before us, 2looking (with undivided attention) unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising (disregarding) the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the Throne of God. 3For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
DEAR JESUS, teach us to keep You in the scope of our vision. Teach us to live out of the resources of Your finished Work. Use us as vessels through whom Your healing power can become known to those around us who are suffering. Oh, yes! Teach us to rejoice in the hardships that come upon us who inherit Your Kingdom.
An Exhortation to Stand up under Hardship as a Good Soldier of Christ
—II Timothy 2:1-4
DYING to one’s own self is a demands of true discipleship.
Paul’s teaching in Romans 6 helps.
Matthew 16:24-25—Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.
RomaNs 6:10-11—For in that He (Jesus) died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
MY DEAR LORD, teach us the power of Your death and Your resurrection. Prepare us to live by faith, especially as we face a time when faith in You is all we may have. Deliver me, and these with me, from the fear of those difficult times when hope seems to vanish from before our eyes. Teach us to live a life of trusting You, so when times become more difficult nothing will seem strange or fearful.
Paul taught Timothy to endure afflictions.—II Timothy 1:8; II Timothy 4:5
Those living in obedience to Jesus will have times when they must give up their personal rights. God gives us His enabling grace for this.
Matthew 8:21,22—And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
Philemon 2:5-7—You should think in the same way Christ Jesus does.In His very nature He was God. But He did not think that being equal with God was something He should hold on to. Instead, He made Himself nothing. He took on the very nature of a servant.NIRV®
DEAR LORD, when I said I would do Your will, I did not know how it would offend these others that I love. Now, I ask You to bring Your grace into their lives. Cause them to embrace Your will with me so we can serve You as a team.
I cried unto the Lord; He heard me; I laid down in peace and slept.—Psalms 3:1-5
Those who will live in obedience to Jesus will have times when they must live by faith only. In these times they will behold miracles in their own behalf.
Matthew 8:23-26—Jesus got into a boat. His disciples followed Him. Suddenly a terrible storm came up on the lake. The waves crashed over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke Him up. They said, “Lord! Save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “Your faith is so small! Why are you so afraid?” Then Jesus got up and ordered the winds and the waves to stop. It became completely calm.NIRV®
Psalm 34:4-6—I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
DEAR LORD, we have tried to be obedient to You. With all our heart we felt we were doing Your will in coming here. Now, nothing seems to be right. All I know to do is to stop trying, and just cry out to You. Oh! Now I believe I’m finding what You want! You want us to rest in Your faithfulness.
Learning Not to Be Afraid—Psalm 3:6-8
JESUS chose some people to become His disciples that other religious leaders had rejected as sinners. The fact is, Jesus was a friend of sinners.
Matthew 9:9-12—(Matthew) was sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him. Matthew got up and followed Him. Later Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house. Many tax collectors and “sinners” came. They ate with Jesus and His disciples. The Pharisees saw this. So they asked the disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” Jesus heard that. So He said, “Those who are healthy don’t need a doctor. Sick people do. (Hosea 6:6) I have not come to get those who think they are right with God to follow Me. I have come to get sinners to follow me.” NIRV®
FATHER, there are some around us who don’t seem fit to enter Your Kingdom. But, won’t You please show us what Your grace can do in the life of these people—especially these I hold before You today. Without judging them, I call their names before Your Throne. Please send Your Spirit upon them to convict them, and draw them into Your healing grace.
The Holy Spirit has come to reprove (convict) the people of the world of their sin.
JESUS was the Master of life and death. That same power worked in Paul. Can it not work in us?
Matthew 9:18-25—While Jesus was saying this, a ruler came. He got down on his knees in front of Jesus. He said, “My daughter has just died. But come and place Your hand on her. Then she will live again.” Jesus got up and went with him. So did His disciples. When Jesus entered the ruler’s house, He saw the flute players there. And He saw the noisy crowd. He said, “Go away. The girl is not dead. She is sleeping.” But they laughed at Him. 25 After the crowd had been sent outside, Jesus went in. He took the girl by the hand, and she got up. NIRV®
Acts 20:9-11—A young man named Eutychus was sitting in a window. He sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. Sound asleep, Eutychus fell from the third floor. When they picked him up from the ground, he was dead. Paul went down and threw himself on the young man. He put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he told them. “He’s alive!” Then Paul went upstairs again. He broke bread and ate with them. He kept on talking until daylight. Then he left. NIRV®
LORD, Master of Life, what Paul did is beyond anything I can imagine today. But, I do hear it is happening in some places of the world. Won’t You please bring forth that kind of faith in us. Let the power and authority of Your Kingdom become alive in us. Rule in us. Use us for Your glory. Let our fellowship behold Your power.
With God, all things are possible—Matthew 19:16-26
Is it a Mission Impossible for us?
See below two the two things Jesus commanded of His Apostles that seem beyond our grasp today. How are we to respond?
Matthew 10:5-8—These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles (eth’nos), and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach (as a herald), saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand (has drawn near). Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Matthew 28:18-20—And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power (exousía, authority) is given (has been given) unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations (eth’nos), ... Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world (unto the consummation of the age). Amen.
LORD JESUS, teach us. Make disciples of us that You can give order to. Even if we don’t see people raised from the dead, give us the anointing and the faith to see these we hold before You brought to life spiritually. Let us see them cleansed in their spirits. Let us see them set free from the powers of evil.
The faithfulness of His Covenant reaches all generations.—Psalm 89:1-4
JESUS spent forty days after He was raised from the dead speaking of the Kingdom—and the Holy Spirit Who would empower His disciples.
Acts 1:3—To whom also He showed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God:
Acts 1:8—But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit) is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
FATHER, in all that we say and do as followers of the Lord Jesus, help us to be witnesses unto Him. Let this be a means of life, deliverance, and healing to those we communicate with.
David, Jesus, Peter, the early Church knew to behold the Lord always.
—Acts 2:25-28; Psalm 16:8-11
ROMANS truth and EPHESIANS TRUTH will lead us into the Life of God’s Kingdom on earth.
Romans 1:16-17—I am not ashamed of the Good News (the Gospel). It is God’s power. And it will save everyone who believes. It is meant first for the Jews. It is meant also for those who aren’t Jews. The Good News shows how God makes people right with Himself. From beginning to end, becoming right with God depends on a person’s faith. It is written, “Those who are right with God will live by faith.”
Ephesians 1:18—I also pray that your mind might see more clearly. Then you will know the hope God has chosen you to receive. You will know that the things God’s people will receive are rich and glorious.NIRV®
DEAR LORD, I present myself before You today, waiting before You, that You might make me into a person who bears the rich heritage of Your Kingdom in my life. Let the Good News given unto us to spread become known through me to these I hold before You. But, as I spread the Good News, let it be You that people behold.
Christ alive is our present hope of Glory.—Colossians 1:27; 3:24
[Scripture not taken from the King James Version is from the New International Reader’s Version of the Bible. Copyright 1996, 1998, International Bible Society.]
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