Power and Authority
Key Verse: Luke 9:1
One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases.
Additional Reading: Luke 9:1-6
If a Christian decides that this verse means that God wants to give power and authority to them, to cast out “all” demons, and to heal “all” diseases, then they are going to be highly disappointed.
If we are honest, no one has ever had the power to deliver all demons and heal all diseases since these first disciples were given it. In fact, even then, they didn’t have the same power in other situations later in their lives. So, it seems to me that we should learn something else from these verses.
God does still give power to those who have accepted Jesus as their savior. But the power He gives leads more toward eternal matters verses a healing that is only for this short life.
Remember, in the scripture for today’s devotion, all those that were delivered and healed later died. Their healing didn’t last forever. In other words, people who have been saved from their sins have an eternal gift that never fades. The true power of God is the power to offer eternal salvation to the people around us.
I’m always reminded of the story of the men who brought their friend to Jesus. The crowd was so large they couldn’t get their friend to Jesus to be healed. They came up with an ingenious idea. Take their friend, on his mat, up on the roof. Then dig a hole through the roof and lower him down to Jesus. The idea worked. Their friend laid in front of Jesus. Seeing these men’s faith, Jesus said to the man, “young man, your sins are forgiven” (Luke 5: 20).
When we dealt with this story in an earlier devotion, I noted that the crowd was disappointed because they wanted to see a dramatic healing. The Pharisees were appalled that Jesus thought He had the authority to forgive sins. Jesus knew their thoughts. Jesus said to them that He would prove that He had the authority and power to forgive sins by healing this young man. Jesus turned to the young man and told him to pick up his mat and go home. Instantly he was healed.
The point I want to make is: forgiveness of our sins is a greater miracle than healing of our bodies. Forgiveness of sins is eternal. The body is temporary.
When you pray for someone’s salvation, you are exercising the power and authority that a Christ-follower has to ask God for the greatest miracle.
We know that that person we are praying for must use their free moral choice to accept Jesus. However, our prayers put them in the position to feel the urging and drawing power of our Father through the Holy Spirit.
Jesus reminds us that no one can come to Him except by being drawn by the Father (John 6:44). When we pray for someone’s salvation, let’s pray that the Father will draw them to Jesus!
Father, I praise your drawing power on the people I pray for! In Jesus’s Name, amen.