Walking Through Ephesians

Walking Through Ephesians

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Who Touched Me?

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Who Touched Me?

Have you ever been in a big crowd, pressed in on one another? Like pressed in on a subway, each person crammed into one another. That’s what is happening here. There are so many people in this crowd that everyone is bumping into each other. 

That’s what makes Jesus’ question so funny. He asks, “Who touched Me?” And the response of the apostles is essentially - “What do you mean? Everyone has touched you!” 

But there’s a point Jesus is making here, because in this crowd is a woman who sought out Jesus. She came, she reached, she touched, because she believed. This is a woman who was out of options. She had suffered from a blood disease for 12 years. That’s 12 years of suffering physically, socially, spiritually, and financially. She poured everything she had into doctors and only ended up worse. But here came Jesus. She had to try… but rather than asking, she reached from behind. 

The question of Jesus indicates an important lesson: there’s a difference between bumping into Jesus and the touch of faith. Without a doubt other people who were sick or afflicted bumped into Jesus. But this is a woman who touched the Savior believing that simple touch would make her well. And she was right. While internal bleeding today would require deep investigation, medication, and likely surgical treatment, for Jesus it was only a touch. 

The question of Jesus was not meant to humiliate the woman, rather it was to highlight her and her incredible faith. What was it that made this woman well? Jesus said it was her faith. Don’t forget it. There are many who come and go when it comes to Jesus - but there are some who come and reach for the Savior because they believe who He is and what He can bring to their life. Don’t bump into Jesus as you press through your busy schedule. See Him for who He is. This is God in the flesh. This is the great physician. Like this woman, take time each day to come, to reach towards Jesus. Come…take…learn - just as He has invited (MATT 11:28-30)

Precious Savior, what a wonderful story You recorded in Your gospels. I thank You for sharing the faith of this incredible woman. May I have the faith that comes reaching for Your power, that comes pleading for Your grace. Help me not to be as the many who pass right on by, not realizing who was in their midst. You have invited us to come to You, to experience genuine rest. Help me to see You, even in the midst of a crowded schedule, and always press through to You. Thank You for making time to hear us when we pray, as You gave this woman the time to pour out her heart. No matter how desperate or empty I become, help me to remember to always bring my cares and concerns to You, the One who can do all things. All glory to You, beautiful Lamb of God. In Jesus name, Amen. 

Healing The Blind Man

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

Healing The Blind Man

Jesus is in the city of Jerusalem. Previously He made the claim, “I am the light of the world” (John. 8:12). Passing by, He saw a man who was born blind. He placed clay on his eyes and told the man to go and wash in the pool of Siloam. The miracle causedquite a commotion in the city because of the day it occurred. It was the Sabbath.

In this remarkable sign, Jesus revealed Himself as the master of light, exercising control over the power of darkness. His claim to be the light of the world stood confirmed. Likewise, He was and is the master over adversity. He can turn one’s darkness into the light and make each forget the long years of darkness in which he had walked.

Of all the divine healings recorded in the gospels, it’s interesting to note that the Lord’s most common healing activity was the removal of blindness. We have more instances of Jesus healing blind people than any other thing He did. Why is that significant? The blind man himself points out the significance,“Since the world began it was never heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind” (vs. 32).    Out of all the healings in the Old Testament there is not one example of giving sight to the blind, let alone one born blind. In the New Testament, there is no example of any of Jesus’ followers being instrumental in bringing about such a miracle. The closest we come to it is the occasion when Ananias laid hands on Saul and prayed, with the result that his temporary blindness gave way to normal sight. But this is nothing like the miracles that Jesus did on the man who had never seen throughout his entire life. No, it seems as though restoring sight to the blind was strictly the work of Jesus Christ.  

John 9 is a powerfully, validating illustration and commentary on Jesus’ claim in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world, and unless you come to Me you’re going to live in darkness.”  John 9 illustrates the fact that Jesus means exactly what He said. He is indeed the light of the world. He is the only one who can take away darkness, whether it be physical or spiritual.

Spiritual blindness is a choice. We can choose to see or remain blind. Jesus will not impose sight on us. He is willing to give sight to the blind, but He will not force the blind to see. Am I willing to have my spiritual sight restored? 

