And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon's house. And Simon's wife's mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her. And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them. Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ. And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them. And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent. And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee. (Luk 4:38-44)
Christ’s authority over the sick and possessed is further described here. What powerful workings He did among the people! And yet we notice that He was sent for an even greater purpose…the preaching of the kingdom of God.
In Luke 11:19 Jesus tells us that an evil generation seeks after a sign. You see, the point is not the signs, it’s the message that accompanies the signs. Today there are many false prophets who claim to perform signs and wonders…yet the message that they preach is not the biblical Christ-centered Gospel. We should always measure the quality of a preacher by the message that he preaches.
We can apply this text to ourselves as we consider how easily we are moved to desire some special visitation from God, yet at the same time we treat the common means that He’s given us as something trite.
It’s good to pray for these special movements of God, but only if we are also treasuring the common means of grace that He’s blessed us with. It’s good to pray for revival, but only if we are at the same time reforming ourselves to conform more and more to the Word of God.
We can have an intimate relationship with God right now…He has already given us the means to do so. The Bible, prayer, the Lord’s Supper….all of these are means to draw closer to God in Christ. Do we treasure these means of grace? Do we set apart quality time to pray and read Scripture…both alone and with others? Do we long for time spent with God and with His people? Are we so moved to worship Him on Sunday that we cast every other burden aside for the privilege of being in His holy presence?
May God move us to appreciate these free gifts of grace that He’s blessed us with…and not take them for granted because they are given so freely. This is a case where it is NOT true that you get what you pay for. God’s free gift is the richest of gifts that we have!