Luke 17:11-14 records a short but startling event.
"Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As He was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met Him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When He saw them, He said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed."
In that period in history, leprosy was a slow, horrible death sentence. It was incurable. Furthermore, a leper was forced to live out his days separated from loved ones and society in general. Jesus, with a few words of instructions, cured them. Only Jesus had the power to do that.
In Mark 5:1-20, Jesus encounters a wretched, demon-possessed man that verse 5 describes this way: "And constantly night and day, among the tombs and in the mountains, he was crying out and gashing himself with stones." This man was hopeless and miserable. Jesus allowed the man's demons to go into a large herd of pigs, who then ran down an embankment into a river and drowned. Only Jesus could have rescued that man. Here is what happened afterward: "As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed."
Further, in that same chapter of Mark, Jesus raised Jairus' young, 12-year-old daughter from the dead. Only Jesus had the power to do that.
There are dozens more examples of Jesus' miracles recorded in the Gospels.
But bringing it closer to home, I asked Steve to remind me about this story recently. It was 1968 (before we met), and he was completing his 2nd year of pre-vet studies at Auburn and was applying for vet school. Hundreds of applicants from all over the country were also applying for the coveted 100 spots for the class that would begin in the fall. Steve's grades were good but not stellar. He had never worked in a vet clinic and doesn't recall even visiting one, so he had NO previous experience. He had some good character references from some fine people, but none of them were particularly influential, certainly none who were "known in Auburn circles". But his biggest hurdle was the exam he was facing in his organic chemistry class. That course had proven to be a BEAR, and he was extremely nervous about it. A grade of D was considered the same as an F. He HAD to make a C or higher and was not sure he'd be able to do that. The test was scheduled for a Thursday, and he knew his parents would be at prayer meeting in their church that Wednesday night. He called his mom and asked her to please get the group to pray that he would remember what he needed to remember so he could pass that test.
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Their prayers were answered. Not only did he make the grade he needed to make, but he was also chosen to be one of the 100 students in the next class of first-year veterinary students. Steve is SURE that Jesus alone is responsible for this crucial milestone in his life.
And now I'm thinking of today in America. I've lived for 70 years, and I've never seen such a mess. I remember the Cuban missile crisis, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Civil Rights demonstrations, the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., the Vietnam War, the Challenger explosion, the horrific day of September 11, 2001, but I get the sense that the United States is in more danger of losing itself now than ever before. And along with that, losing its freedom, prosperity, morality, strength, opportunities, purpose and focus on what is right and good.
No Democratic President or Congress can fix it. No Republican President or Congress can fix it. ONLY JESUS can fix what is happening in America. The hearts of the American people must be changed, and I'm asking Him to start by changing mine, then yours, then the hearts of my loved ones, my fellow church members, and my friends, so that an unstoppable ripple effect will bring us back to our knees and to Biblical principles that were the foundation of our country. "One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
We sing this song at our church. I'd recommend that you find a way to hear it.
JESUS, YOU ALONE Who is the great King of glory Seated on high in the heavens? Oh-oh-ohh, Jesus, You alone You are the Lord God Almighty Strong in compassion and mercy Oh-oh-ohh, Jesus, You alone
I've searched the world, for a love that could fill my heart But nothing compares to the wonder of who You are
Holy, all the earth singing Holy, all the angels cry Holy, Jesus, You alone Jesus, You alone, oh We lift You high.