Matthew 10:1 Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
As I read this today I had to stop and ask myself, do we have this same authority? I believe yes. Jesus gives that to all of us because we all are disciples of his.
Matthew 28:19-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Cha-Ching! Not only are we disciples, but we are supposed to learn/be taught/obey EVERYTHING he commanded his disciples. And surely (i.e. absolutely, positively, without a doubt) he is with us until the very end. So do we have the authority to drive out demons and heal every disease and sickness? YES, YES, YES!
Why am I so excited about this? I don’t know but it really pumps me up. Sometimes I don’t pray for healing for someone because I’ll be honest, I’m scared it’s not gonna happen right then and there. This encourages me to take a much firmer stand in that conviction that I have the ability and the authority to do so.
But then, I’m reminded of the story of the spirit possessed boy that the disciples COULDN’T drive out in Mark 9. Jesus’ response came in verses 28-29.
After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting”
That word fasting only makes it into some Bible translations, but I think it’s important. Jesus told us to give, pray, and fast (MT 6:2,6,17), so I think in this instance he really did say prayer and fasting. As I was reading those verses I heard the question, how can you command something to leave if you don’t have authority over it in your own body? Why would a spirit or a sickness listen to you if you have a spirit or sickness in you? Which is where fasting comes in. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that not only draws us closer to God but also purifies our bodies and spirits. It cleanses us. It gives us authority over our flesh. And if we have authority over our own flesh, I believe we will have a greater authority over the things we are calling out in others.
After all, Jesus came in the flesh to be the sacrifice. He wasn’t preaching a do as I say but not as I do Gospel, he was preaching a lead by example Gospel and he had authority over his flesh.
This is a working theory, but I welcome your insights below.
Thanks for reading.