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Don't Be Wowed by Power

Posted by Sherman Chau on

Power is intoxicating. It goes to your head pretty fast. The allure of power is immediate results at your whim. Healings and miracles fall in this category too. Whether we are the healer or the healed, it’s the same draw: the ability to change your reality when you want to.

By this point in Luke’s gospel, Jesus has predicted His death twice already (Luke 9:22,44). Together with the spectacular moment on the Mount of Transfiguration when the Father affirms His Son (9:28-34), Jesus is trying to communicate to His disciples that He is absolutely unique, even in His death and what that will accomplish.

But the disciples completely miss it, partly because this wasn’t easy to get their heads around, but also because they were distracted. They were distracted by the promise of power: the ability to cast out an evil spirit (v.34), drive out demons (v.49) and even call down fire from heaven to destroy a Samaritan village that doesn’t welcome them (v.54).

And now in chapter 10, Jesus has just sent 72 people to go out, empowered with His authority to get people’s attention by prayer and healing in order to tell them about the Kingdom of God.

The first thing they say when they return is not a praise report about how many people repented or if anyone asked about the living, loving God behind the miracles. Their first report was, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in Your name!” They were wowed by power.

Then Jesus shifts their focus and resets their priorities: “However do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (v.20)

As we follow the Easter story to Jerusalem and to the Cross, we should remember what makes the claims of Christ unique. It wasn’t the show of power. Miracles are not exclusive to Christianity and non-Christians can heal too. But only Jesus had the power to tear apart the veil that separated us from God, and only by His death can we enter into the Father’s presence. And this He did not by using His divine power as the Son of God,

Rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross. Philippians 2: 7–8

Praise God that you can pray directly to Him because of the Cross. Tell others about your relationship with God, and include the healings and miracles if those are part of your story. Just keep the focus on the right things.

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