Posts in the "The Miracles of Jesus" Category

The Miracles of Jesus: Jesus Delivers a Canaanite Girl

Sunday Sermon Series The Miracles of Jesus

Matthew 15:21-28

This woman has a little daughter who is suffering greatly from demon possession. Jesus delivers the girl because of her mother’s “great faith.” Do you have great faith? … The last verse of this story tells us Jesus performed this miracle because of the mother’s great faith. We know from other stories that faith isn’t the only factor in whether or not a miracle will be performed, but in this case, it is the reason. 

What can we learn from this story about great faith?

  1. Great faith comes from unlikely sources. (Matthew 15:21-22). … This woman was a Canaanite, a descendent of the enemies of the Israelites. In Matthew 8:10 we see Jesus commend a Roman centurion for his great faith. That is the only other time in the Gospels that Jesus says someone has great faith. Even the disciples were never told they have great faith. In fact, in Matthew 8:26 Jesus says they have little faith. … This would be similar to if a Muslim or Athiest came to Christ today. Or maybe even former addicts or criminals. The point is that it seems as though those who we deem unlikely to become Christians are often the most full of faith when they do.

  2. Great faith comes from a sense of desperation. (Matthew 15:22). … Great faith comes from great need. This woman cried out to Jesus over and over. Her faith was her last hope. She knew there was no other way and could clearly see her need for Jesus. Do you see how much you need Jesus?

  3. Great faith is not easily discouraged. It is persistent.(Matthew 15:22-25). … Jesus didn’t answer for a while until His disciples complained about her. This shows us we need to be persistent in our faith and in our prayers. 

  4. Great faith is not easily offended. It is humble. (Matthew 15:26-27). … Jesus compares the Jews to children and gentiles to dogs. Today, this woman likely would have been offended and taken to twitter with her complaints. Instead, she humbled herself. … Even in Jesus’ time the Jews were offended by Jesus. Matthew 15:12 is one example of this. This woman responded better than the Jews.In Luke 7:23 Jesus implies that He will offend people, that people will stumble because of Him. 

One of our church members gave a testimony. His sister was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer around Thanksgiving. He, a medical professional, didn’t think she had much chance of beating it. She had faith from the start that God would do a miracle. After three treatments of cancer treatment, she is now cancer-free. Our church and several other churches as far away as Guatemala prayed for her and her family. It certainly seems as though persistent prayer worked and God performed a miracle.

The Miracles of Jesus: Jesus Restores a Demon-Possessed Man

Sunday Sermon Series The Miracles of Jesus

Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39

Demons destroy. Jesus restores. … There’s the four word tl;dr summary of this sermon. John 10:10 shows us where Jesus stated this Himself. 

The verses we’re looking at today show Jesus restoring a man back to his natural state from one of demon possession. 

Demons seek to destroy your:

modesty “had not worn clothes” … Demons strip away our self-respect and self-value, leading some to be immodest because they don’t value themselves enough. 

relationships “or lived in a house” .. The demon destroyed this man’s home life and social life. We don’t know if he was married, but he hadn’t been home in a long time, so if he was married, that relationship would have taken a huge hit. Other relationships would have suffered too. 

self-control “no one could bind him” (Mark 5:4) … God works to bring self control to your life. Demons will work to destroy that.

Peace of mind “night and day he cried out” (Mark 5:5) … This man clearly wasn’t sleeping well and he was screaming often. He had no peace within him as the demon worked his evil. 

body “and cut himself with stones” (Mark 5:5) … This man hurt himself physically due to the demon possessing him, This doesn’t mean that everyone who harms themselves is possessed by a demon, but they are surely being influenced by evil powers. 

After we read about the man who is possessed, Jesus confronts him and it is revealed that there are many demons inside him, not just one. The demons recognize Jesus. They ask Him to not send them to the abyss, but rather into some pigs. Jesus gave them permission (He has authority over evil). 

Luke 11::24-26 gives a potential reason for why Jesus allowed the demons to go into the pigs. It’s possible He did it so the demons wouldn’t go into someone else. The passage also acta as a warning against being empty. If we aren’t filled with the spirit, there is room for demons. 

Jesus can restore your:

self-control “sitting” (Luke 8:35) … Jesus can restore self-control. It’s one of the fruits of the Spirit. 

relationships “at Jesus’ feet” (Luke 8:35) … The man has entered into a student-teacher relationship with Jesus, showing that He has regained that ability to have a relationship. 

modesty “dressed” … Jesus can restore our self-wealth and self-respect. 

mind “in his right mind” … This man was now calm and peaceful, no longer screaming. 

Jesus can give you something you have not had before:

Purpose “return home and tell how much God has done for you” (Luke 8:37-39) … The people  of the town chased Jesus off for some reason. The man He restored wanted to go back with Jesus, but Jesus told him to go back home and tell the people what God had done for him. 

The Miracles of Jesus: Jesus Drives Out Demons

Sunday Sermon Series The Miracles of Jesus

Luke 4:31-37

This starts our month of looking at miracles where Jesus exhibits His power over demons. 

When Jesus was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum, a man possessed by a demon shouted at Him. Jesus commanded the demon to come out, and the demon left. Jesus came to Earth to destroy the works of the Devil and part of that includes defeating demons. 

Some try to say that the people in the Bible didn’t understand some of the medical conditions like epilepsy and attributed it to demons. Matthew 4:24 is a verse that shows they didn’t just attribute everything they didn’t understand to demons. 

Some will say that they didn’t have the psychiatric knowledge we have today about things like multiple personality disorder. However, some leading psychiatrists today will tell you that while they categorize most cases in some psychiatric category, there are some cases that don’t fit any of those and could be something supernatural. 

Are demons real? Is demon-possession real? 

The Bible has several examples of humans being possessed by demons or even the demon himself, such as with Judas Iscariot in John 13:21-30. 

If it is real, why don’t we see very much of this today?

Three possible reasons we see less today:

  1. In military terms, sending Jesus was an offensive move by God and Satan launched a counter-offensive. We see a lot more angels and demons in the New Testament than in any other equivalent period in the Bible. 

  2. Western culture has a Christian heritage that could help hold back the powers of evil. It may very well be that other cultures are more open to this type of attack. 

  3. Satan doesn’t need to use demon-possession to bring us down. In a society that asks questions and analyzes everything, it’s more effective to use our vices against us than it is to attack more directly with demon-possession. 

Can a Christian be demon-possessed?

1 John 4:4 tells us that the One inside us is greater than the enemy. With the Spirit inside us, there is no room for a demon. 

What should be the attitude of Christians toward demons?

Some Christians credit too much to demons. They’ll blame a demon for causing them to lie (or some other sin) instead of taking responsibility for it.

Other Christians give too little credence to demons. Deuteronomy 18:10-13 shows us that God takes these things seriously. Don’t take things like ouija boards, séances, the occult, and witchcraft lightly. 

This doesn’t mean you need to ban every story that has magic in it. Magic can be a good way to explain spiritual warfare, especially if there is both good and evil magic in the story and the good comes out victorious. Two of the most famous Christian fiction writers of all time used magic in their most famous works. C.S. Lewis uses it in his Chronicles of Narnia saga and J.R.R. Tolkein puts it to use in his Lord of the Rings trilogy. Both stories have allegorical value and feature magic being used for both good and evil. 

We live in the midst of spiritual battles and need to be prepared for them every day. Ephesians 4:26-27 tells us to not open up footholds for the devil by letting sin linger. Ephesians 6:11-17 shows us that we need to put on our spiritual armor because our battle is with the spiritual forces of evil, not flesh and blood humans. 

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?