Have you ever read a portion of the Bible and felt absolutely captivated by it to the point where you can’t get it out of your head? At times words we read enthrall our every waking moment. It’s as if the Holy Spirit is drawing us into an encounter where he is longing to reveal new facets of his revelation and love through those verses.
Well, I have recently revisited a passage that has done that very thing to me. Please take a moment to read the verses that have so captured my heart.
Matthew 9:35–10:8 reads, “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.”
Starting in Matthew 9:35 we see the everyday actions of Jesus. He “went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.”
From this we can gather that Jesus taught the religious, preached the good news of the kingdom to all who would hear, and healed people who had sicknesses and diseases on a regular basis. This was part of his everyday life.
Everywhere He went he demonstrated the values of the kingdom in both speech and action.
Sickness could not stay when Jesus was in town.
Even the foulest of cancers had to flee when Jesus spoke.
When Jesus preached the gospel, the impossible became possible.
When I read this, I am reminded of what the apostle Paul said in Romans 15:19 — “by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God…I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.”
Paul recognized how important it was that demonstrations of power follow the gospel message. That’s how Jesus proclaimed the kingdom. He gave the good news, and then he demonstrated the good news. He showed the present reality of the kingdom and how heaven could truly break into our circumstances and change everything.
Think about it: People can hear about Jesus all day long, but when they encounter him, everything changes. The word becomes actualized when the supernatural breaks out. Jesus’ love is manifested through those moments when the laws of nature are suspended and God shows off.
The more I spend time with God through his word, the more I see the connection between the preaching of the gospel and the outbreak of signs, miracles, and wonders. I find that God’s word always carries with it his promises and power to any situation into which it is spoken.
So now we ask the question, what does this have to do with us?
Spoiler alert: It has everything to do with us.
In John 20:21 Jesus says “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
Jesus himself has said that he is sending us to live a Spirit-filled life that declares the fullness of the Father’s love. If you don’t believe me look it up. It’ll be in red letters.
I don’t know about you, but I want to live a life that mirrors Jesus’ life — a life that demonstrates God’s glory everywhere I go and helps people to encounter Him through the good news of the gospel and demonstrations of his power.
This is easier said than done, but I believe that this passage of Scripture contains keys that will unlock and demystify how the everyday Christian life should be lived.
How can this happen in our lives and in our world? Should we expect to proclaim the gospel of Jesus and then move forward in power to demonstrate the reality of that kingdom?
Again, this has everything to do with us. We do have that ability, thanks to the resurrection power of the Spirit that lives within us. Demonstrating the power of the gospel can be as simple as showing concern for someone’s pain, bringing over a meal, spending time with a loved one who is in the hospital, or being a friend to someone who’s lonely.
Jesus followed up his messages by healing the sick and performing miracles. In large and small ways, we have the power to be someone’s miracle every day of the week. Ask the Father, who sees everything, to point out ways you can be the hands and feet of Jesus and expand the influence of the kingdom in your sphere of influence today.
By Chase McCartney, Social Media Marketing Coordinator for Biblica.
Biblica is a global Bible ministry inspired by radical generosity. For more than 200 years, Biblica has helped people beyond the reach of God’s Word discover the love of Jesus Christ. Through relevant and reliable Scripture translations and resources, Biblica serves people on the margins of the Gospel – the unreached, unengaged, unseen, and unwanted. For more information please visit our website at Biblica.com
Devotional written by Biblica staff member, Dena Williams. Dena is a writer, filmmaker, and lover of God. She enjoys good conversation, tea, and her beagle, Maisy. For the last ten years she has been reaching people through the arts for Christ to show them how beautifully made they truly are.