Posts in the "Series" Category

The Miracles of Jesus: Jesus Heals a Man’s Ear

Sunday Sermon Series The Miracles of Jesus


Luke 22:47-51

This month we’ve looked at the healing miracles of Jesus. We’ve seen Him make the blind see, heal a paralytic, and cleanse a man of leprosy. Today we end our study of His healing miracles with a look at what is likely His last miracle before His crucifixion. 

When Judas led the enemies of Jesus to arrest Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter drew his sword and cut off a man’s ear. Why did Peter do this (Luke 22:33-38)? 

When they were eating, Jesus told Peter he would betray Jesus. Peter said he wouldn’t do any such thing. Then Jesus informed His disciples that they would have to defend themselves in the future. He tells them to buy swords. Apparently they already had two swords and Jesus cut off the conversation when they mentioned it. So, we can see why Peter may have been quick to draw his sword.

Jesus healed the man’s ear. What does this miracle teach us? 

  1. Jesus is showing He cares about the little things in our lives.
    This injury isn’t life threatening and is pretty minor compared to the other miracles we’ve looked at. By healing this man’s ear, He shows us He cares about little things. We can bring the little things to Him in prayer because He cares. The night before He would die to save the world, He healed a man’s ear. 

  2. Jesus is modeling compassion for our enemies.
    This man worked for the priests who wanted Jesus dead and had the authority to do it with a little help from the Romans. Luke 6:27-28 shows us what Jesus thought about how we should treat our enemies. He says to love them, bless them, and pray for them. It can be difficult to treat our opponents with love and respect, but that is what we’re called to do. With election season coming,

  3. Jesus is emphasizing His kingdom is not built on violence or coercion.
    Jesus doesn’t want violence done in His name. He doesn’t want to coerce anyone into being a Christian. No one should be forced in any way to profess a belief in Christ. Christ’s nature is not violent. His kingdom’s nature is not violent. The Crusades sometimes push away people from Christianity because they can’t get behind a religion with such a violent history. Christians have certainly made mistakes and gone astray at times. Don’t let the imperfect people who follow Christ blind you from the perfect Savior of the world and His nature that is love. 

The other three miracles we looked at all had an element of faith from the one receiving the healing. Not this one. This time Jesus just healed the man. What could have gone his head that night as he led Jesus to His death after being the recipient of such a miracle? He had to know something was different about this Jesus? Did he wonder if he was doing the right thing? We’ll likely never know. But what we do know is that Jesus cares even about the little things and He treats His enemies with respect instead of violence. We also know He is the savior of the world. 

The Miracles of Jesus: Jesus Heals Leprosy

Sunday Sermon Series The Miracles of Jesus


Luke 5:12-15

Leprosy was a terrible disease that caused a person to be ostracized from society (Leviticus 13:45-46). 

Leprosy was the most feared disease of its time because of how contagious it was. People who contracted the disease were forced to live outside the city and give physical clues that they had the disease. If someone came close to them, they had to yell “Unclean!” to warn them. 

A leper came close to Jesus and asked to be healed. Jesus reached out and touched a man. Jesus touched a leper. That was a big deal. Touching a leper meant you also became unclean and would have to go through a process to become clean again. When Jesus touched the man, he was healed of his leprosy. 

One way to apply a Bible story to your life is to find yourself in the story.

How might you identify with the leper in this story?

Most of us have probably never had leprosy or known anyone to contract it. How could we possibly identify with a leper? Most of us have been ostracised or left out like the leper. We need to ask God to make us clean. Others may have never really felt that way. They’ve always felt included but we’re all unclean and need God and it’s better to come to God before we hit rock bottom. Come to God and ask Him to make you clean. 

How might you identify with Jesus in this story?

Wait. What? I’m not Jesus. That’s what you’re thinking, right? But consider that as Christians we are to become like Jesus. Throughout history lepers have gathered together in colonies and the people who most likely to go visit and help them are Chritians. Christians have been helping lepers for many years. Ever hear of Mother Theresa? She’s one of the well known Christians to go to these colonies where no one else wanted  to go. The Christians who went and took care of lepers went places no one else would out of their love for people through Christ. Christians do things like this because we follow Jesus and His example. Sometimes following Jesus means putting yourself at risk, putting your comfort aside, taking a pay cut for a job you are called to. Following Jesus isn’t supposed to be easy. Is there someone being ostracized you can go to and minister to, befriend?

