"Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. And whatsoever house ye enter into there abide, and thence depart. And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere." Luke 9:1-6.
These passages have a lot of information for us to consider: What kind of power is this that the Lord gave? What was the gospel that they went out to preach when they didn't know anything about Calvary or Pentecost yet?
Some of the mindset that we have with Christianity today that was not in existence during the time of the disciples are statements like: "healing is for some and not for others; God is not in the healing business; Healing is not for today; God uses sickness and disease to teach people something". All of these thoughts are wrong, and do not line-up with the mindset the disciples had. Their pattern of restoration was based on works and not faith, but they had the confidence that if they did according to the law of Moses, God would bring restoration and wholeness.
"They went through towns preaching the gospel"; the question is what gospel did they preach? The people were already anticipating the coming of the Messiah, a kingdom of God coming someday in the future. The disciples did not know a gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They did not know about Pentecost and the Holy Spirit. What they did know is the book of Genesis where Moses wrote that when God spoke things happened. The power of God's word could form creation. Then when they saw Jesus speak, they saw the manifestations of the winds, the rain, things of the earth, and the human body all responding to His word. Now, Jesus gives the disciples that same ability. What they preached was a gospel of the power of the Word of God in you, today.
Verse one above says that the Lord gave them power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases. When we pray for someone and lay hands on the sick we would consider it arrogance if we declared that they were healed because of us. We would quickly say, "Oh, that wasn't me, that was God who healed them". Yet, in verse one the Lord gave them the power and authority to do the healing. We think we are displaying modesty and humility when we say, "I didn't do that, Jesus did".
As good as that sounds it is an excuse that does not show maturity in Christ. It is the Adam and Eve syndrome of credibility. It carries no power of faith and assurance of who you are in Christ. It opens the door for Satan to step in because if healing isn't manifested then its not your responsibility, its God's fault. Then you have to go back to the excuses of why the healing didn't take place.
It takes the responsibility off of ourselves to walk in Christ identity as Sons of God if the manifestation of healing isn't revealed. We've already began the issue of a walk of works instead of with faith before the laying on of hands or praying.
Religion has filled us with a doctrine of a lukewarm mindset scared to walk in faith of absolute healing and wholeness for others when we pray and lay hands on them. Religion sees it as the hands of a man being used by God versus the hand of God.
While you are a child of God you have not learned how to do the Father's work, and you have insecurity and doubt of doing something the way the Father would want it done. The mind of a child will show humbleness and hesitancy. However, there should come a time when the child grows up and knows in their heart that they are the Sons of God walking in the power and authority of their Father. This growing up is not based on earthly time of how long a person has been a Christian, but on a relationship with the Father having a faith walk of knowing the power of the Word in them, and their identity to use that power and authority of the Father given to them through the inheritance they received from the first born, Jesus Christ. This is what being a Christian, a Christ One is all about.
In Luke chapter 9, these men were not what we would call spirit filled because Pentecost had not yet occurred, nor had Jesus gone to the cross of Calvary at this time. They received the power of the Word that gave them the confidence and boldness of identifying with the Word to go out and cure diseases and have authority over all devils. If this were possible then, how much more should Christians be doing today with the Word and the Spirit of God in them and upon them! The reason we don't see the manifestation of Life over death of the body is because we use our Christian walk with self-centered mentality. What's in it for me.
We are taught a child mentality that says if I do this my dad might give me that. Even our concept of being born again is so that we can get to heaven and have eternal life. A me mentality. How many people have you looked upon and said "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do?". Or, do you judge them that if they don't get their life in order they will go to hell? You, the vessel of God, His temple, taking His member, the tongue, and declaring judgment over the individual that He has already forgiven when He sent Jesus to die on the cross for the sins of the world.
Have you ever watched a movie, (I'm thinking of like Gladiator or Robin Hood) that has a self-centered villain that no one likes? Interesting, we are suppose to be representing the good guys for the kingdom of God, but yet we manage the Father's business as the villains do in these movies. The what's in it for me mentality versus laying down your life so that others may live. Do you see other men as your brothers and sisters in Christ whether they know it or not?
Today, we have the power and authority to do things as New Testament believers that were impossible for the priesthood of the Old Testament. I Peter 2:9-10 says, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praise of him who hath called you our of darkness into his marvelous light: which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy". The Old Testament priesthood had to deal with rituals and law based on works for healing and wholeness of the people. They were the intercessors between God and His children. Today, the Sons of God are the intercessors for the children of God which is all men (Jews, Gentiles, and Christians), interceding with the mercy seat of Jesus Christ versus the Law of works.