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Jesus' ministry included training His disciples so they could continue His ministry after He went to the Father, e.g., after His ascension. First Jesus taught them by the words He spoke. Then He showed them how and when He healed the sick. Jesus showed them many ways to do this. And I believe (from Luke 5:17b) that He never did any ministry until the presence of the Lord was there in power. Jesus spent many months training the disciples before He releases them to do the work of the ministry. And doing the healing was an activation of what they learned from the hearing Jesus teach and seeing Him minister to people. (Remember that at that time, the disciples had not yet been baptized in the Holy Spirit because Jesus had not left to go to the Father so that Holy Spirit would come to be with us.) Jesus trained them. Then He sent the twelve on their first mission. And He sent them out two by two. We see the instructions He gave them in Luke 9:1-6:
He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing. And He said to them, "Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece.
Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that city. And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them."
After they returned to Jesus to tell of the mission trip he took them to Bethsaida to have a time of rest, prayer and assessment of the mission (Luke 9:10). The disciples ministered with delegated authority (Luke 9:1) from Jesus. This delegated authority had it's limits. For instance there was a time when the could not cast out a demon that was making a child sick (Luke 9:37-43).
At Pentecost, they were baptized in the Holy Spirit; then they got an anointing to minister in Jesus' authority and power. Jesus, after His resurrection, instructed the disciples in what to do; we read his instructions in Luke 24:49 "Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high." And Acts 1:4-5 says, "And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, 'which," He said, 'you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." And with that came a promise of power - Acts 1:1 says, "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
After Pentecost, they had a new power to do the works of God because of the Holy Spirit at work in and through them. There were amazing changes in the ministry of the disciples after the day of Pentecost. Before we look at some of the ministry of the disciples after Pentecost let us look at some observations from the Gospels:
Now let us look at the ministry after Pentecost. First, Jesus gave a commission to preach the good news, heal the sick and cast out demons before He left to go to the Father (Mark 16:17-20). Matthew 28:18, Jesus told them to go to all nations. In Acts 1:8 He said promised His power would be within them as they go.
They began to walking a powerful anointing after their baptism in the Holy Spirit. The disciples began to see a ministry of healing unfold in a great way. Here are some examples:
The disciples closely followed the general guideline that Jesus taught them and those of the Old Testament prophets. We need to look at whom, what and where.
They ministered healing evangelism, and in most cases the church experienced growth as a result. There were a few cases where the church did not grow, but over all, healing evangelism brought people in to the church as new babes in Christ. For instance, when Peter healed the lame man at the temple gate in Acts 3:6-7, the church grew by 5,000 new converts in one day (Acts 4:4). When Ananias healed blind Saul, Paul the great minister of the Gospel came in to being. When Peter healed Aeneas "all who dwelt at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turn to the Lord." All of Joppa heard about Dorcas being restored to life "and many believed on the Lord." Praise God for the healing power that brings many to see Jesus as savior. In some cases, people were greatly encouraged but the word does not tell us of people getting saved.
Let me close this lesson with an incident from one time when I ministered in Trinidad, After I preached, we prayed for the sick and a lot of people were being healed. The presence of the Lord was there in power to heal. During the meeting two drunks made a lot of noise, calling and making fun of what we Christians believe. The devil was using them to try to disrupt the meeting. I bound the spirits that were using the drunks, then I called one of them to come up to the front. I commanded him to be sober and the effects of the alcohol to be gone. He became instantly sober, then I told him that he needed Jesus. He said, "I do I want Him." He got saved. Then I laid hands on him to pray for him, he went flying backwards, landing on the ground under the power of the Spirit of God. I called out to the other drunk who had just watched all this. I asked him to come up for prayer, but he called out "no!" So I said "I will come to you." He was in the back by the door. I talked to him for a moment about his need for Jesus. Fear came on him, the demon in him said, "you're not going to knock me down," and he took of running and he did not come back. The demons cannot stand to be in presence of the Lord. Many people came to the Lord that night because the presence of the Lord was there in power to heal and save.