One of my close friends was diagnosed with cancer nine years ago. The surgeons removed the malignancy, and she went for a second opinion when it came to deciding the next steps. She wanted to do all she could to make sure that her aggressive form of cancer didn’t open up another front of attack in her body.
After the examination, her new doctor was direct. “I deal with your kind of cancer daily. I’ve read all the literature, used the various treatments, and with my team we actually track the outcomes good and bad. We can offer you the best chance for life. I think we can give you five years if things go well.” No sweet talk. Just the facts, competency and a clear plan for action.
Like I said, that was nine years ago. So when I ask my friend about how she feels about her physician and her team, the enthusiastic endorsements begin to roll. Why not! Everyone loves a physician when they heal. Or do they?
In yesterday’s Devo we read about how Jesus’ Apostles were healing all kinds of diseases. No one left their presence sick. Just Peter’s shadow brought healing grace. The entire city of Jerusalem was filled with praise to God, except for one influential group—the religious leaders. The same jealousy that moved them to arrest and crucify Jesus caused them to seize his Apostles.
“Now the High Priest and all his associates (they were all part of the Sadducean party) rose up. Filled with jealousy, they laid hands on the Apostles, seized them, and threw them in jail. Now during the night, an angel from the Lord opened the doors of the prison, led them out, and said, ‘Go and stand in the Temple before the people and tell them all about this life.’ When they heard this, at daybreak they entered the Temple and began teaching.” Acts 5:17-21
It was crazy to arrest Peter and John for healing the lame beggar. It was crazier to arrest them for healing folks who came from all around Jerusalem. But jealousy makes us do crazy things, and we must decide whether we will be on the side of the angels with the Apostles or on the side of the religious establishment trying to jealously guard their entrenched positions of power.
LORD, jealousy can fill me in a second. A simple report about the success of another pastor or teacher and instantly I can be coming up with a criticism or a negative comment. Fill me instead with pride in your power to forgive, save, and heal. And today keep pouring your healing grace into my friend. Give us more time to serve you together.
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