Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Why Jesus Asked the Healed Man to Stay in the Gadarenes

Jesus had just rescued His disciples from a fearsome storm.

Yet they still feared Him, wondering "What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him!" (Luke 8: 25)

They saw Jesus as a man, not a Savior.

They did not see Him as someone who keep them safe, either.

Then Jesus healed a demon-possessed man:

"34When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. 35Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid." Luke 8:34-35)

Now, the disciples started to see Jesus as having great power, and power to do good for us!

They trusted him, but those who did not see what good things Jesus was doing, would still be afraid.

Notice that the people of the Gadarenes were very fearful of Jesus.

This man beat out the demons inside of that possessed man. Who knows what else he would do?

They had no knowledge, no relationship with Jesus, to see that His heart is nothing but love and grace for us.

They then asked him to depart from their city!

Can you imagine that?!

Then the healed man asked to go with Jesus. What did He tell him to do?

"Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him." (Luke 8:39)



The inhabitants of the Gadarenes needed to hear the good news from the person who has healed. They needed to see the heart of Jesus, that He cares for us, that He is interesting in saving us, and to continue saving us!

Most of us still believe that Jesus will heal a part of broken condition, but He will not take care of every part. He will not condemn us ever!

"For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. (Isaiah 54:9)

and

"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD." (Isaiah 54:17)

and also

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus," (Romans 8:1)

Jesus asked the healed man, who had been possessed with devils, to stay and share what Jesus had done for him. so that everyone could see that Jesus not only had power, but that His power was to heal, forgive, and save!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

What Healed the Woman with the Blood Flow: Assurance of Whole Salvation

"43And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, 44Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. 45And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 46And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. 47And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. 48And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace." (Luke 8: 43-48)

In two scenes before this magnificent healing, we read about Jesus who stopped a terrifying storm, then cast a demon out of a possessed man.

The reaction from all those who were delivered, including Jesus' disciples and the residents of the Gadarenes?

Fear!

Even though Jesus had this incredible power to stop destructive nature and cast out destroying demons, they did not trust Him to do good for them.

They feared Him!

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18)

None of us are perfected in His love until we receive the full sacrifice of what Jesus did for us--and still does for us.

Most importantly, we have to know that there is no judgement for us.

And that was a big problem facing this woman.

She had a blood flow for twelve years!

Such a state made her unclean!

"And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even." (Leviticus 15:19)

But the extent of the uncleanness spreads further than the person that she touched:

"'Everything also on which she lies during her menstrual impurity shall be unclean, and everything on which she sits shall be unclean." (Leviticus 15:20)

This woman was taking on an incredible risk!

Still, she not only believed that Jesus could heal her, but she needed to believe that she would not make others unclean!


And that assurance was exactly what Jesus gave her!

"48And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace." (Luke 8:48)

Jesus did not just heal the flow of blood. She was pronounced "whole",  or that her faith had "sozo"ed her.

What does that mean? That Greek word "sozo" means  more than physical healing:

4982 sṓzō (from sōs, "safe, rescued") – properly, deliver out of danger and into safety; used principally of God rescuing believers from the penalty and power of sin – and into His provisions (safety).

Jesus assured this woman of complete salvation, not just from her disease, but also protection from an angry crowd, perhaps insensed that an "unclean woman" had pressed into the throng and potentially made everyone else unclean.

Most importantly, she was delivered from sin and condemnation! Notice that Jesus is our Savior, taking away our sin, not just atoning for it.

Jesus granted the woman with the blood flow full assurance that in receiving her healing, she would receive no condemnation for violating the strictures laid out in the Mosaic Law.

For he would fulfill the law (Matthew 5:17) and bring us into the New Covenant! (Hebrews 8:6-13)

Monday, September 12, 2016

What Healed the Woman with Blood Flow: The Spirit of Adoption

"43And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, 44Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. 45And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 46And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. 47And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. 48And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace." (Luke 8: 43-48)

This account should be read and reread as much as possible.

We see the heart of our Loving Father in heaven.

How much he cares for us.

How much he wants us to be well, healthy and able.

He revealed His heart through the Apostle John at the end of the Beloved Disciple's life:

"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." (3 John 2)

Evidently, the woman with a non-stop flow of blood was not prospering.

What was going on?

She had gone to doctors of all kinds, had spent all she had, and was still sick, still unclean.



Then she heard about Jesus, and she knew that just touching the hem of his garment would heal her.

Jesus knew that virtue--literally power--had gone out of her.

She was healed but not made whole, since she was still trembling.

Then Jesus called her "Daughter".

