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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sunday Sermon Outline

I have said in the past that most of the time I develop my own sermon outlines, but on occaision I will use someone else's material. I totally changed directions on my sermon after some questions and events of this past week.

The sermon outline below is from Mark Scott. Scripture references are in italics.

Miracles: Previews of Coming Attractions
Mark 6:56

56And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.

Jesus Christ was no mere slight–of–hand magician. He was, in the truest sense, a worker of wonders. The Gospels do not have an unhealthy interest in miracles, but they give us plenty of miraculous evidence to believe in Jesus.

Two qualifications about Jesus’ miraculous works should be made:
1. Miracles do not appear in every page of Christ’s life. They are exceptions to the norm.
2. Miracles are not self-authenticating.

They do not ensure belief

Mark 6:5-6
5He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6And he was amazed at their lack of faith.
. They should help engender faith (John 10:38)
38But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father."

John 20:30-31
30Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

but they can get in the way of faithful progress

John 6:26
26Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.

The issue before us in our text is that all that came to Jesus were healed. I would like to ask why. For what reason did our Lord work miracles, signs, wonders, and works?

I. To Show His Identity

Mark 2:10
10But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . ." He said to the paralytic,

A. There is a right relationship between a miracle and the Messiah. Jesus healed the paralytic’s sickness to prove that He could solve the man’s bigger problem of sin.

II. To Demonstrate That the Kingdom Had Come

Matthew 12:28
28But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

A. There is a right relationship between the reign of God being reestablished on planet earth and the Messiah. Casting out demons was a sign that the end of the age had come.

III. To Extend Kindness

Matthew 8:4
4Then Jesus said to him, "See that you don't tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them."

A. Sometimes Jesus worked miracles just because He wanted to. His heart went out to hurting folk. No doubt the leper welcomed the words, “I am willing.” His heart is touched with my grief

IV. To Stir Controversy

John 5:1-18
The Healing at the Pool

1Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. 2Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"
7"Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me." 8Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." 9At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, "It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat." 11But he replied, "The man who made me well said to me, 'Pick up your mat and walk.' " 12So they asked him, "Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?" 13The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. 14Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you." 15The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

Life Through the Son

16So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him. 17Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." 18For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

A. There is a right relationship between miracle and mess. Miracles can make things very messy. They can get the miracle worker in a heap of trouble, especially if they are done on Saturday. It may sound odd to our ears, but Jesus sometimes worked miracles to stir up the people so that they would be forced to deal with His deity and claims.

V. To Reward Faithfulness

Mark 7:24-30
The Faith of a Syrophoenician Woman

24Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. 25In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet. 26The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
27"First let the children eat all they want," he told her, "for it is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs." 28"Yes, Lord," she replied, "but even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs." 29Then he told her, "For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter." 30She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

A. There is an interesting relationship between faith and miracles. It is not an absolute relationship. Faith is not always required for a miracle for a very simple reason—God is sovereign. To the woman who was a definite outsider (a dog) the miracle proved a reward of her faith.

VI. To Fulfill Prophecy

Matthew 8:17
17This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: "He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases."
A. There is a right relationship between predictive prophecy and the Messiah. It was said that when He came the deaf would hear, the blind would see, and the lame would leap like a deer.

VII. To Pour out the Glory of God

John 11:4
4When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it."

A. There is a right relationship between Jesus’ whole life and the glory of God. When He walked among us we beheld the glory of God. When people saw Lazarus walking around all they could say was, “Glory to God.”

But beyond any of these purposes, miracles are part of Christ’s saving work! As Jesus worked miracles He began to save the world. Miracles are not just proofs of deity, and therefore should not be approached apologetically only. The miracle stories of the Bible have salvation talk in them. “Faith”, “save”, and “mercy” are words that appear in the miracles. They are cameos of life in the new heaven and new earth. They are snapshots of future glory. When a miracle takes place the recipients have a brief glimpse into a future world ruled totally by God where there is no sickness, death, or oppression by the evil one.

Miracles and the movies. Going to the movies might be an appropriate metaphor to understand miracles. Before the feature presentation there are usually some previews of coming attractions. So it is with Christ’s miracles during His first coming.