Precious and Powerful Rebukes

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The fever of a faithful servant.

And standing over her, Jesus rebuked the fever, and it left her; and she immediately arose and waited on them (Luke 4:39).

The wildness of wind and waves.

And they came to him and woke him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And being aroused, he rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm (Luke 8:24).

The cruelty of an unclean spirit.

And while [his father] was still approaching, the demon dashed [the boy] to the ground, and threw him into a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father (Luke 9:42).

There is a rebuke from Jesus that cannot be resisted. It carries in it not just the will to stop a thing, but the force to stop it. A fever is a chemical reaction in the cells of the body, producing excessive heat in response to infection. It has to do with molecules and electrons and the laws of physics and chemistry. In his divinity Jesus designed those laws ages ago (Colossians 1:16), and in his divinity he sustains them so that they work for us daily (Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3). In his humanity he entered into those laws and became subject to them so that he could die by their ineluctable constancy. But from inside he revealed that his word is also above the laws of physics and chemistry. He spoke, and the force of his word reversed the fever-flaming effect of infection.

Waves are caused by wind. And wind is owing to the expanding and contracting effects of heat and cold. That cold should contract things and heat should expand things was Christ’s idea. These laws are not unlike those which cause a fever. And these too Jesus rules with a word. His rebuke carries not only the will but the force that reverses the effect of physical laws.

At the bottom of reality is not matter but mind. When Christ thinks a thing with sufficient intentionality it materializes. The calming of wind and the cooling of fevers is owing to the effect of Christ’s mind over matter. He created matter with the mere intention of his mind (“word” without physical expression = intention). He upholds matter with the mere intention of his mind. And he alters matter with the mere rebuke of his mind. Matter is utterly dependent for its origin, existence and stability on the thought of Christ.

There are other minds in the universe besides Christ’s. There are, for example, besides human minds, unclean spirits. They are not matter. They are only immaterial mind. They have intentionality too. But the story Christ’s dealing with them in the Gospels is meant to show us one thing very clearly: the mind of Christ rules other minds. Created minds—whether rebellious or submissive—are subject to the creating mind of Christ.

All minds and all matter have their existence at the behest of Christ. He created. He sustains. And he governs. He does not need magic or enchantment to govern sicknesses, wind or wicked minds. All he needs is to intend. There is no power above his power which he must conjure up. All that exists hangs on his mere will. One thought, and it is extinguished. One thought, and it is altered. One thought, and it is sustained and healed and cherished forever.

Nothing you will touch or feel or see or think today is apart from Christ. What can this mean but humility, humility, humility before such an all-encompassing, all-sustaining, all-governing person! And, if he loves us, indomitable confidence.

Satisfied with all that God is for us in him,

Pastor John