Monday, 10 May 2010

LUKE (Chapter 7) - The Lord Jesus Christ, our resurrection power in every way


In case of illness
In the light of the Israeli Tabernacle we, in this chapter, have arrived at the brass laver and the door to the Holy Place; objects, which respectively tell us of the actual dying (off) of the old man, and the resurrection in the NEW LIFE, which becomes ours through and in the Lord Jesus Christ, by the baptism in water and in the Holy Spirit; and by the growing together in the Spirit with the Lord Jesus Christ, in His death as well as in His resurrection (Romans 6:3-12).

Luke 7 verse 1-10: "Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum. And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this: For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue. Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: Wherefore neither hought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turned him about, and aid unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick."

Here we see a case of resurrection from a sickbed of someone who was sick unto death, by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It was a Roman centurion's faith. Today, one might translate this rank with "captain". This image, the faith of a pagan centurion, is like a prophecy (prediction) of the entering in of paganism into the Kingdom of God. He believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as being the One, sent by the Father with powers (of attorney) in the Spirit of God. This faith became obvious by the words he spoke. He said... that he, too, had a commander over him, and soldiers under him. He would receive an order, and would execute it by giving his subordinates the necessary commands.
He compares this situation with the ministry of Jesus. The Father in heaven sent His Son, and the Son defeated the enemy, the power of darkness, by His Spirit-filled Word. The Spirit of God executed Jesus’ orders for healing, which were in the Name of the Father unto wonders and signs and unto fulfillment of the whole Word of God. Jesus would also banish the darkness and the power of sickness from the life of this centurion's servant, who was very dear and valuable to him.
By God's grace this centurion had this faith, and Jesus marveled. Jesus had not found such wonderful faith, not even in Israel, God's people. He found this faith in a heathen! Glory to God!
We receive faith by grace, it is a gift from above. By this given faith the centurion saw in Jesus the Messiah, the One sent by the Father; and he saw that the omnipotence of the Spirit was available to Him. Therefore he said, in different words: "Lord, just speak, say a word, for the Spirit of God will do it!" Now this is what it is all about: We should not believe because we see wonders and signs, but we must believe in the Word of God! This must be the foundation upon which our faith rests. We should act in faith because God said so!
The Word declares to us, among others: "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved!" (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13). Anyone, who comes wholeheartedly to Jesus and calls on Him for help in his need, and asks Him to come into his "house", will receive spiritual health and ETERNAL LIFE; he will receive resurrection power. Therefore call on Him in the day of trouble, and He will deliver you from that situation of power (Psalm 50:15).
In case of miserable circumstances.

Luke 7 verse 11-17: "And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. And there came a fear on all (here: a wave of awe went through all of them): and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judea, and throughout all the region round about."
The death of her only son, who was also the breadwinner, caused the widow of Nain to be plunged in miserable circumstances. In that time there were no social laws in Israel, like we now know in our country, whereby such people are taken care of financially. The Lord saw her sorrow and cares, and was moved with inner compassion for her. The resurrection power of the Son of man, which soon was to be confirmed by His death and resurrection, caused a complete turnabout in the circumstances she was in. He walked up to the bearers of the bier, on which the dead man lay, and touched it. Majesty and authority went out of the Prince of Life. Moved by awe for the Man, Who performed so many miracles, the bearers put down the bier. And He said: "Young man, I tell you, get up!" He had restored her son to the old mother, and had banished all darkness from her dejected mind and life! To God be all glory!
Moved by His great compassion for sin-sick humanity, whereby it might be in such stormy and dark circumstances, the merciful God throws us His "life jacket" in His Word! "Cast all your cares upon Him, for He careth for you" (1 Peter 5:7). "Be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God" (Philippians 4:6). ”Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be move." (Psalm 55:22). We must learn to give Him access to all our troubles, in everything that burdens us down, and He will do all these things! Praise be to God! He not only gives us NEW LIFE, but, as we have seen, also healing and deliverance from all deep pits of life.
He saves His servants from all doubts the evil one prompts.

Luke 7 verse 18-30: "And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things. And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight. Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger (i.e. John) before thy (Jesus') face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him."
Here the evil one caused a wonderful servant of God to doubt and to come into great difficulties: he was captured by Herod and was to spend the rest of his days in the dungeon, in the midst of enemies. Some faithful disciples, however, came to visit him... The great prophet of God was caused to doubt because of these circumstances... Because of the bitter circumstances his wonderful focus on Jesus was obscured. See how powerful the evil one can work, even in the life of such a servant of God. Therefore, beloved, if doubts arise in your heart, by whatever causes, act as John did: because of his imprisonment, he sent others to Jesus. In fact, he went to Jesus with his doubts. We too should confess the doubts, with which the evil one holds us in bondage, to Jesus; that He clear our faith outlook, and keep it fastened on Him again. And He wishes nothing else, but to clear and strengthen our faith outlook, that therefore we might (again) share Him, His resurrection power and glory.
Jesus did this to John in this way, who heard the testimony concerning Jesus from his disciples; namely he heard of His redeeming and saving power, of His proclamation of the gospel to the poor in spirit, and the message that the Kingdom of God had come near.
When John's disciples were on their way back to him, Jesus did not rebuke John for his doubts, but He even confirmed the divine calling of John as a prophet of God. He certainly was no reed shaken to and fro by the wind of oppression; neither was he a bad servant looking for his own profit, clothing himself in rich garments; but he was a great prophet; the angel God sent before (or ahead of) His Messiah. Yes, of all those born of women, no one was a greater prophet than John the Baptist.
In the Kingdom of God, when it is revealed, all doubts will vanish. There even the least (the lowliest) will have a ministry, more wonderful than the one John had. What a wonderful future awaits all of God's children!
But the Lord did not only refer to the ministries in eternity, but also to the ministries of the Kingdom of God, which are hidden in the hearts of the New Testament believers. After all, if the wonderful ministries in the Old Testament were led and prompted by an outward anointing, so the ministries of the New Testament were led and prompted by a God, Who dwells IN His children. Jesus' words: "He that is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he (i.e. John)" count as a prophecy of a future servanthood to God which was still hidden then.
He is only the Lord of Resurrection for all sincere believers.

Luke 7 verse 31-35: "And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept. For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! But wisdom is justified of all her children (who accept this wisdom)."
The generation of Jews Jesus lived amongst, He compared with "children sitting in the marketplace..." In the marketplace one buys and sells, one seeks one's own profit... It is the spirit which also dwells in the worldly man: "every person for himself... and God for us all!" Seeking for the greatest possible profit; becoming as rich as possible! "Marketplace believers" therefore are believers who remain worldly and carnal. They, in fact, are believers whose faith is death, because God will not have anything to do with them as long as they are not willing to leave the world (behind).
Such believers remain "sitting in the marketplace"; remain in the world, and they will build their house of faith and religion in that world, which is fruitless and sinful. They are full of criticism of each other: "We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept..."; but they are blind towards their own lost cause: namely their remaining seated in the marketplace of this world... Such believers have no part in the Kingdom of God, in God's works of grace; therefore they also rejected God's prophet, John the Baptist – the forerunner of the Messiah – and called him a devil; therefore they also rejected the Son of man, and called Him "a gluttonous man, a winebibber, a friend of publicans and criminals..." This last one, in their haughty and self-deceiving eyes, was disgraceful!
But God, Who Himself is supreme Wisdom, in His actions of mercy has been justified by His real children; for the existence of redeemed sinners who have been brought into God's salvation, testify of God's supreme wisdom which He displayed in the execution of His plan of salvation.

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By E. van den Worm