John 20: 21-22
As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.
John 18: 36
Jesus said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world….my kingdom is from another place.’
Acts 2: 22
…Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.
Acts 2: 43
Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.
A few years ago, bracelets with the letters ‘WWJD’ or ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ were incredibly popular among Christians. While the sentiment behind them was good, often we limited ‘what Jesus would do’ to our attitudes towards others, moral behaviour and lifestyle choices. Perhaps ‘WDJD’ - or ‘what did Jesus do?’ - would be a better question when we are daily faced with disease, pain, suffering and sickness. As Christians we are to supposed to not only model the character of Jesus, we are called to continue the works of Jesus.
Anyone who believes the accounts of Jesus’ life as portrayed in the pages of Scripture cannot come away without concluding that he was a miracle worker. Such a huge proportion of the narrative of the Gospels is given over to healing, deliverance, food multiplication, calming storms and raising the dead to life, that to say that Jesus was merely a ‘good teacher’ would be to completely misunderstand who he is and what he came to earth to accomplish.
When Jesus was born, divinity clothed itself fully in humanity. God took on skin and walked among us. The Word became incarnate, the invisible made visible. Untainted, perfect holiness entered our fallen, broken, sin-ravaged planet. With the arrival of Jesus came something of the rule and reign of Heaven itself. That’s why Jesus spent so much of his time teaching about the ‘Kingdom of God’. As Tom Wright says, Jesus was showing and telling people what the world looks like ‘when God is in charge.’ This was the way it was always supposed to be, the way God created it to be before it was spoiled by human rebellion, Satan’s manipulation and death’s assault. This is the way it will one day be when Jesus returns and all things are made new. In Heaven there is no sickness, so Jesus healed sickness with a word; in Heaven there is no blindness so Jesus restored sight with a touch; in Heaven there are no tears of grief, so Jesus resuscitated the dead with a command. In fact, Jesus ruined every funeral he ever attended! As God’s Kingdom breaks in, the kingdom of darkness is expelled and the rightful order is restored. The two simply cannot co-exist. Nor do they compete. Light always overcomes darkness.
Any place on this planet where we experience darkness, disease and death is a place which is still to come under the full authority of Jesus. Of course we live in the tension of the ‘now and the not yet’, but as carriers of His Kingdom, bestowed with Jesus’ full authority, we should increasingly see signs of Kingdom in-breaking all around us. As Kris Vallotton says: “When Christians supernaturally overcome sickness, disease or demons, it’s a sign that a superior Kingdom has been superimposed over an inferior world.”
Wherever you find yourself today, look for opportunities to allow Heaven’s culture which is inside you to leak out and superimpose itself over the prevailing culture of despair, darkness, sickness or suffering. Do what Jesus did.
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