Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Journey, part 3: the Equipping

And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. (Luke 9:1 NASB)

Before Jesus sent His twelve apostles out on their journey of preaching and healing, he equipped them in an unusual way. If we were equipping a medical mission trip (preaching and healing crusade), we would have trunks full of medical supplies, office supplies to keep records of all the people we would see and treat, Bibles to distribute, personal supplies to make the journey easier. We would pack traveling clothes and preaching clothes, as well as "scrubs" to wear while we were seeing the sick. We would be loaded down. 

When Jesus equipped the twelve, He gave them two things. Only two things. Power and authority. It sounds like a pretty light load, doesn't it? The word translated as "power" is dynamis, and indicates a kind of "power in action" (VED). It is not a brute force, but an ability for miraculous action. Sometimes, this word is used to indicate the miracle itself. For example, "performed many miracles" is sometimes written as "performed many dynamis".  What a wonderful way of describing the action of Jesus in performing a work of power in the lives of those in need! Oh, that we would have a work of power in our lives, fashioned by the hands of God Himself! One of the hymns I learned as a child says, "There is power, power, wonder-working power in the precious blood of the Lamb." It was this "wonder-working power" that Jesus gave the disciples for their journey. 

The second part of their equipment was exousia, translated here as "authority".  When we read that He gave them authority, we tend to think that Jesus put the twelve "in charge" somehow. Perhaps a better understanding of this word would be "permission".  It was Jesus, as the Son of God, who had the authority over demons and illness. He simply gave them permission to act in His name and in His authority. Much as a teacher might give a student permission to go to the office on an errand, Jesus gave the twelve permission to go on a kind of "errand" for Him. 

Power and permission were the only equipment needed to do that which Jesus assigned the twelve.  Without those two tools, they would have been completely ineffective. With them, anything was possible. When God calls us to a task, we can be certain He will also equip us. We may have a meager skill-set and what seems to be an inadequate supply, but if we have the power and permission of God Himself, we have all we need to start the journey of a lifetime. 

Pray today that we and our loved ones would experience that wonder-working power in our own lives and would be equipped by God for those tasks to which He has called us. 
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Link to last night's post: http://leannahollis.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-top-seven-countdown-6-nevertheless.html