The healing has begun

Jesus chose his disciples to fulfill an amazing purpose, to begin the healing of a dead, lost world from the damage caused by Satan the devil. It was a staggering, scary calling because Jesus was sending his disciples straight into the enemy camp to take on the devil on his own home turf, and to take the battle to him too, carving a swath of healing through the devil’s ranks that would clearly demonstrate the nearness of God’s kingdom and its ability to “overcome all the power of the enemy,” Luke 10:19.

The key to the success of this mission was the understanding in the disciples’ heads of what they’d been chosen for, and the realization of the power they’d been given to do it. So when a disciple asked Jesus if he could first bury his father, Jesus replied with a clear reminder of what the disciple was a disciple for. It was to “go and proclaim the kingdom of God,” not go and bury his father, because “the dead” could do that, Luke 9:60. And who were these dead people who could bury his father? The lost and dead in the devil’s world, who’d sadly been burying people in the same lost and dead condition as themselves for centuries. So “let the dead bury their own dead,” Jesus said, just as they’d always been doing.

But Jesus had chosen this man to be his disciple to make people aware there was another world in operation, the kingdom of God. And the evidence of that world would be the healing of lost, dead people, not just more and endless burying of them in their lost and dead condition. This disciple, therefore, had been given the power to heal what the devil’s world had done to people. He could walk unharmed in the enemy’s camp and the spirits would submit to him, Luke 10:19-20. But had that yet dawned on this man, that this is what he’d been chosen and given such power for?

No, it hadn’t. He was more interested at this point in his life in the endless tradition of honouring the dead through the lengthy and strange rituals of burial, involving the storing of a dead body in a cave until the flesh had rotted away and then placing the bones in an ossuary, a process which took a year to complete. Was this what the disciple wanted instead, then, to take a year out simply to bury someone, rather than go about the immediate and marvellous work of lifting people out of the misery of the devil’s world and of starting them on the road to healing?

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