In Luke 10 we read how Jesus commissioned 70 followers to go ahead of Him; He supplied them with instructions about hospitality and decorum in regards to how to deal with those who would house them and provide food for them, as well as what to do when they were rejected. In verse 9 we find the reason for the mission.
Heal the sick, and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you now.’ Luke 10:9 NLT
Truly, this wasn’t a new practice for those who had followed Jesus; practically everytime Jesus encountered someone He would address their physical need first then deal with the spiritual need.
As we continue reading the New Testament, we see the disciples and apostles followed this pattern as well – heal them then point to God.
In Luke 10, this is the model Jesus gave them to follow. Which gave me pause as I read this scripture today.
Is this the model I follow? Is there a model which I follow, or do I simply do my best to not be a mean person and hope for the best? Could it be that we’ve missed a very simple method of leading people to God? Heal and point.
When I was a pre-teen (before that term even existed lol) and while I was a teenager we would force Christian tracks on people and go door to door; oddly, I never questioned our techniques against scripture. I never though to ask, “Could someone show me where to find what we’re doing in the Bible?”, instead I assumed that this was the proven “new” method for reaching people.
Since then, my wife and I have found that relational evangelism (building a relationship with someone and sharing Jesus as you go) works so much better than those experiences I had in my early years.
However, as I’m typing this I’m imagining what kind of results I could expect to see if I allowed Holy Spirit to guide me, if I would be a conduit for God’s healing, and then point them to the Kingdom of God. Scripturally speaking, I can only assume that I would see an overwhelming increase in people following God, which is ultimately the goal of every believer, in theory.
I’m certain that some could argue that Jesus didn’t speak directly to us and tell us to do the same thing as these followers in Luke 10 but I do find something that describes what followers of Jesus should look like in the book of Mark;
“These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new tongues. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.” Mark 16:17-18 NLT
Did you see it? Right at the end of all those other amazing things which believers should be seen doing are these words, “They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.” Pretty interesting, right?
I think this could be classified under the category of “Expectations Jesus Has of His Followers”.
In conclusion, if we are to use the model given in our text for today we should constantly be on the lookout for those who are in need of healing and resting in God’s ability to use us to heal them so that they may know Him.