OYB: January 10

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Genesis 23, Genesis 24:1-51
NT: Matthew 8:1-17
Ps: Psalm 9:13-20
Pr: Proverbs 3:1-6

Today´s notable verse:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog notes:

The passages on the faith of the centurion are powerful - especially his words in verse 8 - "Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed!" Verses 10 & 11 are significant to Matthew's primarily Jewish audience of this gospel - "When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to the crowd, he said, "I tell you the truth, I haven't seen faith like this in all the land of Israel! And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven." Jesus is making it clear that heaven will not be just for Jews, but will be made available for all who come to believe in Jesus as Messiah and in his life, his death for the forgiveness of sins, and his resurrection. Can we learn something from the faith of the centurion in our lives today?

I think it interesting to note that in both stories of Jesus performing healing miracles it was the faith - evidenced by action - that preceded Jesus' healing. In both cases, it was faith - in Jesus' ability and right (the leper), and authority and word (the centurion) to heal - that led each man to approach Jesus to ask for him to heal. In the case of the former, Jesus was willing to heal, as the leper had asked. In the latter, Jesus was astonished at this gentile's understanding of the meaning of power of authority, as well as his recognition of Jesus' authority to perform the miracle for which he asked. Further, the centurion understood the power of a word spoken with true authority. His word carried authority for those under him, and he understood the same principle applied to Jesus. (Jesus' astonishment, then, must have partly been due to the centurion's demonstration of his understanding that Jesus had authority over sickness and disease - a perhaps subtle, yet extremely important difference between Jesus and a mere prophet of God.) That the centurion knew that a word from Jesus would heal his servant was therefore a truly astonishing evidence of faith.

A side note here: I am reminded that our words carry power as well (Proverbs 18:21). Whether or not you believe that our words carry the translated power and authority of Jesus to heal, know that the words we speak over and into others' lives do have a lasting, tangible affect.

Comments from you & Question of the Day - Based on our Matthew readings today about Jesus' healings - do you believe that Jesus still heals people today? What does he heal people of today? Does he heal sickness? Addictions? Laziness? Pride? All manner of sins? Has Jesus healed you of anything? Do you believe he can?

God's character does not change, right? (Numbers 23:19, Malachi 3:6) Jesus Christ - who is God - is the same yesterday, today, and forever, right? (Hebrews 13:8) According to our reading today, Jesus' ministry was to heal - physically as well as spiritually - the sick. Jesus sent out his disciples with orders to heal the sick. (Matthew 10:8) I think it is plainly obvious that Jesus still heals people today. Most amazingly, physical healing is the least miraculous of Jesus' healing work today. Most importantly - most miraculously - Jesus heals us of our Spiritual death and corruption and restores our right relationship with God. We become new spiritual creations! (II Corinthians 5:7) As His Spirit works in our lives, we are "transformed in the renewing of [our] minds" (Romas 12:2) - which I believe to mean that Jesus heals us of our iniquities, addictions, and other inclinations of our former selves toward evil: mental/emotional healing. And finally, yes, I do believe that Jesus still ministers physical healing today. Who, what, where, when, and why are questions all far too advanced for my feeble mind to comprehend, and I won't let my inability to answer them rattle my faith - though, I will continue to study the Word and try to walk more closely with my Lord, in the hope that my faith may grow, and that I might gain more wisdom to know the answers to these questions insofar as God will reveal them.