The Authority of the Disciples

( [email protected] ) Mar 19, 2004 07:11 AM EST

And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sicknesses and all kinds of disease.

Matthew 10:1

Jesus expected His disciples to do the same things He had done. Jesus preached, taught, healed the sick, cast out evil spirits and trained disciples. All these things were included in His plan for His disciples. They were His disciples for the very purpose of being trained to do these things. Therefore, He gave them authority to do these things in His name. Matthew 10:7-8 says, “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons.” What did the disciples do? They went from town to town preaching the gospel and healing all who were sick. They had understood their assignment. Their task was both to preach and to heal. They were not only to preach; they were also to heal.

Too often the body of Christ concentrates on the preaching aspect even though Jesus commanded us both to preach and to heal. Because we have neglected to take this authority seriously, faith has often become overly academic and intellectual. We have simply accepted the wisdom of the world and cultural jargon instead of believing in and practicing the power of the gospel. A gospel without the supernatural, without the power of God, is not the gospel. We have no authority to change, distort or dilute the gospel but to preach it in the power of the Holy Spirit.