Wednesday, October 18, 2017

2017-10-18 [Month of Mission 2017] Examples of the Kingdom#3 -- Preaching, Healing and Power

Examples of the Kingdom#3 -- Preaching, Healing and Power

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is "'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.' 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved." 13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.      (Acts4:8-14)
Is it not interesting to note that of all God's attributes power awakens man's desire? Power appeals to man like water to the thirsty, or food to the hungry or clothing to the naked. The craving for power pervaded throughout all generations. This is all about wanting to control and satisfy personal and corporate desires. This love for power is determined by its motive. It is the kind of power that can possess its administrator. The temple authority questioned John and Peter "By what power or what name did you do this?" The temple authorities were not interested on the restorative justice of God; 'an act of kindness shown to a disabled person.' They seemed to have no problem watching the man lying at the temple gate asking for alms. Power for personal and corporate control blinded them. They could not observe the brokenness of the man.

Peter introduced to the temple authorities a different kind of power; the power of God through Jesus the Christ. This kind of power does not control people's life but gives freedom and restoration of wholeness. This kind of power rebuilds that which was destroyed. This kind of power does not make sense to carnal mind. The temple authorities were astonished by the courage of Peter and John; ordinary and unschooled men. Theirs was not the power of logic or eloquence but the spiritual power. Their power was in their words and actions. There was power in what they proclaimed.

Power was in their message. Their message was about was about Christ the Saviour. The Christ who restores brokenness. When they proclaimed the name of Jesus evil was forced to submit. This is the power of the Holy Spirit that energizes those who are the carriers of the gospel of Christ. This power enables the ordinary ones. Paul said in Phil. 4:13; "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Clerk's Commentary puts this way; "I can do all things - It was not a habit which he had acquired by frequent exercise, it was a disposition which he had by grace; and he was enabled to do all by the power of an indwelling Christ." The divine power does not lose its effectiveness, it is the same yesterday, today and forever.

The Church is a community of the blessed ones of God. We are called to bless not to destroy. We refuse to support the domination of the world by force that causes so much brokenness and suffering through wars, displacement and poverty. Like Peter and John, the Church should continue to make the Empire uncomfortable. The Church's message should critique the love of power. Like Peter and John, the Church's message is; "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" Acts 4:12.
Rev Mukondi Ramulondi is a minister at Mt Horeb Presbyterian Church in Polokwane. His best friend is Konanani and their friendship gave birth to a marriage some 28 years ago and are blessed with 1 son Dzilafho and 2 daughters Vhushavhelo and Ngelekanyo and one granddaughter Mulweli.

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