Healed from a distance…

Healed from a distance.

Mark 7:25-27 Amplified Bible (AMP)

27 He was saying to her, “First let the children [of Israel] be fed, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the pet dogs (non-Jews).” 28 But she replied, “Yes, Lord, but even the pet dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29 And He said to her, “Because of this answer [reflecting your humility and faith], go [knowing that your request is granted]; the demon has left your daughter [permanently].” 30 And returning to her home, she found the child lying on the couch [relaxed and resting], the demon having gone.

A woman came to Jesus on behalf of her daughter. Who had been taken hold off by a demonic spirit.

The mother was not a Jew.

The Jews were God Almighty’s chosen people.

God – since way back – wanted the Israelites to follow Him like no other nation would, upon the earth.

At certain times they failed to do so, miserably, throughout their history.

But it’s not over yet.

After Jesus – the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world – died on the cross – God turned to the gentiles and offered them salvation through The Lord Jesus Christ, and the Jewish people would need to recognise Jesus as the Messiah if they too were to join God’s sons (children) – 

Romans 8/14 –

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

The Syrophenician woman was a gentile, but not able yet to avail herself of Christ’s full salvation.

History had still to take it’s course, before Jesus would die for the sins of the world.

Jesus would die to answer the correct demand of justice, and at the same time release God’s offer of forgiveness to a lost and dying world.

So she could not avail herself of the perfect salvation God was in the process of accomplishing through His Son on the cross.

But she did get her request answered.

Interesting, that in her case, because of her chronic need should there have been on her part – any ‘race-snobbery’, or anti-semitism, it was dispensed with.

Need, as they say – is a great leveller.

She just knew this was no ordinary man, and all else must be set aside if she was to avail herself of what she intuitively knew Christ could offer.

Her daughter, received no direct encounter with Christ. She was not present when her mother interceded on her behalf.

But rather – the power or God hit her and she was set free, even though no doubt miles away.

No laying on of hands, no application of clay, no instructions to go to the local priest, no outward sign of Christ’s involvement. 

Just His spoken word(s) in response to her need and her mother’s spoken request mixed with faith, on her behalf.

We can be far from persons in need. Jesus is no longer in the flesh on the earth. Yet the power of God can be released to those who make their requests known unto God, on behalf of others.

The Holy Spirit is a very present help in times of trouble.

Psalm 46/1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

 

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Who in their right mind..?!

WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND…?!

Who in their right mind refuses to believe in the God of All Grace and Love?

Who in their right mind believes God to be an ogre sitting in heaven like some giant at the top of Jack’s beanstalk?

Who in their right mind thinks they can begin to correct God, the God who created heaven and earth – who’s infinite knowledge and wisdom is way beyond anything man could conjure up?

Who in their right mind believes that God, as revealed in the Bible, can sanction – mankind believing in any another god than Himself?

Who in their right mind thinks that God would be right to acquiesce to whatever seems right to you or I?

Who in their right mind – after the supernatural experiences that Elijah, Moses, Lazarus, Elisha, Samuel, Paul, Peter, and so on and so on – can simply ‘intellectualise’ – these away, as humbug?

Who in their right mind whilst accepting the Christian gospel of Love can fail to see that love also involves an attribute of love called justice?

Where a holy, loving, righteous God cannot overlook the extermination of millions and simply put it down to someone just having a bad day?

And therefore not punishing those responsible for this and similar atrocities because of a skewed idea that we have of what love truly is?

And lastly –

Who in their right mind would stubbornly run away from the offer of forgiveness that Jesus Christ offers as a result of His death?

Dying – in order to appease God’s correct wrath-of-judgement on sin?

RIGHT MIND?

Philippians 2/5

…Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…, 

Seeing is believing – Oh really!??

SEEING IS BELIEVING? (Oh really!??)

Many skeptics say: “Seeing is believing”

Yet some of you have loved ones living in far-off lands, and you never see them in the flesh – for years. Yes you keep in touch and you can see them on a screen, if you wish.

But seeing is not believing that they exist, you already know they exist and who they are, without a shadow of doubt, even though right now at this moment – you do not see them.

In fact believing is (in this context) another word for knowing and vice-versa, knowing is believing.

Paul the Apostle says:‘…for (first) I KNOW whom I have (second) BELIEVED…’ (in brackets – mine)

Now to be fair to those who use their logic a lot – He could be saying he – e.g. – knows which person he has chosen to believe, this person and not that person.

But we know through his Damascus road experience that he was speaking of his spiritual-family relationship with Jesus – “I know whom…”

So knowing Him is first. Secondly, because we know Him, (and His perfect non-lying character) we believe what He says.

But here is the interesting thing – (almost paradoxical) we need to know what He says first – before we can ever hope of knowing Him. And when we believe what He says – we begin to know Him personally.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

As we take God at His word – He reveals Himself to us, and He shows Himself to be true to His word.

There you go – take Him at His word. Come to Him in prayer and you will (if you are patient) get to KNOW HIM.

Faith first – knowing, second. Or – maybe you know Him already (?) – now listen to what He says to gain more faith!

Let’s grab hold of an example –

Matthew 11/28 – 

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Come to me (prayer) – stop labouring – tell Him of the heavy burden – and believe to receive rest.

I KNOW – I BELIEVE – (Amplified versions of the bible):

II Timothy 1/12 This is why I suffer as I do. Still, I am not ashamed;for I KNOW Him [and I am personally acquainted with Him] whom I HAVE BELIEVED [with absolute trust and confidence in Him and in the truth of His deity], and I am persuaded [beyond any doubt] that He is able to guard that which I have entrusted to Him until that day [when I stand before Him]

So in this context seeing, knowing and believing – they all amount to the same thing.

Starting off again

STARTING OFF AGAIN

I look out across the vista before my eyes, on the outskirts of the city of my birth.

It could be anywhere – any city to look down upon – rather like The Christ of God looked out on the kingdoms of the world in a way we don’t fully understand – once again confirming that God is not God unless there is much we do not understand.

But He was shown the kingdoms of the world by another spirit – who looked for the God-man’s worship.

The only ever perfect man was not for conforming to this world.

He, before becoming a man had created it all, – and now He would not allow the limitations of a human body to overrule the knowledge He possessed – present even before the world was created.

Now His message remains between the pages of scripture. His knowledge (plain to be seen but also hidden) is there for the enquiring mind to find.

But not without His help, – will you or I find

Seek and you will find.

The spirit of the doubt planting ‘If’ – had spoken.

So esteemed was that which was already written – it was sufficient and perfect for the Son of God’s use.

He answered: 

(Jesus said to him) “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ”

Full story – Matthew 4/1-11 (in the book we have named the Bible).