Monday, 20 February 2017

Outside the Comfort Zone

It's amazing stuff. Jesus spoke to people about God reigning over their lives as King. He freed them from the influence of evil spirits. He touched their lives with the healing power of God, making them whole again.

And if we could leave it there, we'd all be happy and
comfortable. But we can't. Because Jesus doesn't leave it there. He sent his followers off to do the same things that he was doing. And they did:
They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. (Mark 6:12-14)

Maybe that was exciting for them ...afterwards. But I suspect they were well outside their comfort zone at the start. "What? You want us to do those things?!"

And that was only the start. Things snowballed! The story of what happened next is described in the book of Acts. There were 'wonders and signs', a lame beggar was healed, those who were ill or afflicted by spirits were healed, paralysed people walked again, and many heard the good news about Jesus and became followers too.

But it wasn't just twelve apostles doing all this. After all, Jesus had said:
Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20)

Familiar words, maybe. But they take us right outside our comfort zone!

The words 'obey everything' cover so much - the whole length, breadth and depth of discipleship. But that means they do include:
  • Telling others the news about Jesus
  • Setting people free from evil spirits
  • Healing from illness, injury or infirmity

I'm well aware that we can raise all kinds of 'ifs' and 'buts'. Even Jesus sometimes had to deal with the hometown scepticism that shut-out his power to restore wholeness.

But nevertheless I wonder...

Will our children see us doing these same things that Jesus did, or will we stay hidden inside our risk-free comfort zone?

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