Past Issues

Jesus -- the Guru #15

D. Jesus, the Power of God

Read Matthew 8:23-9:7

Jesus Calms the Storm

23Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.24Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.25The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

27The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

The Healing of Two Demon-possessed Men

28When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way.29“What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”

30Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding.31The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”

32He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water.33Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men.34Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.

Jesus Heals a Paralytic

1Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town.2Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”

3At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”

4Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?5Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?6But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. . . .” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.”7And the man got up and went home.

We humans can do some physical healing. We can learn what herbs and medicines treat different diseases. However, there are some forces over which we have no power.

Jesus is the power of God. In this passage, Jesus revealed His divine power over all things.
In vv. 23-27, we see God’s power over Nature. In vv. 28-34, we see His power over demons.
Note how both Nature (v. 27) and demons (v. 29) recognize Who Jesus is: the Presence and Word of God. The forces of Nature and the demons do not have free will. They have no choice but to obey when God speaks. We humans can decide to not obey, to not accept. We can refuse to follow even though we know it is the call of God.

Jesus showed His divine authority over Nature and over demons. In 9:1-7, He shows His divine authority over forgiveness as well. Note how the teachers of the law recognize that Jesus is doing what only God can do: forgive sins (v. 3). Jesus Himself claims this divine power (v. 6). Jesus’ miracles are signs of His purpose in coming to the earth, to take on Himself “the iniquity of us all.”

At Jesus’ time, there was a common belief among the Jews that bad things happen to people as the judgement of God. Therefore, if a person became ill, it was thought to be a punishment for something he had previously done. This was not Jesus’ view, but He knew it was the paralyzed man’s view. Jesus immediately relieved the man of any guilt and fear. He said, “You sins are forgiven.”
Have you ever thought that bad things happened to you as a punishment for other things you had done? In Jesus’ teaching and actions, we see that we are forgiven for our sins. God does not punish us for them. Jesus brings us that forgiveness.

Do you stand in awe now as people did then that God “had given such authority to men?” Just as Jesus wanted the paralyzed man to be healed in body and in soul and in mind, so He wants you to be healed. As you believe in Him, Jesus tells you also “Get up!” Jesus wants to take away your paralysis of guilt and fear and make you stand. He wants to unburden your soul. He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Mt. 11:28)

What are the burdens that you would like to turn over to Jesus to heal you in body, mind, and spirit? May I pray for you?


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