“Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.” (Mark 6:7, NIV2)
What does this mean?
“They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.” (Mark 6:12-13, NIV2)
Preaching the message, driving out demons and healing the sick was not solely Jesus’ mission. This was also the mandate of Jesus’ disciples. They healed others just like Jesus did. They had received authority from Jesus Himself and were invigorated with this mandate.
They even became bolder after Jesus’ resurrection: “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” (Acts 4:29-30, NIV2); and “As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.” (Acts 5:15-16, NIV2)
Nothing could stop them. They prayed for boldness, and boldness they received. All the people “were healed”. All of them!
Imagine approaching someone in a hospital suffering from an unknown disease. No one is around. With boldness, you approach this man and ask him if you could pray for him. I never heard of any suffering person refusing prayers. While praying for him, all of a sudden he stands up and shouts: “I am healed! I am healed!” How would he react towards Jesus? Wouldn’t he embrace him fully? After all, Jesus is the source of his healing.
Is this possible?
It sure was for the disciples, but I must wonder, why would this be restricted to the first century believers? Would that be fair? The Bible ensures us that “GOD is fair and just.” (Ps 25:8, MSG) This is something to ponder.
The day before, while driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, we had almost run out of fuel for our diesel automobile. We were at the Craggy Gardens, and our car was indicating that we only had a range of 40 kilometers. Instead of not focusing on our lack, we focused on the abundance of our Heavenly Father, and we prayed accordingly. Interestingly enough, our gage stopped going down. Instead, the range increased from 40 to 70 kilometers! We had no problems reaching the next city (See Kingdom Leaven. Do we Truly Believe? Part 6).
The following day my wife woke up long before I did and went out for a walk. While she was walking, her neck gradually became stiffer and stiffer, to the point that she couldn’t turn her head anymore. I knew nothing about this, until she told me how our Father came through to her:
“I couldn’t turn my neck to the right, and I thought, how am I going to be able to drive and tow the trailer? Immediately I called upon God’s abundant power, and I was instantly healed. No more pain. I was able to move my neck left and right without any difficulties.”
Interestingly enough, the following day I woke up with a stiff neck, and I, too, was healed immediately when I relied on the abundance of my Father. Coincidence? Good luck with that one. After all, “The very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:7, NIV2)
Are healings still valid today? Does our Father still come through for us? Was our Father favoring first century believers? These are worthwhile things to meditate upon. If in doubt, ask our Heavenly Father directly. He certainly will reveal Himself to you.
By the way, do you happen to have a stiff neck? I know someone who can fix it in the blink of an eye. His abundance is truly overflowing!
(To access the entire “The Forgotten Message” devotional series, please click here.)