The Miracles of Jesus: Jesus Enables the Paralyzed to Walk

Sunday Sermon Series The Miracles of Jesus


Mark 2:1-12

These verses tell of a time when Jesus was preaching in a house that was crowded. There wasn’t enough room when a group of friends brought their paralyzed friend to be healed. They couldn’t get through the crowd. But through faith, determination, and ingenuity these friends carried their paralyzed man onto the roof and made a hole in the roof and lowered him down. 

Jesus proclaimed the sins of the paralyzed man forgiven. Others in the house questioned this. Was this blasphemy? Can this man really forgive sins? Only God can forgive sins! Jesus knew their thoughts and answered them, asking if it’s easier to say “get up and walk” or “you’re sins are forgiven”? Jesus wanted them to know that He has the authority to forgive sins. The paralyzed man walked home. 

Are miracles possible? Don’t they contradict the laws of nature?

The laws of nature are orderly and structured. But so is a stop light. What happens when an ambulance comes towards a stop light with its lights and siren going? The rules change temporarily. Cars stop even on green and the ambulance goes through even on red. Once the event is over, normal order resumes. God, the creator of the universe surely has the power to temporarily change the laws of nature to perform a miracle. 

Does God still do miracles today?

Some sincere Christians believe God no longer does miracles, but others believe He does. Personally, I think He does. I’ve seen stuff that just has no other explanation. 

Should we pray for miracles of healing? (James 5:14-15)

It’s Biblical to pray for healing, so, yes, praying for miraculous healing is a good thing to do. 

Should we ever stop praying for a miracle of healing? (2 Corinthians 12:7-9)

Sometimes God reveals His glory through suffering. Sometimes He tells us that this is just something we have to live with and use as a way to glorify God through our faith and perseverance.

Why doesn’t God do more miracles? (2 Timothy 4:20; Acts 14:22) 

We don’t know. We don’t fully understand God.Sometimes He does miracles. Sometimes He doesn’t. Sometimes through suffering He is glorified. Sometimes He is glorified through miracles. Even when the miracles do happen though, we must realize that the miracle is a temporary fix. There is a more permanent fix that we need. We all need eternal salvation, which is an even greater miracle. 

The Miracles of Jesus: Jesus Enables the Blind to See

Sunday Sermon Series The Miracles of Jesus


Matthew 20:29-34; John 9:1-39

Last month we looked at miracles that showed Jesus’ power over nature. This month we’ll look at His miracles that show His healing power. 

In Matthew 20, Jesus 

Three reasons Jesus did miracles:

  1. To help people (Matthew 20:34). … Jesus loves people. He cares about people and has compassion. 

  2. To show He is the Messiah (Isaiah 42:6-7). … These are signs that Jesus is the Son of God. 

  3. To teach spiritual truth (John 9). … Jesus uses this blind man to illustrate to His disciples that suffering isn’t always a direct result of sin. He tells us that suffering can be used to glorify God. … Jesus heals the man and it happened to be on the sabbath. The Pharisees, of course, considered making mud to heal a blind man work. Some said that since He did work on the Sabbath, He is from the Devil. Others said that the miracles He performs shows that He isn’t from the Devil. … Later on, Jesus finds the man He healed and asks if he believes in the Son of Man. This time, a greater miracle happens and the man becomes saved by his belief in Jesus. He was no longer blind either physically or spiritually. 

Jesus said He came into the world that the blind will see (John 9:39). What does that mean? 

Jesus said He came into the world that those who see will become blind (John 9:39). What does that mean? 

In what ways might we be blind? 

  1. If we are lukewarm (Revelation 3:15-18). … Churchgoers can be blind when we are lukewarm. We become blind to the possibilities of what God can do. 

  2. If we fail to grow (2 Peter 1:5-9). … Even Christians who have this insight can become blind. We should continue to grow in all the qualities mentioned in the verses. 

