ASTONISHING AND AUTHORITATIVE TEACHING
ACCORDING TO GOD’S WILL
SUNDAY SEPT. 8, 2019
Scripture To Consider:
“And so it was when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His [Jesus’] teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”
“When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And behold, a leper came and worshipped Jesus, saying, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’”
“Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing, be cleansed.’ Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, ‘See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.’” Matthew 7.28-8.4
Something To Consider:
Jesus has completed the Sermon on the Mount. Those who listened were astonished at His authoritative teaching. He did not teach as did the scribes who were constantly quoting one Rabbi or another. Jesus quoted from the Law and the Prophets and did so with the authority of an author quoting His own words. Great multitudes recognized His authority and followed, at least while things were good and seeming under His control.
Jesus was accustomed to attracting large groups of people as He traveled. On one occasion it was recorded that five thousand men plus women and children followed Jesus for days. They listened intently to His teachings, they witnessed the miraculous healings and the casting out of evil spirits. But when things appeared no longer in His control the majority fled, leaving Jesus to face that evil alone; or so it seemed.
It is human nature to desire to avoid that which frightens us. It is also human nature to turn aside from the threat of death. And yet, if we are truly born again spiritually, we are new creations in Christ. According to Paul in 2 Corinthians 5.17, “Therefore, if anyone [man, woman, or young person] is in Christ [truly born again], he [or she] is a new creation; old things [fear of man and the fear of death] have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Therefore, the incurable disease of our own sinful pasts has successfully been dealt with by Jesus. Paul declared in verse 21 of 2 Corinthians chapter 5; “For He [God the Father] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him [in Jesus].” We have been graciously healed of our sinful pasts through the righteousness of Jesus Christ, if we [you and I] have received our heavenly Father’s offer of forgiveness in Christ.
Something Else To Consider:
Jesus was often approached by those inflicted with incurable physical diseases, terminal illnesses, or circumstances completely beyond the individual’s control. On this occasion it was a leper who understood, then believed, and took full advantage of Jesus’ power and authority. And yet, this leper was not presumptuous nor was he demanding as if his healing was a promised and guaranteed right that was due him no matter what.
This leper came to Jesus humbly, worshipping, and requesting His help, by stating his need; “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” If You are willing? In other words, if it is Your will Lord. If this sickness, if this difficulty, if this circumstance that is beyond my control and capacity to change; if it is Your will, then You can bring healing. Jesus can bring healing, and Jesus desires to bring cleansing which is able to bring about spiritual change in our lives!
But why is it that not all who come to Jesus for physical healing are not healed in this life? Quite frankly, I do not know the answer to that question! There is a most intriguing and soul calming song entitled, “Even If”, by Mercy Me, that I often find myself in need of listening to for encouragement. Some of the lyrics are; “I know You are able – but even if You don’t – my hope is You alone.” And I believe that is enough of an answer for me to the question of why all are not healed in this life.
Yes, God is able, and many times He is willing to heal, willing to deliver, and willing to provide and to protect. But even if he does not, our hope must be in what He has promised and predicted in Matthew 24.9-13. Though many are to be delivered up and are to be killed during the tribulation and are to be hated by all nations for Christ’s sake, we know God is able! Though many enduring to the end true Christians will be betrayed by one-time believers who are offended at finding themselves not raptured before the tribulation, God is able!
Though many more false prophets will arise and continue to deceive many with their religious abounding lawlessness, iniquity, and steel cold hatred for the true end time followers of Christ, Jesus has declared, “But he [or she] who endures to the end [to the end of their lives or to the end of this age] shall be saved.” And that is the astonishing and authoritative end time teaching of Jesus.
Something More To Consider:
Jesus, in our text, answered the leper without any hesitation on His part, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Leprosy, as mentioned in an earlier lesson was a spiritual picture of sin. Of course, Jesus is always willing this side of the grave to cleanse a person from their sin. Always! There can be no debate concerning Jesus’ willingness to forgive and to cleanse us of our sin if we come to Him in true heart-felt repentance.
And yet, at times what is it that we learn concerning physical healing? For instance, at the pool of Bethesda in John chapter 5, there lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, and paralyzed, all of which were in need and want of healing. And Jesus healed one man only!
Jesus prayed for God’s will in the Garden of Gethsemane before being arrested; “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” On that occasion the cup of suffering and shame as well as the great pain of death was not allowed to pass by Jesus. But what was accomplished according to God’s will by the suffering of Jesus? Our redemption was indeed paid for in full!
What else was achieved that day because it was God’s will and Jesus’ will to accomplish nothing short of God’s perfect will? Lives were forever changed while bringing hope to millions in every generation since. Let us therefore pray in the future as it concerns physical healing and physical suffering, “If it is God’s will!”
A Few Final Words:
Our Christian attitude should be, but even if God does not heal, does not provide, does not protect as we think He should, does not diminish the future persecution as we hope He would, may God’s perfect will be done on earth as it is in heaven. That must be our final decision if God chooses to answer our prayers with a no or not yet! Otherwise, we make ourselves out falsely to be God rather than our heavenly and Almighty God. And that is not the case!
Daniel, for a brief moment in Daniel 11.32-33, paints a most vivid and victorious portrait, and yet, it also speaks to the death of many true Christians in the second half of the last seven years of a peace agreement that the Antichrist will secure in the Middle East. This peace agreement or covenant is even now being sought after by several most recent American presidents.
Daniel proclaimed what the angel Gabriel revealed, by stating in verse 32 of Daniel chapter 11; “Those who do wickedly against the covenant [peace agreement] he [Antichrist] shall corrupt [or pollute] with flattery; but the people who know their God [true enduring to the end Christians] shall be strong and carry out great exploits.” This is good news!
Daniel continued in verse 33, by also proclaiming more end time truth. “And those of the people who understand [true enduring to the end Christians] shall instruct many; yet for many days they [these same enduring to the end true Christians who have remained strong and have carried out great exploits] they shall fall [shall be put to death] by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering.”
In other words, these end times that are approaching, are to be times when God chooses not to heal, not to provide deliverance except through death, and not to protect as we think He should. That is why He is God and we are not! Even if He does not, He is still God and deserves our utmost obedience and allegiance even in the face of death. Jesus did no less for us, why then do we think it strange or unacceptable to be called upon to follow in the steps of our Lord and Savior?
Our Father in heaven, may we always be astonished at Your teaching, and yet be willing to pray for and accept Your perfect will in our lives. In Him Always, Amen!