Jesus Gives us the Power to Preach and Heal
Full Service Video
Jesus Rejected at Nazareth (Listen)
6:1 He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2 And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. 4 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” 5 And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And he marveled because of their unbelief.
And he went about among the villages teaching.
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles (Listen)
7 And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belts—9 but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics.1 10 And he said to them, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. 11 And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” 12 So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.
Earlier this week I dove once again into VBS preparation. I had started earlier this spring. But then we had delegates and convention etc, but now I got into it again and I was over whelmed with the amount of things that still needed to be done. Before that point I thought I had a good handle on it, but then I realized there was way too much to do. But Lisa Reyes and Marian Strelow volunteered to help out and now I think we have it under control. That’s what you do when you have too much to do you, get help.
Jesus is amazed by the unbelief among the people. But he doesn’t leave. He doesn’t give up. He gets more help. He sends out the 12.
This is an opportune time for this text. We have a few here among us today who will leave tomorrow for Africa. They like the 12 are being sent out by the Savior. So we can see what the Lord has to say to them as they go. But the whole life of the Church is one of being sent out, so we need to also apply the same lessons to ourselves.
What does the Lord teach us as He send us out.
Number One that we need to always trust Him.
If the mission helpers were to show up on Monday and all their luggage and their money belt was taken from them and only the clothes they were wearing and their passport remained would they go on? Would they walk though that metal detector and on to that plane? That would be a real test of faith. Well the Lord doesn’t ask that of them or you. But I bet there are other ways in which they feel unprepared.
Maybe they haven’t really spent as much time on your lessons as hey should have. Maybe they are nervous about the foreign land and foreign people. Maybe they have spent a lot of time on their lesson yet they still wonder if they will be able to connect with the people.
The Lord isn’t sending them without their money belt but I assure you, they are not prepared. Yet they have this same promise as the Lord gave the disciples: I will provide what you need along the way. This is not an excuse for laziness but a promise unto faithfulness.
If we were to wait till we felt prepared none of us would ever go. In fact many of us don’t go exactly because we do not feel prepared. Here I am not talking about going to Africa, but going across the road to talk to your neighbor, or even taking that step to talk to your co worker or friend. Many of us do not take that single step because we simply feel like we do not know what to say.
I have to admit I think this is one of the failures of the Lutheran Church. In the Lutheran Church we have stress education and preparation which is a good thing in some cases. But other churches are better at getting out and going. We spend so much time “preparing” that we never get around to doing.
Chris Pratt tells the story of how a guy came up to him and said, “Jesus told me to talk to you.” Chris ended up coming with the guy to church and becoming a Christian.
WE each of us have been asked to go and talk to ___________ fill in the blank, by the Lord. We are not ready, we are not prepared, but he give us the strength and the power to preach the Word
How will you be received?
Jesus doesn’t mix words here, many will reject you. And very much that will be the reaction of most here in America.
Overseas it’s a little different. You are the “Muzungu” the white man. People will pander to you, tell you how great you, fall over themselves to gain your favor.
Both reactions can easily be very discouraging. On the one hand here at home it can seem like why bother no one is going to listen anyway. On the other hand overseas it can seem as though, it’s all a waste, all they care about is our money, they aren’t sincere, etc.
Jesus tells us to just move on. If they won’t listen shake off the dust as a witness against them, then move on to the next town and keep preaching. We are not to be worried about results. That is His business. He will judge. He will bless.
Don’t worry about results, but keep preaching repentance and forgiveness in His name.
What are we to do?
We are to preach the word, and that is always first.
Yet we are also to help as we can. The Lord has given to the Mission Helpers the power to help not just in preaching the word but also in other ways. We don’t want to get sidetracked from preaching the word but neither do we want to forget to show love.
That can be a really hard line to walk. Overseas Pastor Todd Ohlmann can really help you learn how to make that balance. One of the things Todd really encourages the Mission Helpers is to leave any extra cash at the end of the trip there in Africa. That can be hard to do, maybe you’ve got a couple hundred dollars left . You start thinking of you empty bank account at home and the plane trip back and maybe you don’t really want to leave that money. But the thing is for most of the Mission Helpers that money isn’t really theirs anyway. Usually most of your trip was financed by others.
That is something we have to remember back here in the states as well. The money isn’t ours. We need to go back to that first point the Lord will take care of us. If we trust him to take care of us that we don’t have to worry about the money. We can use it for His kingdom and to help those in need.
The Lord has given us the power to preach. He has also given us the power to help. Remember the story of Peter and John. “Silver and gold have I none, but what I do have I give.” Peter had the power to heal, so he used it to help. You don’t have the power to heal but you do have the silver and gold, what you have use to help.
But keep the focus on Christ and the forgiveness of sins.
What is the reward of this work?
The Mission Helpers are going to come home with a much lighter bank account and probably can’t put this on their resume or get college experience for it. There is no tangible reward, yet most of the Mission Helpers I know agree that it is one of the most rewarding things they have ever done. Because they have witnessed to the truth and they have shared the forgiveness of sins and they have received also that same love of Christ in return.
It is to know and be a part of the truth. That is in itself reward enough. Notice the reaction of the people to Jesus, they are “scandalized in him” that is they are caught in a trap. They cannot deny the power and the truth of His words, yet they will not accept him for whom He is. So they are stuck, knowing He must be from God. Yet unwilling to accept it. Our pride and our sin trap us, the truth sets us free.
We who are of the truth are able to acknowledge the truth and not get stuck in our own pride in our lies. We are sinners He came to die for us. This is the reward, which we have already. We receive nothing from our service, but we need nothing more than to share this truth.
Jesus gives us the power to preach, He also gives us the power to help and heal. We can go in confidence knowing He will take care of us, and provide for us, and giving us everything we need.