I can remember a time, not long ago, I was very ill. I had a terrible sinus infection that I feared was only getting worse. I made an appointment at my doctor’s office and showed up early just to see the doctor! While in the appointment he said, “We can give you an antibiotic to take over the next week or we can give you a shot.” One thing most people don’t know about me is that I am terrified of needles. I asked the doctor which one is better hoping he would say the antibiotic will work just fine. He said, “The antibiotic is like a fly swatter, but the shot is like a sledgehammer.” I felt so terrible it was an easy decision. I took the shot!
We read in the 6th Chapter of Luke starting in verse 17 the following: “(17) He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon, (18) who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, (19) and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.”
We know Jesus spent a great portion of his ministry on earth healing people from physical ailments. But how often do we remember that Jesus healed people of impure spirits? Impure spirits are any spirit of behavior that draws us, as Christ-followers, away from the direction of the Lord. For instance, it could be a bitter spirit because of a past action you have not forgiven. Or, maybe there is a past hurt that we never dealt with. This can reappear in our life as an impure spirit. I think it is often these ‘impure spirits’ that cause us to lash out at people when they do not deserve it. Or causes us to make irrational decisions before we reflect and pray on something.
Jesus healing the people that day from their impure spirits was the sledgehammer healing they needed. Just like the shot, it was a quick fix. Before I went to bed that night, I was already feeling the relief of the medication. I didn’t need to carry the sickness with me any longer. And you don’t have to carry the impure spirit with you any longer. Jesus is the sledgehammer to the ailments in our life. The past hurt of a broken relationship; Jesus can heal that. The frustration of a failed goal; Jesus can heal that. The hurt that other people have caused; Jesus can heal that. It's not that he can just do it but that he wants to do it! It says in scripture that people were trying to touch Jesus because the power was coming from him. He radiated healing that day for all the people around him. He still radiates that healing today.
We don’t have to suffer under the burden of impure spirits in our life. Jesus bore all the hurt, sin, and frustrations of life on the cross and He wants you to come to Him today and lay it all down. Call on the great physician to bring healing. Quit trying to find temporary fixes with an antibiotic. Allow the sledgehammer of healing to begin its process! Jesus is listening and waiting. He is here. Just call out.
—Clint McBroom is pastor at the First Church of God of Newton.