Peter describes two events. The first one has to do with individual foreknowledge and design. The second one has to do with His ultimate goal, which is the defeat of death. Let’s look at each.
Jesus Restores a Demon-Possessed Man
Did you know that God has a specific plan for your life? Whether we accept His plan and participate in that plan is up to us. God can use us willingly or unwittingly. What I mean is, if we choose to allow God to use us in His plan, we get all the benefits, like His Presence, His Pleasure, and His Blessings. If we choose NOT to allow God to include us in His plan, then He uses us for the benefit of others and to further His plan, but we don’t get the blessings, nor do we receive the pleasure of His Presence–in fact, if we deny Him altogether or long enough, we are destined to spend eternity WITHOUT Him (hell). HELLO! [I kept typing “hell” and hitting the O without capitalizing it. “hell0” is what it kept spelling :))]
Let us consider these verses:
Psalm 139:16 “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
Jeremiah 1:4-5 The Word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Luke 1:13-15 But the angel said to him [Zechariah]: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.”
All three of these people accepted God’s plan, and they were included and blessed because of their decision.
Those who chose not to accept the LORD’s leadership and plan didn’t finish well.
Samson was chosen from birth, but chose to do things his own way. Eventually, his sinfulness betrayed him and he revealed the secret of his strength to Delilah (Judges 16:17). He did have this one last hurrah: He prayed and toppled the main pillars in the temple where all the Philistine leaders had congregated, thus killing more when he died than when he lived (Judges 16:29-30).
King Saul was afraid, and he let fear guide his actions (1 Samuel 15:24). It cost him the kingdom (v28).
The biggest example is Judas Iscariot. Jesus chose him as one of His disciples. He COULD have been a great man of God, but he continually chose poorly (John 12:6, Luke 22:3-6). It cost him his soul (Matthew 27:5, John 17:12).
You, too, have this choice. Will you accept His will and plan for your life? Daily? Our task is to ask, seek, and knock (Matthew 7:7-8). Ask Him to reveal Himself and His plan to you; seek Him and His plan in His Word (the Bible); knock (pray) each time you see an opportunity to share Him with others, minister in His name, or be a witness for Him.
Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman
We learn from the other Gospels (Matthew 9:18-26, Luke 8:41-56) that Jesus waited a few days until He traveled to Jairus’ house. Why? So that the girl would be declared officially dead, which took three days. You might remember that Jesus stayed in the tomb three days. Why? For the same reason! He had to be declared officially dead. This event with the child was a picture of what was coming. He did indeed have the power over sin (Mark 2:9-10), over nature (4:41) and now He demonstrated His power over death!
In the meantime, a woman showed incredible faith and gumption by touching Jesus and was healed. To touch a man was forbidden; to touch a man while unclean was unheard of! Yet, she did. Listen to her faith: “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” (28) Wow! If you doubt that Jesus will reveal His will to you or that He would use you in His plan, just think of this woman and have faith. Believe that Jesus will. How can we have such faith? Because of this story. You are important to Him, just as this woman was. I can hardly wait to hear her story in person!
Here again, Jesus gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this (43); He still had to make it to the cross. And so, the saga continues…