The Mighty Power of Christ

Sep 2, 2015 2979

When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases” (Matthew 8:14-17).

The eighth chapter of Mathew is all about power. There is power everywhere you look. The chapter starts with Jesus cleansing a leper, and then he heals a centurion’s servant, and then Peter’s mother-in-law. Then Jesus calms the storm, and finally he releases two demon-possessed men from bondage. Christ has power over illness, the wind and the wave and over demons. He heals with his word, his touch, his presence, and even his absence.

The leper recognizes the authority of Jesus. The centurion acknowledges it. Peter’s mother-in-law benefits from it. The demons are subject to it, and the demon-possessed men are released by it.

Wherever Christ goes the fabric of the universe is rent apart as the kingdom of God erupts into this world. Wherever Jesus is, the gates of hell tremble and evil flees.

The strange paradox is that at the end of this chapter, the people tell Jesus to go away and to leave them alone. Everywhere Jesus goes, great multitudes are apparently following him, but they are not following him; they are following the signs and wonders. They are following the blessings that he promises. In reality, few follow Jesus. Why? In the middle of the chapter, a man comes and tells Christ that he will follow him wherever he goes. And Jesus tells him about the birds and the foxes. Jesus tells him what it costs to follow Him – it costs everything.

Christ’s followers are called to rely on Christ and on him alone. It’s called faith. It’s the essential quality for experiencing the power of God.

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