When Jesus died on the Cross, He did not just die for us, He did not just die as us, but He brought us into Himself and granted us a new identity in Himself!!

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

And also

"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." (Romans 8:15)

and also

"And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." (Galatians 4:6)

Because He is our Daddy, and we are His children, we can know that He is caring for us and wants us well. We should not have to wonder if He will care for us, or have to strive for His love and attention.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Jesus Remembers Us and Blesses Us

On September 11, 2001 the United States endured four Islamic terrorist attacks on native soil.

Two planes crashed into the World Trade Center.

Another plane crashed into the Pentagon.

A fourth plane was grounded in the fields of Shankville, PA, destined for the White House.

Let us never forget that the price for liberty requires eternal vigilance.

Yet let us also never forget that our Heavenly Father is watching over us.

For those who believe on Jesus, who trust in Him, they can rest assured that they are protected.

God our Father is in the Remembering business.

He remembers us in our times of great hurt:

"And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob." (Exodus 2:24)


He remembers us!

"Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown." (Jeremiah 2:2)

We just need to stop thinking that we can fight,win, and protect ourselves.

We have no life apart from Him!

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)

and

"When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." (Colossians 3:4)

"The LORD hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron." (Psalm 115:12)

And remember, in Hebrew, there is no future tense. God is actively blessing us!

He remembers you, Beloved, and He blesses us!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Jesus Humbled Himself, So that He Could Exalt You and Me

"8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:8-11)

God the Father sent His Son, and His Son was obedient, all the way to the Cross, and from the Cross, He ascended to  Heaven, to be seated in full honor and glory at His Father's right hand:

"19So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 20And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen." (Mark 16: 19-20)

Did you know that He was brought low, to exalt us -- with Him?

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5: 21)


But also:

"4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" (Ephesians 2: 4-6)

There is a great passage in the Psalms about our wonderful God, who comes down to our level:

"Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high,

"6Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!

"7He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill;" (Psalm 113: 5-7)

Jesus did not come down to our level just to feel what we feel, and then feel sorry for us.

He came down to our level to bring us back up to His level!

"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5: 17)

We reign, in life, In His Life!

Jesus humbled Himself, and today because of His willing submission to His Father, we are seated with Him today!

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Jesus Humbled Himself, So That He Knows What We Go Through

"But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:" (Philippians 2: 7)

Jesus, the Son of God, God Himself, became a servant.

He came down to our level!

He experienced what we experienced!

He endured what we go through.

And yet He did no sin!

"For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4: 15)

He knew what was in man:

"23Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. 24But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man." (John 2: 23-25)

He understood the sin and frality because of Adam's fall.

He experienced the hardships which we face.

He was tempted:

"1Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4: 1-4)



He was tired:

"Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour." (John 4: 6)

He also felt the same grief we feel in the face of death:

"33When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, 34And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. 35Jesus wept. 36Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!" (John 11: 33-36)

Jesus knows what you and I have gone through, and are going through.

He has felt the same pains and set-backs you have felt.

Your High Priest today knows everything yo have been through!

Friday, July 29, 2016

There are Yet Seven Thousand and Many More

"Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him." (1 Kings 19:18)

Elijah the prophet was despondent.

He had done everything in his power to stop the evil overwhelming Israel.

He had killed scores of wicked false priests and prophets.

He had conducted an incredible sacrifice which gave God all the glory.

And then ... Jezebel whiffed a simple threat.

Elijah got scared, ran away, then sunk under a broom tree.

"But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. 5And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat." (1 Kings 19: 4-5)

He thought that he had to do everything else.

Instead of making him get busy and get to work, the LORD had him rest, eat, drink, and rest again.

All that time, the LORD was taking care of his enemies;

"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." (Psalm 23:5)

Later on, Elijah was still complaining as though he had to do all the fighting:

"4And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away." (1 Kings 19:14)

Ntotice that word "I".

We can do nothing of ourselves. We need the Savior, Jesus, every day helping us, leading us, guiding us, blessing and building us.



God corrects Elijah's self-righteous resignation:

"Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him." (1 Kings 19: 18)

Paul the apostle references this verse in his letter to the Romans:

"I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, 3Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 4But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. 5Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work." (Romans 11:1-6)

Note that Paul is talking about a seemingly hopeless situation--that the Israelites will be lost because they rejected Jesus.

And yet .. that is not the case, for those who believe on Him!

In fact, we must never think that our lives, that the challenges in our lives are all up to us.

Jesus has done the work of saving us, and He is working within us for all things:

"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Philippians 2: 12-13)

We are not fighting on our own. We are not alone.

He is a GOD to us! (Hebrews 8: 10-12)