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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood

 

Microwave and Oven

Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. (Mark 6:6, NIV)

Jesus left His hometown Nazareth following their rejection of Him. He could not do mighty works there except for the few who believed.

So, the Lord turns His attention next to itinerant ministry from village to village — focusing on teaching rather than miracles. It’s easy to skip over this small reference in Mark, but it should grab our attention.

There’s another occasion in Jesus’ ministry when He also turns from the ministry of healing and miracles to teaching. Remember the Sermon on the Mount (recorded in Matthew 5-7)? Immediately preceding that sermon is the most extensive summary description of His power. Crowds came to Him from all over the region and far away and brought with them those with various diseases, severe pain, paralysis, seizures and demonic possession, and He healed them (Matthew 4:24,25).

But Jesus abruptly breaks away from doing the miracles, goes up on a mountainside, calls His disciples to Him and teaches them. Why?

Why would He break away from doing something with such evident visible results? Even today crowds will come out for healing services but stay away if only teaching is on the agenda.

Too often we seek for the Lord to do something for us rather than in us. We pray more for a change in our external circumstances than for transformation of our internal attitudes. But Jesus is more concerned with the kind of person we are on the inside than how things are going on the outside. He is far more interested in our bodies being His temple in which He dwells than what kind of house our bodies live in.

It’s always tempting to think that a ministry of miracles is superior to a ministry of teaching — but Jesus did both. The Early Church did as well, for the story of those first believers is that Jesus continued to both do and teach through them (Acts 1:1).

The ministry of the gospel is most potent when the Word and Power work together.

I compare some works of God to a microwave, where the result is rather instant, and others to an oven, where the process takes time. The microwave represents healing, deliverance and miracles, while the oven represents wholeness, discipleship and maturity. Our microwave view of prayer says to the Lord, “I want it now.” The oven may answer, “It takes time.” The microwave involves the gift of faith, and the oven births perseverance.

Both microwave and oven are integral parts of Jesus’ ministry, as they must also be today in the life of His people. Our task is not to set one against the other.

In the villages of Galilee, Jesus focused on teaching. He knew that the miracles He did for individuals would benefit them during their own lifetimes; but His teaching would last for untold centuries. Today, we know by name only a handful of the people He healed, but we know the words He spoke.

The miracles of Jesus arose out of His compassion for human need and served to authenticate His identity as the Son of God. Knowing who He is, then, provides the greatest credence possible for what He taught. Thus, when Mark ends his Gospel he notes that the preaching of the disciples — like the ministry of Jesus — was confirmed by the signs that accompanied it (Mark 16:20).

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, may I hunger as much for You to work in me as I do for You to work for me. Let me not minimize Your power to change my circumstances nor underrate the importance of the words You speak.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

 

On Your Mark

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2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark


Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.
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