If I were to ask you what Jesus is known for, you might respond, “His teachings and parables.” Some, I’m sure, would answer, “His miracles.” But I want us to come into this Advent Season even more focused than that. He did, indeed, perform many miracles, but in these pages we are going to delve into the miracles of healing. And not only that, we are going to narrow it down to those found in the same gospel account whose beginning highlights the Christmas story, and that is the gospel according to Luke.
Let me show you what I mean. The first supernatural healing is found in Luke 4:31-37. Donald Stamps, the editor of the Full Life Study Bible—now referred to as the Fire Bible—suggests, “…Jesus’ first act after announcing His Messiahship was to enter into direct conflict with the demonic. Jesus’ foremost concern in His ministry was to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). There can be no real realization of the Kingdom of God without confronting the kingdom of Satan.” Luke tells us, “And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice. Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? Art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not.” (vss. 33-35) Satan, and evil itself, will always try to get in the last word, as we see in this last ditch body slam. But Jesus will never let that happen—God’s Word is both the first and the last. No matter how things appear to be in the end, our God is in absolute control, allowing many things to glorify Him!
I think we were led of the Lord to focus on these things because of what He has given our church to deal with in this past year. Last April, my 5 year old granddaughter, Lilie, was diagnosed with a child-hood cancer. Following surgery and radiation, she has spent much of this year in chemotherapy. She is doing quite well—thank Jesus—and we have all received a glimpse of what purpose God has in mind. She doesn’t spend her time griping and complaining; she actually has her focus on reaching out and helping others. A while back, Hyundai, the car people, came to Children’s Hospital to make a huge donation for research, and in the process, asked the children if they could slap some paint on their hands. Lilie was asked to be the first—a red hand-print on a brand new car and a red hand-print on the research doctor’s brand new lab coat. That event inspired Lilie’s red hand-print on the cover—symbolizing the hand of God and the blood of Jesus! Little Lilie, now 6 ½ years old, has written one of these devotionals, so you will be reading of how Jesus has touched her. Yes, a miracle—but more importantly, a miraculous God!