An Important Relationship: Mark 2:12-13
“12) And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.” 13) And He went out again by the seashore; and all the people were coming to Him, and He was teaching them.” Mark‬ ‭2‬:‭12‬-‭13‬
This may seem a little awkward, but I want to tie these two verses together to make an important observation. Jesus blended His healing ministry with His teaching ministry. He did not focus on one to the exclusion of the other.
The healing of the paralytic was to highlight the point that “the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” (See Mark 2:10) Note that Jesus emphasized His “authority.” Bingo!
Every sign or miracle Jesus did was a manifestation of His authority. For example, He had authority in His teaching, authority over sickness, disease and injuries, authority over unclean spirits, and authority over the weather and the laws of physics. (He walked on the water!)
But almost without exception, after performing a sign or wonder, He would take time and focus on teaching. The miracle served as the vehicle to deliver truth! Biblical truth and the miraculous go hand in hand.
That is the connection I want to emphasize between these two verses. After healing the paralytic, Jesus went down to the seashore and focused on teaching the multitude. His miracles set the stage for His teaching. Why did they listen to Him? The sign produced by His authority opened their hearts and minds to the truth of His teaching. His authority healed the paralytic, but it was His teaching that brought lasting change.
My observation is that we often get this out of balance. Some groups do all preaching and teaching but deny that God still does miracles today. The teaching is dead. It has no punch. Others focus on miracles but are very shallow in their preaching and teaching. The miracles are entertaining but they are void of life transforming truth. Both examples are distortions of the biblical balance Jesus exemplified.
I am starting to see a merging between these two camps today. These are exciting days to see what Jesus is doing in His church.
From the four Gospels and the book of Acts we see a beautiful pattern. Miracles and solid teaching went hand in hand. A miracle often open the door for preaching the gospel and teaching. Other times the teaching was undergirded by God working in a miraculous way. The above story of Jesus healing the paralytic serves as a perfect example. The healing was a launching pad for extended teaching.
Tuck this principle in the back of your mind as you study the New Testament. Watch for this balance. Expect God to work this way in your life. Embrace an area of biblical truth and watch God work accordingly. Learn everything you can about a given subject and then expect God to bring His validation. (See Hebrew 2:1-4)
Be willing to learn, change, grow and rearrange your belief system around biblical truth. This is part of spiritual growth. When God did not punctuate something I believed, it was often because my belief system was wrong. I have grown and changed much in my understanding of Scripture, faith and the Holy Spirit over the years. The problems were within me and not God.
I had to unlearn some things I was taught. I had to replace false beliefs with biblical truth. God has been patient with me. My walk with Christ is much more biblical, dynamic and Spirit filled today than it was decades ago.
As we have been aligning with God and His Word, the extraordinary is becoming ordinary. The book of Acts is no longer an enigma. It is becoming our daily experience. God wants to do the same in and through every believer!
Footnote: Let me welcome you into my world. I usually don’t do this, but here is a peak at my last 48 hours.
Yesterday involved both deliverance and healing ministry. God worked in what some would consider extraordinary ways. Numerous unclean spirits including one named “destruction” were cast out of a young man and healing took place from the ravages of drug addictions. I love watching the power and authority of Jesus Christ take back ground from the enemy during these sessions. The ministry served as a great platform to mentor others in deliverance ministry. It was a learning experience for me as well.
The day before included attending the Governors Prayer Breakfast in Des Moines in the morning and mentoring a young man struggling with anger issues in the afternoon. In the early evening, I climbed into my trusty c-150 and enjoyed some solo flying with just Jesus and me. A few hours in the middle of the night were occupied writing a devotional post and then active involvement in a sustained 85 hour prayer meeting at our church.
Today may include sanding sheetrock mud in the house we are building in preparation for texturing while listening to biblical audios and preparing to preach tomorrow. I might even fit in a few “power naps!” Trust me, the emphasis is on the word “power” and not “nap.” These are times of focused communion in the Spirit. Sometimes I even drift off into deep sleep.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global