  3. If we reject the Gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4). … Those who don’t believe in Jesus as the Son of God are blind. The Devil keeps them blinded from the light that is Jesus. 


The Miracles of Jesus: Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

Sunday Sermon Series The Miracles of Jesus


John 6:1-55

We’ve seen a few ways Jesus has command over nature and today we see one more as we look at the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels, the feeding of the 5000. 

Jesus and His disciples decided to get away from the crowd and sailed across the Sea of Galilee to an uninhabited area. The crowd that was with them ran around the Sea of Galilee and crossed a river in an effort to reach the same place at the same time. Jesus and His disciples reached the other side and started praying and then the crowd arrived. When Jesus saw them, He asked the Disciples to feed them. They said it would take 200 days of wages to pay for enough food to feed the crowd. A boy just happens to have five small loaves and two small fish. Jesus has everyone sit down and then passes out the bread and fish. It multiplies as it gets passed along and there’s twelve baskets of leftovers at the end of the meal. The crowd then wants to forcefully make Jesus king. Jesus left before they could do so. 

That evening the disciples went onto the lake. Strong winds came and the water became rough in the night. Jesus walked out to them, walking on the water. 

When the crowd caught up with Jesus the next  day, He tells them how to be saved: Believe in Jesus. They asked for a sign and Jesus points out that if they haven’t read the signs He’s already shown them (such as feeding them the day before), then another sign won’t help. 

John 6:35 - The crowd was thankful for the bread but they wanted more signs, more miracles. They wanted to use Jesus a bit like a vending machine. It is good to be thankful for the blessings God/Jesus provides, but we need to realize that Jesus is the bread of life and He is our salvation and only hope. He deserves our faith and loyalty and love. 

John 6:53-55 - If you allow Jesus into your life He will come in and be your strength. Open your life to Him so He can be your strength, your everything, because He is faithful in all things.

The Miracles of Jesus: Jesus Calms the Storm

Sunday Sermon Series The Miracles of Jesus


Mark 4:35-41

Jesus is teaching by a lake, what we call the Sea of Galilee. The crowd is so large that Jesus went onto a boat to teach. At some point He took a break and explained some parables to His disciples, but was teaching the rest of the day. Eventually they, even Jesus, got tired so they pushed off in the boat and headed for the other side of the lake. Jesus fell asleep. A storm raged. The disciples assumed Jesus didn’t care about the situation as He slept. Jesus rebukes the storm and it ends. 

Ask yourself the two questions at the end of this story:

  1. Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith? (Mark 4: 40). … Are you afraid of something? Having financial troubles that have you worried? Health problems that scare you? … Even though the disciples had seen many things that should have grown their faith, they still lacked it and were scared. What has God done in your life that should have grown your faith? … Paul was in multiple shipwrecks. In one of his trips there was a great storm and the crew grew scared. God told Paul that everyone would survive. And they all did survive. Why didn’t God just stop the storm? God doesn’t work the same way very often. He is unpredictable and seems to like to use different methods.
    See Isaiah 43:2
    Jesus does miracles in some of your storms so that you will learn to trust Him in all of your storms. 

  2. Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him (Mark 4:41). … Humans have tried to control the weather many times. It’s never been proven to be successful. Sometimes the results have been the opposite of the desired results. But Jesus has the power to command the weather.
    See Psalm 89:8-9
    Jesus is revealing He is the Lord God Almighty. … Whenever Jesus controls nature, it is through His voice. Consider this: all of creation was created through the Word of Jesus. He created everything and has the power to command everything. 

The Miracles of Jesus: Jesus Provides Miraculous Catches of Fish

Sunday Sermon Series The Miracles of Jesus

This week we look at three miracles involving fishing. Simon (who they called Peter) is also involved in each one. 

Luke 5:1-11: A Large Catch of Fish … Jesus was preaching and then He tells the fishermen to drop the net on the other side. Peter responds that they’ve already worked hard that day and had little to show for it. But since it was Jesus giving the order, they would do it. Well, they caught more fish than they could handle and had to get help from a second boat. Peter fell at the feet of Jesus and Jesus called him to be His disciple and to become a fisher of men. 

