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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


In Word and Power

They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. (Mark 6:12,13, NIV)

Thus far in his Gospel, Mark has given us only a few words spoken by the disciples.

Their first recorded words are to Jesus when He had gone to a solitary place: “Everyone is looking for you” (1:37). That’s a wonderfully prophetic word that holds true for all time!

The second time they ask Jesus the meaning of the story of the sower and the seed (4:10). Their third word expresses reproach to Jesus, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (4:38). But, immediately after Jesus calms the storm they cry out, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (4:41). So, in one moment they’re afraid of the storm and in the next moment they’re in awe of Jesus!

The fifth time the disciples speak shows their incredulity when Jesus asks, “Who touched me?” They said, “You see the people crowding against you, and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ” (5:31).

Thus far in following Jesus their speech has not suggested the disciples to be world-changers. The nearest they came was their first utterance.

But in this passage Jesus sends them out to talk. He had initially called them to preach (3:14). Now they get to do it. All their talk thus far had been to Jesus; now they are sent to speak to others.

It’s clear they don’t have a great store of doctrine to disseminate. So they start preaching where Jesus and John the Baptist started — with the command to “Repent!” (1:4,15). The word means to change your mind.

We know more now than the disciples did at that moment, because when they first started Jesus had not yet died on the cross or risen from the dead. For us, therefore, repentance has an even fuller meaning. Peter says it best on the Day of Pentecost: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. … Save yourselves from this corrupt generation” (Acts 2:38,40).

The Twelve’s ministry was not in word only, but also in power. They replicate the ministry of Jesus in driving out demons (1:34). The use of the word “drove” implies strong action even as Jesus drove out the money changers in the temple (11:15). Thus, exorcism may not be a quiet experience but one that requires commanding spiritual authority.

In the Western world, the idea of demon possession is often discounted as a misdiagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or some form of mental illness. Not so. Medicine cannot cure demon possession, and just one dose of medication does not instantly and permanently cure those mental disorders. Not so with deliverance from demonic possession. The cure is instant and permanent. The evil spirit that had lived in the person makes a complete exit because of the authority of Jesus and those who minister in His name.

There also is a clear distinction between demon possession and illness. The demon possessed are never anointed with oil, but the sick are. We see no instance in the Gospels of Jesus anointing others with oil, but it’s clear He intends this to be a practice not only on the first preaching tour of the disciples, but throughout His Church for all time (James 5:14,15).

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, Your order for disciples to speak and act with supernatural power is not limited to the Twelve. It includes Your followers today. It includes me. May I be a person today through whom You speak and through whom You work.

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

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