They say people who read can live many lives. As a reader I have to agree, currently I am flitting between detective novels set in Edinburgh and urban fantasy set in an alternative Chicago. I’m also reading the stories of lesser-known Christians and what Derek Prince has to say about the impact of prayer and fasting. It’s always true when I do my daily Bible reading and move from Old to New Testament. My reading this morning took me from the great flood in Genesis to the beginning of Jesus ministry in Galilee. I was thankful for the difference between the two. In Genesis God was broken-hearted with mankind’s sin and decided to wipe them out and start again. In Matthew’s account of Jesus’ ministry, He (Jesus) demonstrates the Good News of the Kingdom teaching and healing.
23 And so Jesus went throughout Galilee. He taught in the synagogues. He preached the good news of the Kingdom, and He healed people, ridding their bodies of sickness and disease. 24 Word spread all over Syria, as more and more sick people came to Him. The innumerable ill who came before Him had all sorts of diseases, they were in crippling pain; they were possessed by demons; they had seizures; they were paralyzed. But Jesus healed them all.
He taught. He preached. He healed. He demonstrated God’s power and love. He showed in words and deeds that God loves us, that God cares about us, that God wants to bless us. We say actions speak louder than words and we know that’s true in our own lives. Jesus taught and preached and then put that teaching into action by healing, liberating. Physical illnesses for sure but also spiritual and mental illnesses. Things that brought ‘dis-ease’, the absence of ease to people.
I also read Psalm 4.
Crowds of disheartened people ask, “Who can show us what is good?”
Let Your brilliant face shine upon us, O Eternal One, that we may know the undeniable answer.
Jesus showed us what is good in His words, in His actions. He showed us the glorious face of God, a God of love and mercy. Someone asked me today what they could pray for me. I thought about it and my desire is to know and love Him more so that His glorious face can shine through me wherever I go. So I can preach and teach the Good News of the Kingdom and heal all who are diseased or sick as a demonstration of the truth and power of God to whoever I meet.
We have some odd ideas of what preaching and teaching means. For sure Jesus gave some long sermons, and did so in the Synagogues, but most often He was just sitting with people and started talking to them. He was so filled with God, with the Holy Spirit that talking about it was the most natural thing He could do. It wasn’t a deliberate sermon He had pored over and written down, it was the natural outpouring of what was inside Him and people lapped it up. There’s a place for sermons, for study and such but the ultimate result of study, of searching and seeking should be the automatic outpouring of what we know and have learned. And ideally, it should be backed up with a demonstration of the power we are talking about.
The Good News isn’t a scholarly, dry, sombre, powerless thing it’s the coming of the Kingdom of God where every tear is dried, every hurt healed, orphans find a father, ashes turn to beauty, mourning to joy and on and on. It’s the perfect place God intended for us when we were created. If I kept this in mind maybe I wouldn’t be so afraid to speak. T