No one is born spiritually blind. Sin blinds man. Christ came to give light and restore sight. We are born innocent. Sin and darkness enter and blind us to the goodness of God.  It is so sad that innocence and sight are lost. Our own lust blinds us. The good news is, we can see. Jesus will restore our sight.

We never know how good we have it until we lose it. We sing, “I was blind but now I see”. Only having experienced blindness, do we appreciate the great blessing of sight. Paul prayed that the Lord would give the Ephesians the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of theirunderstanding be enlightened…. (Eph. 1:17-18). 

Prayer: Lord, please open our eyes so that we might see. We open our hearts to You. We want to see You. We want to see goodness. We want to see the way.

Peter’s Mother-in-law

Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Peter’s Mother-in-law

Peter’s mother-in-law is sick, but… Have you ever done that before? “Is your loved one sick?” “Yes, but it’s just a cold… just a bug…just a sinus infection…” 

No, it’s not a paralyzing disease. No, it’s not leprosy. No, it’s not demon possession. It’s not blindness, it’s not deafness. It’s just a fever. 

But it wasn’t “just” a fever to Jesus. It was a woman who was suffering. It was a mother who was ill. It was a loved one who was afflicted. It was one made in His image, enduring the aftermath of the evil one. 

Don’t overlook this miracle. Don’t roll your eyes at what seems minor. Don’t miss this moment of grace. Jesus comes, takes her by the hand, and lifts her out of her bed, and out of her suffering. 

What did Jesus just demonstrate to Peter, the future fisher of men? No fish is too small. No soul is unworthy. The gospel is for all. Jesus came for all. The time, attention, and compassion He gave to Peter’s mother-in-law is the same time, attention, and compassion the world will soon require from this gospel preaching Apostle. 

Be on guard against the “justs” that enter our mind. Don’t downplay your suffering. Don’t speak for God where He clearly hasn’t spoken. Suffering, no matter how small in our eyes, is still suffering - and God notices every tear. God sees every pain. God knows every heartache. If anything, it’s “just” not right, it’s “just” not what God created; it’s “just” not home. But He came for the “justs”, reminding us one day it will “just” be perfect - and what a day that will be. 

Holy God, right and true, thank you today for this precious moment with a disciple’s mother-in-law. Thank you for showing us that no suffering is too small, no pain is insignificant, no hardship escapes Your sight. Thank you for this beautiful reminder that Your compassion and mercy know no such bias or boundaries. Help me not to shy from bringing my pains and concerns to You, trusting that You know, You understand, and You care. How great is Your mercy, how wonderful Your care. What a compassionate King You are, my Lord and my God. 

Centurion’s Servant

Monday, February 07, 2022

Centurion’s Servant

The setting is rather ordinary: “When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. There, a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die” (Luke 7:1-2).  Centurions were commonplace in the Roman Empire. They were equivalent in rank to a captain and normally commanded 100 soldiers. Normal life expectancy did not reach what we would call mid-life. But there is something extraordinary in the centurion’s concern for his servant. He highly valued him. That means the servant washonored by the centurion. He was considered valuable anduseful. He cared for him as a person. The centurion was a man of rank and power.  He gave orders and they were obeyed.  He easily could have said, “If this slave dies, we’ll have to get another one.”  But the centurion’s position and power had not gone to his head.  He had concern for this one whom society would normally have despised.  And so, he entreated Christ on behalf of his slave.  

The centurion hears about Jesus and sends the elders of the Jewsto Him. They describe the centurion as a man who loves Israel. They present him as a worthy man. Jesus is not far from the centurion’s home so he accompanies them (Luke 7:3-6). Rather than present himself as a man who loves Israel he tells Jesus, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.” True humility stems from seeing my insufficiency and Christ’s all-sufficiency. The centurion’s servant was about to die (7:2).  He was helpless to deal with this irreversible illness and imminent death.  What a picture of the human race, impotent to deal with the ravages of sin and its ultimate result, spiritual death!  The centurion saw his own insufficiency to deal with the problem, but he also saw Christ’s all-sufficiency.  So, he said to Jesus, “Just say the word, and my servant will be healed” (Luke 7:7).  False humility says, “I can do nothing” and stops there.  True humility adds, “But I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13) andcries out to Him to work.

