Summary: It’s what’s inside that counts.
Dead Man Walking
"You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth." Matthew 23:27
Dead Man Walking is the title of a book by a Catholic nun, Sr. Helen Prejean, who ministered to death row inmates. Dead man walking refers to what the people on death row are called as they take that final walk towards their execution. As they step out of their death row cell on their way to the execution chamber, one of the guards shouts "Dead Man Walking." It means that this man looks alive, but in reality he already is a dead man. The execution has begun.
We know that individuals and even entire nations can look formidable and strong on the outside but be totally diseased on the inside. One moment they appear alive and well and the next moment they are gone forever. In our lifetime we have seen Communist Russia and the Berlin wall disappear "overnight." What appeared to us as a tremendously powerful adversary was a dead nation walking. Individuals, cities, churches, governments, and nations can be dead men walking.
"Jesus left Nazareth and went down to live in Capernaum by the sea... He taught in their synagogues, proclaimed the good news of the kingdom and cured the people of every disease and illness." (Mt 4:13, 23)
In Capernaum everybody got healed. Miracles were common. There was no stopping the gospel. Jesus performed every kind of miracle imaginable. There was an open heaven over Capernaum and the goodness and mercy of God rained down! However down the road a few miles in Nazareth, things were completely different.
Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house." So he could work no miracles there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith. (Mark 6:4-6)
Same Jesus, same anointing, same message, same power, but completely different results! Jesus didn’t change, so what was the difference? A spirit of unbelief. Nazareth was full of dead men walking. They looked good on the outside but were full of unbelief on the inside. Jesus wanted to bring the good news to his hometown of Nazareth, but He couldn’t, "so much did their lack of faith distress Him." (Mk 6:6.) Jesus had to leave the city of Nazareth and all the dead men walking, and go to live in Capernaum which became the center of His miraculous ministry.
Churches can also can be dead men walking. The bible says: "there will be terrible times in the last days, men will be lovers of self and of money ... as they make a pretense of religion but deny its power. (2 Tim 3:1-5)
Christianity is a supernatural faith, full of supernatural power! Jesus spent an entire 1/3rd of his ministry healing the sick. He also said that the things He did, we could do also, in His name. "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father." (John 14:12)