Practical Proverbial, from Mark, 24 March 2015

Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.  Mark 6, verses 6-7.

“Authority over impure spirits:”   you and I have that just as much as the disciples did.   It’s true that Jesus hasn’t personally ministered to you or I in the context that He used with the apostles.   You or I haven’t followed Jesus from village to village, and He hasn’t personally called us by name, at least not in the exact same way He did Peter, John and the rest.

But we have that authority all the same.   If you think about it, we have a relationship with Jesus that the apostles didn’t.  They got to experience His human, temporal life.   We get to know Him differently.   We get to know Him as history and most of humanity does.  And in doing that, He calls us.   Yes, He has called you.   Jesus of Nazareth, the same man written about (and by) in the book of Mark, has called you by name.

Don’t believe me?   You or I couldn’t even begin to talk with Him, to even contemplate Him, if He hadn’t first introduced Himself to our hearts and heads.   I can’t explain how or why that is; I simply know that it is.   To paraphrase Scripture, we can’t even comprehend Him – anything about Him – if He hadn’t already planted the desire in us.  And when He does that, He begins to impart in us the authority over impure spirits.  Authority over demons?   Perhaps, but I’m talking about something more relatable.

If you’re tempted to surf to that nasty website again, you have the choice to say “no.”   If you want to respond in an argument, you have the choice to refrain.   If you’re being pulled in a direction you don’t want to go, you have the authority to pull away.   If the drink calls you, one more toke tempts you, just one more hit before I go:   you can resist.   Jesus has created you with free will, even when that will seems weak.   We have the ability to say no, to turn, to change.

And that, friend reader, is the authority over impure spirits.  It’s the opportunity and the ability to say “I will follow You” today.   Yes, sometimes it’s very difficult, even without the peer pressure.   Sometimes the worst temptations are the ones we hide and must resist alone, yet Jesus gives us authority over those as well.  It doesn’t matter what we’ve done, how we’ve let Him down – how we’ve let ourselves down, either – or how many people we hurt along the way.   Jesus meets us where we are and gives us the authority we need to start driving out the impure spirits by simply saying “no.”  The weapon once used in rebellion can now be wielded in Godly resistance.

In that respect, I’m betting we actually aren’t much different from those twelve Apostles.   We might tend to over-glorify them, to think they were men possessing faculties we simply do not have.   Nothing could be more in error.  They were common men, common people like us.   In and through them Jesus revealed His power in ways He never had before.   He gave them authority over impure spirits…just like He reveals Himself in the majestic person He created in you.   You have authority.   Use it well today.

Lord, through You I command the impure spirits to depart from me.   Thank You for this ability.

Read Mark 6, verses 6-12.

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