Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Life Shape Prayer and Discipleship Module 2 – New Creation Realities Block 8 – Power


In the northeastern part of Israel, right along the border of Syria, lies the largest fresh water lake in the Holy Land. This lake sits in a valley that is 650 to 700 feet below sea level and is fed by the Jordan River. The lake is named, Lake Gennesaret and is also referred to in the scriptures as the Sea of Galilee. Many of the signs, wonders and miracles, as well as the teachings of Jesus recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, took place along the northern shore of this lake.

Two of my favorite Bible stories occurred in the very same little town next to this lake. The town is named Capernaum and you can still visit there today. The first story comes from Mark 5. It seems Jesus had just arrived by boat on shore at Capernaum when He was met by a man whose daughter was sick. Upon request Jesus began a short walk accompanying this man on his way to the man’s house to heal his daughter. Before they made it to the man’s house a sick woman interrupted them when she pushed her way through the crowd surrounding Jesus and secretly reached out in faith and touched Jesus’ clothes.

Mark 5
28  For she said, "If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well."
29  Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.
30  And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My clothes?"

God’s Word teaches truth. It intrigues me when I read this account and I’m further encouraged me to study and find what the Word teaches here. Jesus immediately knew power had gone out of Him … What is this power and how did Jesus know a withdrawal had been made?

The Greek word translated “Power” in this verse is the word: “Dunamis”. It commonly means: Strength; Might; Force; Ability – basically: the ability to make things happen. In this occasion, it was the power to heal and cure.

The second story which demonstrates the power of God is also found in the Gospel of Mark and it happened earlier in the very same little town of Capernaum. Everywhere Jesus went multitudes gathered to hear Him teach and receive their healing. One day Jesus entered the town of Capernaum and people heard that He was in a certain house in town, perhaps it was Peter’s house which was near the Synagogue. The Synagogue which sits there today was built in the year 396AD on the very same foundation of the Synagogue in Jesus’ day. It is a marvelous place to visit.

That day people began to gather in and around the house to see and hear Jesus. Four men had a friend who was paralyzed. These men wanted their friend to meet Jesus and be healed by Him. They carried their friend on a his bed to the house where Jesus was but with so many people had already gathered they could not even get close to a window and forget getting inside by any conventional means.

Undaunted by the obstacles presented, these four friends climbed up on the roof of that house, all the while carrying their friend. They tore off a large portion of the roof above Jesus and let their friend down on his bed through the hole in the roof and lowered him right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw the faith of these four men and the lengths they would go to in order to see their friend meet Him, Jesus said:

Mark 2
5  When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven you."
10  "But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins"  — He said to the paralytic,
11  "I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house."

So that you may know that Jesus has “power” on earth to forgive sins …

This Greek word translated “power” here in Mark 2:10 is a different Greek word than the earlier word we encountered. Instead of this word meaning strength, might, force or ability like “dunamis”, it is rather the Greek word:

Exousia = Authority; Right; Privilege; Jurisdiction

Jesus had both the authority of God and the ability of God to forgive sins and perform miracles on earth.

Just to clarify doctrine: We are not meant to only identify with the sick woman or the lame man in these two stories. Thank God for healing and forgiveness when we need them however, Jesus wants us to also identify with Him in these accounts as well. We are His hands, His feet; we minister with His authority and His ability to a world in crisis every day.

Matthew 10:8  "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

As the disciples of Christ we are those sent out into the world with a command to heal the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead and cast out devils. Born again Believers have received the power of God to minister.

When a person is born again they become a New Creation in Christ with New Creation Realities. One New Creation Reality is the Reality of Power! We have been given both “Exousia” and “Dunamis” of God in Christ.

Key Scripture: Luke 10:19  Behold, I give unto you to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (KJV)

Luke 10:19  Behold, I give unto you power (exousia – authority) to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power (dunamis – ability) of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Important Points:
1.  We have been given authority in Christ.
John 1: 12  But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
2.  We have been given ability in Christ.
Acts 1:8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
3.  We have been sent to minister in the power of Christ.