Imagine for a moment that you are are a twenty-year-old fisherman. You quit your job one day and started following around a carpenter from a rather disreputable town because you were mysteriously captivated by him. You are not the only one following him. Dozens and dozens, in ever-increasing numbers, have taken to following him from town to town. And, as you travel, the crowds come out in droves. More often than not, every other person crowding around him is sick, grotesquely maimed, or demonically mad. What chaos is often present! He has a unique way with them, though. Somehow, he can quiet them enough to listen to him, and, wonder of wonders, he very often walks among them, touching their diseased and repulsive bodies and heals them!
You've seen it, you know it is true. It has happened far too often to be fake. How does he do it?Just a few weeks ago, you saw him speak directly to an evil spirit that had made a teen boy completely mad. You had done business with the boy's father a couple years before and remember the sorrow and trouble he had gone through when his little boy had gone mad. The demon in the boy had spoken aloud, and then had obeyed! Dozens of people stood in awe as the boy quieted down for the first time in years!
And the words he speaks! You join the crowds as they sit enthralled, listening to him. He seems to know what he is talking about so well! You can't help but believe him. You do not always understand, but, when you ask, he patiently explains or tells you that, in time, it will become clear.
Then, last week, he called you and several dozen others of his closest followers to him one evening, in a brief respite from the crowds, and said that he was sending you all, in pairs, to the towns ahead. You were to preach the things you had learned from him, and to do the work you had seen him do. Oh, it was scary! You wanted to stay with him. He said to go, though, and you supposed he must have a reason for it. You left, and when you got to the first town on your list, you were greeted by dozens of people. They wanted to know where he was. When would he get there? You told them what he had told you to say. They wanted to see him, not you, but some of them hesitantly listened. Then a young woman came running up to you followed by an older woman who caught her just before she got to you. Oh, a demon-possessed woman! You had seen it many times before. There was something so eerie about these demon-possessed people! It always sent shivers down your spine. But you had seen him cast those demons out. If only he were here! But, wait, what did he say? He had sent you out to help him do his work. Did that, just maybe, include healing and delivering the demon -,possessed? But she was saying the most horrible things! You had seen the demons leave, though, when he spoke. You decide. If you use his name and the demons know you came from him, they would have to obey, right? You tell the demon to leave, in his name, as you had seen him do. And... it does! The wonder of it! Where did this power come from? All you did was speak with the authority of his name and the demon trembled in fear and fled! Within an hour, another ten demon-possessed people in the town are brought to you. And every demon leaves when you tell it to!
This morning, you met him again, after being away for nearly a week. You are so excited to tell him what has been happening! You say, "Guess what! Even the demons submit to us in your name!" Another pair that is meeting him here has a similar story! You can barely stay calm enough to listen to the others; there is so much to tell! He listens to you tell your stories for a bit, and you notice a little smile on his face. You finally stop for a breather, and you know what he says? He laughs a little, and says, "I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightening." What?! The four of you stand, dumbfounded. He saw Satan fall from heaven? He was there? Why, that was from a story back in the old Jewish history that Moses had written! But, it must be true! All those demons...they had all listened to him. They must have known who he was and where he had come from. And they had been terrified! Why, they had even listened to you, when he hadn't even been there, when you told them you were there on a mission for him.
But, wait, what is he saying now? He gave you power over all the power of the enemy...and, as amazing as that is, he says that what you should really be excited about is that your name is written in heaven! What wonders this man speaks! It's real though. You've seen it, you've experienced it, you've acted on the power he said he could give you. Will you ever understand it all? There is so much to learn from him!