Amazing Power–and Grace
I thank You, Father, for Jesus’ readiness to suffer for my sake, for the redemptive passion that filled his heart.
Read Luke 9:37-45
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Don’t you wish you could rush out and change things in the world? Think of what’s in the news right now: what would you want to change, if you could?
This is an amazing healing–a poor boy so badly infested by a demon that the disciples, with their newly given authority (1), cannot help. In Matthew, his father says simply that his son “is suffering greatly” as the demon drives him into water or fire (Matt 17:15). The problem, as Jesus sees it, is not the power of the demon but the unbelief of those surrounding the boy. He probably has in mind his disciples, the boy’s family, and indeed the whole helpless crowd (37) when he cries, “You unbelieving and perverse generation, how long shall I stay with you and put up with you?” (41).
Does this mean that if we were able to believe more or better we, too, would be able to heal like this? One word, and evil would be banished, pain relieved, wrongs righted, praise generated towards God (43)? Wouldn’t that be fantastic? Is this really the implication of Jesus’ approach to this healing?
No, I don’t think it is. Jesus’ “How long …?” is a real question, not an expression of vexation–and he tries to drum the answer into the disciples in v. 44: he has to be with them until the day when “the Son of Man is going to be delivered over to human hands.” But they can’t understand this (45). With such power, such ability to meet need and overturn evil, how could anyone betray or kill this man? They don’t realize that what the world needs is not amazing power but amazing grace–the grace that will be shown on the cross when Jesus himself becomes the victim of the powers of evil, like this boy, and gives his life for the world, so that not just one boy but all may be delivered (John 12:31).
Come back to the issues and problems that came to mind as you prepared today, and pray for God’s amazing grace to be known in those situations.
Loving Father, when I’m confused and bewildered by what’s happening around me, may I trust Your words about Jesus, “This is my Son, my chosen One. Listen to him.”
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