The centurion had an exalted view of the Lord Jesus Christ and of His authority over this hopeless disease: “... just say the word, and my servant will be healed” (7:7).  The centurion understood the principle of authority.  He knew what it meant to speak and to have his words obeyed. But he knew that his servant’s desperate condition was beyond the realm of his authority.  He needed to go to the One in authority over all creation.  He recognizes Jesus to be that One.  He even knew that Jesus did not need to come and physically lay hands on his servant.  The Lord of Creation, who spoke the universe into existence, simply had to speak the word and his servant would be healed.  That is an exalted view of Jesus Christ!

Where did the centurion get this faith?  Scripture teaches “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word concerning Christ” (Rom. 10:17).  God imparts faith through the hearing of the Word about who Jesus is.  We read (Luke 7:3), the centurion “heard about Jesus.”  

It is only a speculation, but I think that this centurion may have heard about Christ from the nobleman in Capernaum whose son Jesus healed (John 4:46-54).  Both men were in government service.  Jesus healed the nobleman’s son at a distance, which would have encouraged the centurion to believe that Jesus could do the same with his servant.  

At any rate, he heard of Christ, and he believed.  If we want to be more effective servants of Christ, we need to ask God to show us through His Word a more exalted view of the Lord Jesus.  And we need to direct others into the Word and pray that God will open their eyes to the glory of the exalted Savior.

A few final thoughts, how clearly do we see ourselves? Is therejust a little part of us that would say, “I love the Lord. I love His church. I give generously. I am at all the assemblies.” Is there alittle part of us that feels like we sort of deserve God’s mercy?

How do we see Jesus? Do we see Him as the centurion sawHim, one possessing all authority? Do we see Him as our only Hope?

Biblical faith is an exercise in reality – true seeing. Do we see ourselves as we really are? Do see Christ as He is?  

Finally, Jesus praised this man’s faith. We tend to think that God will use a person with unusual gifts, but even more important than giftedness, the Lord will use a person who simply trusts in Him.  He is looking for men and women of faith.


Friday, February 04, 2022


This man seems to have entered the Gospels straight from a horror movie. He lived in the cemetery. He was possessed. He couldn’t be contained - even breaking chains (perhaps the demons gave him enhanced strength). He mutilated his flesh, filling the night with his screams. Can you fault the people for keeping their distance from him? Can you imagine being a disciple and seeing the Lord interact with him? 

Let’s add a layer of complication. There’s not one demon inside this man. His name is “Legion” for they were many. How many is many? Hundreds? Thousands? We’ve seen Jesus cast out a demon, but this many? 

Here’s how the healer responds - when others cower in fear, the Master doesn’t flinch. He speaks and every THING obeys - yes, even a multitude of demons. He sends them into the pigs, and the pigs run in craze into the sea. 

Yes this scene is chaotic, and strange, and kind of a mess - but isn’t that how suffering happens? It’s never nice and neat, coming at convenient times, easy to understand. It’s wild. It’s unpredictable. It comes uninvited and unannounced. It leaves us panicked, worried, even frightened. 

But then here comes Jesus, into the mess, in the midst of the chaos, and where once there was suffering, now there is peace. Do you see that with the demon-possessed man. Where once he was naked, now he’s fully clothed. Where once he was mad, now he’s in his right mind. Where once he served the will of the demons, now he is willing to serve the will of the one true Lord. 

In our story, where once there was pain, to now have peace. Where once there was fear, to now have courage. Where once there was doubt, to now have faith. Now matter how dark, no matter how bleak, this powerful story provides a powerful lesson - the great physician can genuinely turn the darkest night into day. 

Holy God, today we give thanks for the kindness You showed towards the man possessed by many demons. We are in awe of your compassion, so touched by your mercy, so impressed by your healing power. This story gives us a greater confidence in You - we know and believe that we can face our hardest times trusting that You can handle our darkest storms and bring hope and healing in Your wings. Thank You for this wonderful glimpse of hope, and the guarantee of victory to come. In Your blessed Son we pray. Amen. 

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