Jesus told the disciples that He gave them authority to cast out demons and to heal people of all diseases, but we see in these verses that it would not be an easy road. When reading through these verses, we begin to see that Jesus wasn't necessarily referring to the current journey He was sending them on; He was referring to a life-long journey. He even went beyond their life-time and was referring to the church's life. We can know this because of one phrase in verse 23 (NLT), "I tell you the truth, the Son of Man will return before you have reached all the towns of Israel." Since Jesus hadn't left and hasn't returned yet, we know that Jesus was giving warning and advice to the church. He was letting us know that our job wouldn't be easy but we would be equipped.
He tells us that the Holy Spirit will give us the words to say when we need it. He points out that the trials we face are also opportunities to tell those in authority about Christ. We can be assured that we will not be abandoned and instead we will have the power of the Holy Spirit working within us. Here are some words of encouragement:
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that His life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 2 Cor. 4:7-12 (NIV)Do you believe that the life-giving power of the resurrection is at work in you?
This post is linked with Faith-Filled Friday.