Acts 10:38

  • By Pastor Boffey
  • on Friday, April 17, 2015
(Acts 10:38) How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. Today's text is from Peter's preaching to the household of Cornelius, who shortly became the first uncircumcised man accepted into full fellowship of the reformed church of the living God (HEB 9:10 c/w 1TI 3:15). The middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile had been taken away by the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (EPH 2:11-17). Circumcision of the flesh had been rendered obsolete by the same cross in favor of a greater evidence of acceptance and covenant relationship with God: faith (GAL 5:6), made possible by an inward circumcision of the heart (ROM 2:28-29; PHIL 3:3). The door of faith had been opened unto the Gentiles (ACT 14:27) and Peter, the man that had been given kingdom keys (MAT 16:18-19) here used the key of knowledge (LUK 11:52) to open Christ to these Gentiles whom God had prepared for the gospel. Here are a few observations about our text: Christ is Jesus of Nazareth, as was afore spoken by the prophets (MAT 2:23). He was named Jesus by God's angel because He would “...save His people from their sins” (MAT 1:21). He was called Jesus of Nazareth by the public (MAT 21:11; MAT 26:71), by devils (MAR 1:24), by an angel (MAR 16:6), by apostles (ACT 2:22), by Pilate (JOH 19:19) and by Himself (ACT 22:8). Nazareth seems to have had a poor reputation (“...Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?...”, JOH 1:46), being in dark Galilee (LUK 2:39), but by His presence and preaching, “...Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up” (MAT 4:12-16). What better place for light than darkness? Let none be ashamed of where they were born if Christ was there, and received there. God anointed Jesus with the Holy Ghost and power. The O.T. high priest was anointed with oil (EXO 29:5-7) in such measure that it ran down Aaron's head and beard to the skirts of his garments (PSA 133:2). God anointed Jesus with the oil of the Holy Ghost in similar rich, full affusion according to the 'seven-spirit-fullness' prophecy of ISA 11:1-2. Others had received measured amounts of God's Spirit but the fullness of the Spirit was unique to Jesus Christ: “...God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him” (JOH 3:34). The oil extending to the skirts of Aaron's garments is paralleled by the extent of the Spirit in Christ: there is healing in his wings (MAL 4:2), even in the borders of His garment (MAR 6:56) and He “...is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him...” (HEB 7:25). His peace was designed for them that were afar off as well as those that were near (EPH 2:17), and “...salvation unto the ends of the earth” (ACT 13:47). He is a city of refuge with broad borders (NUM 35:26-27 c/w HEB 6:17-20) that guarantee deliverance and hope for those who flee to Him, though they be scarcely safe (1PE 4:18). Jesus went about doing good. His was a mobile ministry in witness of God's truth and power, as the tabernacle of witness was a mobile institution in the O.T., moving from place to place at God's direction (NUM 9:15-22). Everything Jesus did was good but hardened sinners tried to stone Him for that (JOH 10:32). Everywhere Jesus went was by God's direction: “...I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent” (LUK 4:43). Jesus went about seeking lost sheep to save them (MAT 18:10-14), a great good and a great contrast to Satan who “...as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1PE 5:8). Jesus healed those oppressed of the devil. While Satan walked about devouring, Jesus walked about delivering. The devil oppresses men in many ways, including sickness, disease, torments of the mind and body but Jesus healed them (MAT 4:23-24). The devil also oppresses men through bondage to his lies, the fear of death and the guilt and penalty of sin but Christ has power to also heal men of these. By His crucifixion and victorious resurrection, He did “...destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (HEB 2:14-15). Mental and emotional and physical infirmities, and death, are the consequence of sin's entrance to this world. Jesus' healing of the infirmities of the flesh were tokens of His power to undo the cause of all trouble: sin and the devil who trades in that cursed commodity (1JO 3:8). Thus, when He was challenged for forgiving the sins of an afflicted man, He said, “...But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house” (MAR 2:1-12). The cure for all the oppressions of the devil is Jesus' atonement which put away sin (HEB 9:26). There is healing in the atonement for soul, spirit and body, as Isaiah had prophesied, “...Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses” (MAT 8:16-17 c/w ISA 53:4). The elect's body is God's (1CO 6:20) and will be whole like Christ's some day (PHIL 3:20-21). Jesus' last act before Calvary of healing the body was the restoring of a man's ear that had been severed by an overzealous, impulsive disciple (LUK 22:50-51). JOH 18:10 reveals that the disciple was Peter, of whose natural, impulsive, animating spirit Jesus once said, “...Get thee behind me, Satan...” (MAT 16:23). Oppression by the devil that requires Jesus' healing sometimes takes on Christian forms. Impulsive, misplaced carnal zeal like Peter demonstrated is contrary to Jesus Christ's interests, “...For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them...” (LUK 9:51-56) and “...the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” (JAM 1:20).

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