Monday, January 13, 2014

The Power to Heal

There are so many questions surrounding the gifts of the spirit today. Just as there was in days of Jesus. Remember “Context is King.” When Jesus began his public ministry theLord had been silent for the past 400 years. It wasn’t until the preaching of John theBaptist that the silence was broken. This would mean that it had been several generations since people had seen any kind ofmiracle from God. The Jews had become a superstitious people just as many are todaywho long to see and experience the true power of God.

In Luke 5:17 we read, “And the power of the Lord was with him to heal.”(ESV) You would think this to be a given because we are talking about Jesus after all.Could it be when Christ took on the form of a man that he limited even his abilities asGod and lived like any other man that would be filled with the gifts of the Spirit. Weknow and believe that Jesus was 100% God and 100% Man at the same time for this isone of the seven mysteries of the faith. Another passage to consider is Philippians 2:5-8where it is said of Jesus that He “emptied himself” when he took on the form of a man.The word emptiedin the Greek is “kenoo” meaning: cause to lose power; emptyoneself. With this understanding it is a lot easier to understand the life of Jesus as heprays to the Father and so forth. He is our example of faith according to Hebrews 12:1-3, which is hard to grasp if He is acting as simply God with skin on. But, it carries a tonmore weight if Jesus had to rely on the Father just as we do today. Therefore the only reason to add this phrase: “And the power of the Lord was with himto heal” would be to illustrate that at that moment he had the ability to heal, and thathe didn’t always have that ability. A careful read of the gospels will show that Jesuswasn’t always healing the sick, but there were times of healing in which he healed themall.

In 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 we read a list of the gifts of Spirit and in that list we find the giftof healing. We are also told in verse 11 that the Spirit gives these gifts “individually asHe wills.” The same Spirit that was empowering Jesus for his earthly ministry is thesame Spirit that empowers you for your earthly ministry. When you have a need for agift God is faithful to provide those gifts, but an individual doesn’t necessarily have thatgift all the time. This was true of Jesus’ earthly ministry as it was for the Apostle’sministry as it is for our ministry today. God gifts us as we need to profit the Body andthe Kingdom of God.