Jesus casts out a “Legion” of demons, then heals a woman who is unclean due to chronic bleeding. Finally he raises a 12-year old girl from the dead. Christ’s power extends over demons, sickness and death.
Dear Heavenly Father,
There are times when we feel completely helpless, but this chapter shows us that Jesus is willing and able to help us in those times of our desperate need.
As in the case of the demons, we declare Christ’s power over the spiritual realm and any spiritual attack we may undergo.
As in the case of the woman, we believe that there is no sin, disease or condition that we may face that puts us outside of your grace, your love and your ability.
As in the case of Jairus’s daughter, we declare that Jesus has conquered even death.
Teach us to come to him for help, whether our needs are small or great. We understand that we truly depend on your grace and your provision through him, first of all, for our sin. That was our greatest need.
In Christ’s name we pray,
You are the Source of all life and the Creator of all things. And we understand that you gave your Son to suffer death in our place so that our sins would be forgiven.
We thank you for Jesus, who died, but was always planning to rise from the dead. He is now risen, just as he said.
He has conquered the grave and the gates of hell cannot prevail against his church.
Though we may feel sinful, dirty and lost, we trust that our sins are forgiven through faith in Jesus Christ.
Though we may feel forgotten and alone, we understand that he is Immanuel, God with us, and he has promised to be with us always.
Help us to constantly keep that in mind as we wait for his soon return.
Thank you in Christ’s name,
The resurrection turns the ultimate defeat into the ultimate victory. Sin, death and Satan have now been dealt with forever because the Son of God has risen from the grave. The consequences of humanity’s fall into sin are reversed, never to take control of us again.
Just before issuing his Great Commission to the disciples, Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” That means the sin, death and Satan combined have approximately zero authority.
Since this deals once and for all with our biggest problem, lesser problems also come into a proper perspective. All of the hurts, problems and defeats that I have experienced or that I have caused are reduced to times that my team and I have fallen behind in a winning game. It may look bad for the moment but our final victory is ultimately assured.
There is never a reason big enough to give up hope. Christ is risen and someday we too will be resurrected into a completely new life in him.
In this passage, part of Christ’s Olivet Discourse, Jesus makes a vital point for us. We must always be ready for his return.
36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
I have personally and unscientifically observed two common and unfortunate responses to the thought that Jesus can come back at any moment.
One is to go completely overboard in end times enthusiasm. I remember years ago having to comfort a man whose wife had died. Grief is hard. His was made worse by the conviction that he and his wife, who were not young, were both going to live to see the rapture of the church. He has since died as well. No rapture.
The other unfortunate response, perhaps egged on by views like the one above, is to decide that Bible prophecy is so difficult, obscure or controversial that it’s not worth paying it any attention. This seems to be more common at present, but it directly contradicts Jesus’ point.
Whether one believes this passage from Matthew is talking about the rapture or not (I personally think it is, which I know is a minority view), Christ wants us to be ready. He wants us to stay awake (v.42), be ready (v.44) and to watch (Matt 25:13).
The fact that we cannot know when Jesus is coming is not a motivator to not care when he will return. I believe this tension and lack of clarity regarding his return is designed to keep us always watchful. Every generation of Christians has every reason to believe that Jesus can come during their lifetime, but we can never be sure that he will.
Therefore we must always be ready. Let’s repeat that.
44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!