Ray Stedman, in his book Authentic Christianity, tells a story about a man who was an alcoholic but accepted Christ and became a believer,
A friend who heard of his conversion questioned him about how he could believe all that “nonsense” in the Bible about miracles. “You don’t believe that Jesus changed the water into wine, do you?”
“I sure do,” he responded, “because in our house Jesus changed the whiskey into furniture.”
The biographies about Jesus’ ministry not only reveal His mission to save us from our sins and record His message of the Gospel’s Good News, but demonstrate His power and deity through His miracles.
Today’s Bible reading in Matthew 8 begins a section of numerous miracles that serve to demonstrate that He is the Son of God, and also teach us several other lessons as well.
Jesus healed a man from the dreaded disease of leprosy, the Centurion’s servant from paralysis, and Peter’s mother-in-law from a fever. These miracles demonstrated His power over nature. No sicknesses nor disease was too small or too great for Jesus. Many not specially named came to Him for healing. This was a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesy.
“He Himself took our infirmities
And bore our sicknesses.”
Today, Jesus is still healing. Not miraculously. But His power is demonstrated in the lives of people who were hurting emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. And Jesus’ presence in their lives has healed them.
Jesus can heal a marriage that is torn apart by infidelity or neglect. A relationship that is ruptured by selfishness and pride. And a church that is divided by human opinion and doctrinal error. Jesus can heal the sin-sick soul.
When we come to Christ, listen to Him through His Word, accept His authority, and follow His commands for our lives, He can help, heal, and give us renewed hope.
Matthew, as well as Mark and Luke, records Jesus calming the winds and waves on the Sea of Galilee. When the storm arose the disciples were frightened. They feared for their lives. Fortunately, Jesus was on the little boat. When they woke Him, He simply spoke and the winds abated and the sea was calmed. This miracle proved His power over nature.
There are so many things in this life that arouse our fears. Currently, it’s COVID-19. Folks are afraid. We’re looking for a cure. Hoping for a vaccine. Waiting for it to disappear. Feeling like our lives are in limbo.
While we should exercise common-sense precautions and protect the health of our loved ones, maybe we’re forgetting that Jesus not only has power over nature but can also calm our disquieted spirits.
The disciples were afraid, but they came to Christ. He calmed their troubled hearts. Let’s learn to do the same thing.
There’s a lot we don’t understand about demon possession in the Bible. Clearly, it existed. But more importantly, what we do know is that Jesus exercised power over Satan.
He exorcised demons from those tormented by them. He freed them from the shackles of Satan. From their anguish of spirit. And from the pain inflicted mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
The Devil is real. He seeks to enslave us to the sinful desires of the flesh. To habits that hurt us. To behaviors that hurt others. And to a lifestyle that hurts and hinders our relationship with God.
Jesus has the power to free us from the bondage, burden, and blame of sin. The Truth will set us free. The Gospel offers help and hope. The sinless blood of Jesus will cleanse us. And God promises to pardon us. Forgiveness is possible. Redemption is real. And rehabilitation can be realized when we truly accept his invitation–“Follow Me.”
Dear reader, Jesus is very much alive today. And desires to provide the power in your life to conquer any challenge you face, overcome any difficulty you encounter, and triumph over whatever trial the Devil may use to trouble you.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman