Wednesday (July 11):  Jesus gives his disciples authority to heal and set free

Meditation: Do you believe in the life-changing power of the Gospel and experience its transforming effect in your life? The core of the Gospel message is quite simple: the kingdom (or reign) of God is very near! What is the kingdom of God? It is that society of men and women who know God's love and mercy, and who willingly obey and honor God as their Lord and King. In the prayer which Jesus gave to his disciples (the Lord's Prayer or Our Father), he taught them to pray for God to reign in their daily lives and in the world around them: May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

The power of the Gospel to heal and set free
When Jesus proclaimed the good news of God's kingdom he also demonstrated the power of the Gospel with supernatural signs and wonders. Jesus healed people who suffered physical, emotional, and mental illnesses. He freed people from spiritual bondage to sin and demonic powers. Jesus gave his disciples the same authority he had to heal and set people free from spiritual bondage.

The Gospel (which literally means "good news") which Jesus proclaimed is just as relevant and real today, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. If we believe in the Lord Jesus, the Word of God made flesh, and in the power of the Gospel, we will know and experience the freedom, joy, and power he gives us that enables us to live and witness as his disciples. No one can buy heaven; but if we know the love and mercy of Jesus Christ, then we already possess heaven in our hearts! Do you believe that Jesus can change and transform your life and share with you the power and authority of God's kingdom?

Jesus chose ordinary people to do extraordinary work
Jesus commissioned his disciples to carry on the works which he did - to speak God's word and to bring his healing power to the weary and oppressed. In the choice of the twelve apostles we see a characteristic feature of God's work - Jesus chose very ordinary people. They were non-professionals, had no wealth or privileged position. They were chosen from the common people who did ordinary things, had no special education, and no social advantages.

Jesus wanted ordinary people who could take an assignment and do it extraordinarily well. He chose these men, not for what they were, but for what they would be capable of becoming under his direction and power. When the Lord calls us to serve, we must not think we have nothing or very little to offer. The Lord takes what ordinary people, like us, can offer and uses it for greatness in his kingdom. Do you believe that God wants to work in and through you for his glory?

"Lord Jesus, you have chosen me to be your disciple. Take and use what I can offer, however meager it may seem, for the greater glory of your name."


This reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager, whose website is located at: http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/