Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. Luke 9:1-2
When the Lord Jesus calls us, He gives us power and authority to do the work of the ministry, which is to proclaim the kingdom of God to a dying world. As His disciples He teaches and leads us by example as the head of the church. In the text above, Jesus sends His disciples out for the first time after they had observed Him teach the multitudes, forgive a sinful woman, cast out demons, heal the sick and raise the dead. Then He asked them to go and do likewise.
There are a couple of things that we should glean here, and they are: the Lord will never ask us to do something that He has not modeled for us; so that we can follow Him in all that we do for Him; and secondly the Lord will never give us an assignment without imparting the power and authority needed to carry out the mandate. There is also another important principle at work in the text, and that is large numbers are not required to do the work of the Kingdom. Jesus called twelve and taught them personally to do the will of God, and they turned the world upside down. The impact of their ministry is still in effect to this day.
It is our turn to be partakers of the works that Jesus started and imparted to His disciples, with the same urgency that He confessed when He said I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. It is our day, so we must work the works of Him who sent us while it is day, because night is coming. Just as the Father sent Jesus, the Lord Jesus has sent us to complete the work that He began. Surely, He who has begun a good work in us is faithful to complete it until the coming of Jesus Christ.
He has given us power and authority to do as He did. In modern day we think about preaching differently than it was thought of in the day Jesus sent His disciples out. They were sent to proclaim the gospel where they were sent. So it is, that we are sent to proclaim the gospel in the hedges and highways, to compel sinners to come in. The gospel of the Kingdom is proclaimed so that those who are outsiders may come in and feast at the Masters table. In humility, we demonstrate power and authority with love and compassion for the lost.
Healing and setting people free from demons allow them to see the Kingdom in a way that compels them to come in. Freely we have received and so freely we should give to those who are bound and looking for a way out. I pray that the Lord will consecrate His people for this work even in this pandemic. So many are lost and confused as they don’t know who to trust as they live in the words of David the sweet Psalmist who said Look on my right hand and see, For there is no one who acknowledges me; Refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul. Psalm 142:4 NKJV
People in our communities need to know that there is a refuge and someone does acknowledge and care for their soul. The world needs to know that God is a refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. How can they hear without a preacher? And how can a preacher preach except they are sent? If you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, then you have been sent. The disciples were sent into villages and houses to proclaim the kingdom of God. It is not about the pulpit, it is about being called and sent to proclaim the gospel in the same way as the One who sends us did.
So let us go, as we have been sent, with power and authority to proclaim the gospel of peace. May you speak glad tidings of good things in the hearing of some weary soul today.