Last year some friends recently recognized my birthday with a bottle of wine. This gift was not as much for the liquid in the bottle as the label on the bottle — SOZO; including a definition.
In Luke 19:10. Jesus declared He came to save what was lost. The English word “save” translates the Greek word sozo which means; to save, deliver, make whole, restore, and heal.
It is most enlightening to see how the term sozo is used in the New Testament. The term is used over 25 times in the gospels alone. Sozo describes one’s relationship with God being restored through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9). It is used in reference to people being delivered from demonic torment (Luke 8:36). It also describes physical healing (Mark 10:52).
In summary, Jesus’ sozo ministry affected body, soul (mind, emotions, and will), and spirit. Jesus’ ministry of love and power impacted the entire person, it was comprehensive and it was supernatural in power.
At creation God created humans and this world in perfect purpose, peace, harmony, health, wholeness, selfless love, joy, worth, and intimacy. Sin and Satan ruined God’s original design for life and this world. The result is death, disease, war, exploitation, famine, torment, brutality, addictions, hopelessness, and injustice.
Jesus’ sozo ministry was God’s Kingdom come to earth. It was doing the works of the Father and destroying the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). Jesus saved, healed, restored, and made whole. His life was like a movie trailer of the upcoming attraction of His Church. He said that His followers were to do what He did and even greater things (John 14:12).
God’s original design must be understood if we are to appreciate the true weightiness of sozo and the mission of the Church. That will be our next installment.