For the past couple of weeks, I have been reading nothing but pure Jesus stuff. I flipped my Bible open to the Book of Matthew and just started reading. No commentaries. No devotional guide. No pen or paper. There is a time and place for those, and at this point in my walk, I was ready for something different. I wanted to sit down with Christ, read His words and ask Him to clarify what it means to be one of His disciples.
Granted I have only gotten through to about half of Mark, but I have started to notice a pattern in Jesus’ ministry. He would speak truth to the people. Then go into greater detail with the disciples. And to wrap it all up, Christ would make it practical and applicable. He would send the disciples out, equipping them to do three things: heal the sick, cast out demons, and raise people from the dead (Matthew 10:8). And the ability to do these were contingent on both the faith of individual performing the act (the disciple) and the one recieving the act (the sick, demon-possesed, etc.).
So I left the passages challanged. I can’t help but feel that all disciples are equipped with these initial gifts. However, our authority has wained due to our lack of faith. I don’t ever remember going with other disciples to cast out demons. Healing is more often left up to doctors or short little prayer requests at life group. Raising the dead is straight out. No one does that these days.
Yet, my convictions tell me that the Holy Spirit is still very much alive and we still have authority. I have been healed on numerous occaisions. I have been raised from the dead (read my testimony) and I have gone head to head with demons. Albeit, those happened mostly in my youth when I depended on Christ a lot more.
So what do you think? Do you as a disciple of Christ have the authority to heal? to cast out demons? or raise the dead? Challanging, huh?