Matthew 17:24-27: A Fish with a Coin in Its Mouth … Peter was asked if Jesus, his teacher, paid the temple tax. The temple tax is one that the religious teachers had to pay. Whether or not Peter knew for sure, we don’t know, but he answered that Jesus does pay it. It seems as though Jesus knew about this conversation because when Peter gets back to Jesus, Jesus asks him about taxes and who should pay them to whom. Then He says that even though He doesn’t have to pay this tax, He will so He doesn’t offend and cause conflict. So He tells Peter to go fishing in a specific location where he will find a fish with a coin in its mouth that will more than cover the tax. 

John 21:1-11: Another Large Catch of Fish … Jesus tells more fishermen, including John and Peter, to cast the net on the opposite side of the boat. So they do, and they catch 153 fish without breaking the net. Peter realizes it’s Jesus and jumps of the boat, swims to shore, and runs to Jesus. 

These are miracles of providence or guidance. Jesus directed the creatures of His creation to fulfill His purposes … One thing about these miracles is that they are relatively small things. Jesus catches fish and pays taxes. This shows us that Jesus cares about the little things. God provides even in the little things. 

Do you believe Jesus still performs miracles of providence?

The Miracles of Jesus: Jesus Changes Water to Wine

Sunday Sermon Series The Miracles of Jesus


John 2:1-11

This series is going to cover 15 miracles in 15 weeks. The miracles will be broken down into 4 groups, so we should one group per month. The first group covers miracles that affect the natural world.

We start with the first recorded miracle of Jesus: turning water into wine at a wedding. 

The wedding party had likely been going for days by this time since that’s how they celebrated weddings. Running out of wine would be a big deal. Marey, Jesus’ mother, appears to have had some type of role in this wedding and told Jesus the party had run out of wine. Jesus tells her that His time has not yet come. He still needed to train His disciples and do His ministry. Mary was persistent though and told the servants to do whatever Jesus said. They took barrels full of water and Jesus turned the water into wine, apparently better wine than what they had before. 

Since Jesus drank wine and turned water into wine, does this mean it is ok for Christians to drink alcohol? 

Three reasons for Christians to avoid alcohol:

  1. Addiction (Proverbs 23:29-35). … Today’s alcoholic beverages have a higher percentage of alcohol in them. This makes them more addictive and addiction can lead to serious issues in life. 

  2. Self Control (1 Peter 5:8; Proverbs 20:1). … The Bible tells us several times to be alert and in control of ourselves. Alcohol affects our ability to maintain self control. A lack of self control today has more opportunities for negative effects thanks to the vehicles we drive as opposed to riding donkeys.

  3. Influence (Romans 14:21). … We are accountable for our influences on other people. Just because something doesn’t affect you doesn’t mean it’s not affecting someone around you. 

Ephesians 5:18 gives hope to those who struggle that they can overcome their issue and replace it with the Holy Spirit

John only includes seven of Jesus’ miracles in his gospel. Why does he include this story? What is its significance? 

In Old Testament prophecy, an abundance of wine was the sign of the Kingdom of God (Joel 3:18; John 10:10). … It is a sign that the kingdom has come. Jesus makes a lot of wine in this miracle and He makes the best wine. Jesus came so that we might have life and have it abundantly. Jesus makes the best at whatever He does. 

What is the purpose of the miracles of Jesus?

Jesus’ miracles are signs pointing to who Jesus is. Jesus reveals His glory so that we might believe in Him (John 2:11; 20:30-31). … John calls these “signs:” instead of “miracles” because they serve the purpose of directing us to faith in Jesus. John wrote his gospel and included seven signs so that we would believe Jesus is the Messiah and that we might believe in Him.

The First and Second Comings of Jesus: Similarities and Differences between Jesus’ Two Comings

Sunday Sermon Series The First and Second Comings of Jesus Holidays Christmas

Similarities

  • John 6:38; 1 Thessalonians 4:16 … Both involve a journey down from Heaven. Heaven is a real place. Once He came down and went back up. He is going to come back down again.

  • John 1:14; Acts 1:9-11 … Both comings are literal bodily comings of Christ. Some people suggest the second won’t be bodily, but the Bible makes it pretty clear that it will be a physical return. 

