Today we’ll continue with some of your favorites (or the passages you have questions about). Email (email@example.com) or message me with any passages you’d like added or that you have a question about!
Today we are looking at Matthew 10: 5-8::
5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not take a road leading to gentiles, and do not enter a Samaritan town, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Cure the sick; raise the dead; cleanse those with a skin disease; cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.
Today’s favorite passage that someone sent in came with a question – “Jesus sends out the disciples & tells them “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.” Why, since we have churches on every corner in the South, do we see so few of these things happening today? Instead, we have the highest per capita murder rate in the nation in our capital city.
That’s a great question. In the Bible, Jesus tells us that those who follow will do even greater things. Yet, last time I checked, I’m not seeing many demons being cast out or healing like that going on. What gives? And why is there such violence in an area that is, statically at least, so Christian?
Let’s look at the two things one by one. First, why do we not see the miracles today that we saw in scripture? First, I’d say that we still do see more than we think we do. How many of us know at least one person in our lives who went in for the follow-up scan and somehow the cancer was just gone? Or had something to a family member or friend that the doctor couldn’t explain and be told that it is a miracle?
We all have, haven’t we? I know I’ve heard of dozens of these types of things in my life. I’m sure you have as well. Those are miracles!
Second, we see in the Bible, particularly in Acts, that when the Gospel is being spread for the first time in a new area, it will be accompanied by “signs and wonders.” In other words, miracles. We see in Acts tons of miracles. We see when the Gospel comes to a new area many miracles. These miracles help people to see the supernatural reality of the world and help them to better believe in the power of Jesus. So, while we don’t “see” as many miracles in the West, there are reports of many more in Africa, China, and places in the Global South where the faith is spreading.
These are just a couple of my thoughts on it, but I’d also suggest you read Miracles by CS Lewis. It’s a great book on miracles.
Second, we live in a church-saturated place, yet we have such violence. Why? I have a couple of thoughts on this. First, while yes, there are a lot of churches in our area, there are many more people (the percentage of people who go to church has been declining for decades, even here in Mississippi). Most of our churches in Mississippi and across the nation are very small. Lots of churches, but not as many Christians, nearly every denomination has reported a decline in membership in the last decade.
But greater than is the reality of sin. We live in a fallen world, where people do terrible things. Even good folks like Moses and David are recorded in scripture as committing terrible sins. All of us are prone to sin. We live in a sinful world. As long as humans have been around (Cain and Able), there has been violence.
But I do believe that this is a call to get involved and invested in the lives of our community. All of these churches, all of these Christians, we should be seeking to love our neighbor, help the needy, and do what we can for people. If we as Christians are more involved in the brokenness of our world, it won’t “fix” everything. But it sure would help. That’s our call and our mission, to be salt and light in a hurting world.
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