A Nugget from New Life Network
Scripture for the Day (March 7, 2018)
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:5)
One of the things that I have learned over the years is to pay very close attention to the words of Jesus when He repeats something over and over again. It’s a red flag that means what He’s saying is very important. I was recently reading through the books of Matthew and Mark and kept seeing a particular phrase repeated by Jesus. The following are just a few examples:
And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; (Matthew 8:2-4)
But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; And charged them that they should not make him known: (Matthew 12:15-16)
And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known. (Mark 3:11-12)
And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain. And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it; (Mark 7:35-36)
This is one of those sayings by Jesus that at first blush makes no sense to us in the natural. If you read twenty different commentaries on this you will get many different explanations so there is no consistent explanation from theologians of why Jesus would say this, knowing that the people were not going to abide by it anyway (Mark 7:36).
Let me propose a question to you. Could it be that these statements were more for the benefit of His disciples (like us) rather than the people that were healed? One of the main goals of Jesus was to make disciples. The way He did that was through teaching and then showing His disciples a picture of how to minister through His own ministry actions. Do you remember when He sent His disciples out two by two and they came back rejoicing that the demons were subject to them (Luke 10:20)? Jesus told them to not rejoice that evil spirits had to obey them but to rather rejoice that their names were written in Heaven. In other words, don’t hang out a shingle that you are in the deliverance or healing ministry, or any other such advertising shingle, other than that you are a lover of God.
Jesus was the Word of God made flesh and it was more important (and still is) for His disciples to be taught the Word, and to become teachers of the Word, than it was to be constantly concentrating on the miraculous. Don’t get me wrong! I love the miraculous and we are instructed in the scriptures to lay hands on the sick and cast out demons, and we do that, but that is just a small part of the package. If we make it “THE” package, and hang out a shingle, we miss the mark. We set ourselves up to be something special when we are nothing without Him.
The mark is to love God with all our heart and to love others. If we do that, all those miraculous things will flow out from that and no shingle will ever be necessary. Just remember, it’s all about Him, not us!
The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:29-31)