  • Luke 2:8-14; 2 Thessalonians 1:7 … Both involve the appearance of angels. Angels heralded His first coming, appearing to Zacheriah, Mary, Joseph, and shepherds. There will be another flurry of angelic activity when Jesus returns. 

  • Matthew 2:9; Revelation 6:13-14 … Both affect the stars, the heavens. His appearance causes disruption of the normal patterns of the stars. The Magi followed a star that appeared to them and led them to baby Jesus. The stars will also be different when He comes again. 

Differences

  • Matthew 2:13; Revelation 19:11-16 … In the first coming, God came as a vulnerable baby. But in His return, He will come as a full grown man, but not just any man; He will come as a warrior king. 

  • Luke 2:15-17; Revelation 1:7 … Only a few saw Him in His first coming. The only witnesses besides Mary and Joseph were the animals and some shepherds. However, in His second coming, everyone will see Him. 

  • John 1:10-11; Philippians 2:10-11 … At His first coming, He was largely rejected. The second coming will see Him universally acknowledged as Lord and all will bow to Him. 

  • John 1:29; Revelation 5:5 … He was compared to a lamb in His first coming. He fulfilled that role perfectly. He was innocent and without blemish. He was sacrificed on the cross for all of our sins once and for all. However, His second coming will see Him be more like a lion. He is the king, the royal one. He will triumph. But that doesn’t mean He isn’t still the lamb too. He’s always been both, just each coming exemplifies one over the other. 

  • John 5:22-26; 28-29 … In the first coming He came to raise the spiritually dead. He brought real, eternal life to all who accept Him. His second coming will see Him raise the physically dead. He’s already redeemed our souls and will also redeem our bodies.

  • Matthew 13:36-38; 38-43 … He came to plant disciples in the first coming. His second coming will be to harvest and weed. The weeds will be pulled up and burned, but the righteous will be harvested and will shine like stars. 

  • John 10:9; Revelation 3:8; Luke 13:22-25 … His first coming opened the door to Heaven. Jesus is the only door to Heaven; He is the way. But on His second coming, He will close that door. That door is open right now and anyone may enter. There is coming a time when it will close. 

Series: The First and Second Comings of Jesus: The Two Appearances of Jesus

Sunday Sermon Series The First and Second Comings of Jesus

The passages we look at today use a different word from “coming”. They use to term “appearing”. This term emphasizes that He has shown Himself and will show Himself again. In between the two “appearings” we don’t get to see Him or walk with Him, but we can still catch some of the joy from the first appearing and the revelation of salvation that is coming in the second appearing. 

Hebrews

First Appearing (Hebrews 9:26-28)

Second Appearing (Hebrews 9:28)

Jesus appeared to remove sin by the sacrifice of Himself. … This is a reference to what the high priest would do once a year. The high priest would offer up a sacrifice of an animal to atone for the sins of all Jews. The sacrifice of Jesus though is a one-time thing that removes all of our sin ever committed. 

Jesus will appear a second time to bring salvation to those wait for Him. … The second appearance will wrap up the process of salvation. Currently we still struggle with sin, but when He appears again, He will remove even that temptation. 

2 Timothy

First Appearing (2 Timothy 1:9-10)

Second Appearing (2 Timothy 4:8)

Jesus appeared to destroy death and bring life to light. … Our salvation is completely undeserved and was planned even before the beginning of time. Christ destroyed the power of sin and death on His first appearance. 

Jesus will give a crown of righteousness to all who long for His appearing. … As Paul wrote these words, we think he was close to death. Yet, he had confidence in his salvation and was anticipating being with Jesus, whether after death or in His second appearing. Paul longed to see Jesus. 

1 John

First Appearing (1 John 1:1-2; 3:7-8)

Second Appearing (1 John 3:2-3)

Jesus appeared to destroy the devil’s works. … There is a devil at work in our world. The devil works to destroy us bodily, mentally, and emotionally. Jesus has appeared so that we can be saved from those works.

When Jesus appears, we shall be like Him. … In other places in the Bible, being like Him means that we’ll have a glorified body like Him. Here though, it means we’ll be pure like Him in our living. We will be without sin. And since our destiny is purity, we should begin that journey already. We should work on becoming pure.