Summary: When I read Matthew 10, I wonder about John, a man with inoperable brain tumors. Wouldn't it have been wonderful if John had lived in Jesus days. But what can I do now?
Part 1 - Matthew 10:1 - HOW DO I PRAY FOR SOMEONE WITH INOPERABLE BRAIN TUMORS?
The other day I met a man with INOPERABLE BRAIN TUMORS. John (not his real name) made a commitment to Christ many years ago and has an ASSURANCE OF ETERNAL LIFE. We had a great conversation together. He is an amazing person. And I prayed for him.
When I read Matthew 10, I wonder about John. Wouldn't it have been wonderful if John had lived in Jesus days when He sent out His disciples to bring healing to people's lives. Matthew 10:1 (NLT) says "Jesus called His twelve disciples together and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and TO HEAL EVERY KIND OF DISEASE AND SICKNESS."
Said so simply but this fascinates me. They can heal EVERY KIND OF DISEASE AND ILLNESS. Fantastic! Did Jesus give only the 12 disciples this kind of authority and nobody else? Well it does say that He gave this authority specifically to the 12 disciples, but so often there's a principle that extends further.
What I want to know is - CAN I TAKE THIS FURTHER AND APPLY IT TO ME? Were the disciples the only ones with authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness? Does this only apply to them specifically or to ALL who are the disciples of Christ?
And if it does apply to me as a disciple, then WHY ISN'T MY COLD BETTER? Did the 12 disciples ever get a cold? Do the big preachers around the world ever get the common cold? Or is it just the little guys like me? And if they don't, why don't they? Faith bigger? Do they just soldier on and preach anyway? And for that matter, WHY DO I NEED FLU SHOTS? What gives? Maybe my problem is that I ask too many questions.
In Ephesians 1:19-23 (NLT) Paul prays for me and you. He says "I also pray that you will understand the incredible GREATNESS OF GOD'S POWER FOR US WHO BELIEVE HIM. This is the same MIGHTY POWER that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honour at God's right hand in the heavenly realms. Now He is far above any ruler or AUTHORITY OR POWER or leader or anything else-not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the AUTHORITY OF CHRIST and has made Him head over all things for THE BENEFIT OF THE CHURCH. And the church is His body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with Himself."
Is the power that He is speaking of the power that Jesus had - to cast out evil spirits and heal every kind of disease? Is it the power to preach? Is it only the power to endure persecution? I think it is the power to push back the forces of darkness and advance for the kingdom of God. Paul says to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:6-8 (NLT) "...For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, BUT OF POWER, love, and self-discipline. So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. ...With the STRENGTH GOD GIVES YOU, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News."
One thing is clear - the power and authority I have COMES FROM JESUS HIMSELF and because of HIS CALL ON MY LIFE, just as He called His disciples. I have SUPERNATURAL AUTHORITY AND POWER, the very power of the Lord Himself, simply because I have Christ in my life. It's not about me. It's about Him and about the ministry He has to do THROUGH ME. And it not only gives me a message, but it changes my life, and influences the lives of those around me.