Thursday, January 31, 2013

Miracles of Jesus - Part 2

Miracles of Jesus  - Part 2 of 3


This message was preached by Micahel Eaton at  Word of Grace Church. You can listen or download the audio message by clicking here.
Matthew 14- walking on the water. Jesus has been 2 years in ministry. He is 2/3rd into His ministry, He does 2 amazing miracles. Matthew 14:13-22- He feeds the 5000 and then He gets into a boat and walks on the water. He does this to show that He is really in control of everything and that they need never fear again.

He wants them to learn a lesson from all of this. He feeds 5000 and there were 12 baskets left over (someone counted)- 12 tribes of Israel would be provided for. If you are in need, He can provide but if He doesn’t it is God’s will for you. God does not guarantee your life would be easy- there is suffering, sickness but there is a purpose behind the scenes, in the heavenly realms. Eg. Job- God finally speaks and tells him that He made the elephant. i.e. I can make things totally unique and strange but I know why.

Nothing happens to you unnecessarily. Even if you die for your faith- there is a reason for it.If you worry about lunch- you have not understood. ‘Immediately’- because they are connected- one is positive and the other negative. The first- I can provide for you. The second- I can protect you in times of trouble. They are timed nicely because Jesus is about to be crucified and the nation will reject Him as a whole.

He dismisses the crowd and He is alone with the disciples. The other time (Luke 8) when He calms the storm, Jesus is in the boat. Here He is not in the boat but is seeing them. The other difference is this- trouble came unwillingly, expectantly  Here Peter says, ‘ you tell me to walk’. Peter wants to walk upon the waves and falls into doubt. Here Jesus is absent and Peter walks into the storm on his own initiative. What is significant about this? We should not be surprised that life is full of storms. The function of the Gospel is not to make your life easy. This is the current heresy. The medieval time heresy was the catholic church- the mass. infant baptism etc. 19th-20th Century heresy was the brotherhood of man, that morality will be spread by Jesus- they wanted the Christian ethic but not Jesus. 

When Churchill was asked, “how do you rebuild the new era?” he said that he would build it on the teachings of Jesus but he meant Christian ethic that will make society nice, not His Lordship. League of Nations, etc. 21st century heresy is the idea that God is a sugar-daddy, a senior matron of the hospital who will take care of you. That is not the gospel, neither is sacramental ism or the brotherhood of man.

Here are the disciples and storms come upon them. You might find life gets tougher when you become a Christian. He will be with you in the storms. Storm will go when you go to heaven.

Different types of storms:

1.       Opposition- When you become a Christian and you tell your family, they are not pleased. Nothing unusual. Don’t be surprised. When you get saved, you get a new friend- Jesus, and a new enemy- Satan. Don’t be surprised Peter.

2.       Temptation- some think that when they get saved, they will not sin. You are out of the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of God. But, sin is not dead. People are different in temperament- each Christian is different- we all have different temptations. You don’t need to be discouraged by that. Eph 6- we wrestle against principalities and powers. Even Jesus was attacked- when He was starving for 6 weeks, he tempts Him to make bread from stones.
The devil gives you a tough time because you are saved. Some have great sexual temptations because it is their particular temptation. For some, it is money- insecurity, endlessly fearful.

3.       Fear- Satan likes it when we fear (Matt 14:6). A spirit of fear does not come from God. We don’t fear the Lord- but it’s a fear of losing blessing. God never oppresses or discourages us. It comes from the satanic realm. When we walk in the spirit, we are not under law. The spirit never makes you feel condemned. These are storms that break out in life.
These miracles are coming up- Jesus is about to be executed and will go away. The disciples are worried- they don’t understand. There is a storm of persecution heading their way- Acts 12. They will be scattered.

These storms are a part of the Christian life. It is not a sign that you are doing something wrong. Trust in God. When you falter, pick yourself up. We are in the Kingdom of grace. The sea or water is the picture of life. Dan 7- beasts that arise from the sea- it is the kingdom of the world. Then, something rises from the clouds- i.e. God. Clouds move calmly. Tossing of the sea- depicts the storms of life.

In Luke 8:22 Peter is not in trouble, but he wants to walk on the water. So Peter walks out confidently- on the troubles of life. It is not about storms coming on you but doubts that come when you are doing well. And suddenly we are in trouble.
We’ll learn a few things about doubt- it is possible to be attacked by doubt- you wonder if you are doing the right thing because nothing new is happening.

Peter sees the wind, the water and Jesus. Nothing changed from 5 minutes before. So why did he doubt? The wind did not blow harder, so what happened? That’s what doubt is like- it comes at you when there is no reason at all. Suddenly you are in trouble.
It comes from Satan and weaknesses in yourself. Sometimes sooner or later you will face this- don’t be surprised.
How do you deal with them? Why do they come? Maybe you are disillusioned- you thought life would be perfect.

1.       Why? For some, it’s the way they are made- they are doubters. Peter was like that- always the first to stand and first to fall. Some are unstable by nature, sometimes natural leaders. He was the first to receive a gentile believer and he is the first who does not want to eat with them. That is because he acts before he thinks.
In the Christian life, everyone is different. We are the weakest when we are the strongest. Our greatest strength is also our greatest weakness. Eg: intellectual enthusiastic people, etc. We need to learn to handle ourselves.
If you are strong- don’t trust in that. Trust in God. You might have a mighty success on Monday and fall on Tuesday.
2.       Doubts do not mean you do not have faith. You can have doubt and faith at the same time. Peter had little faith. You know Jesus is the savior but you are attacked by doubt. Doubt is compatible with faith, so don’t condemn yourself. Eg: Francis Shaffer- he totally lost faith in the gospel- but slowly he came out of it. This does not mean you are not saved. The answer is to remedy it.
Why? It happens to things you once settled, i.e. Peter thought he had dealt with the storm issue. If you know you have dealt with something and had victory. So when it comes back- it’s a mark of Satan. We don’t need to go back to square one. Don’t go back to an old battle. Recognize it as what it is. Why should you battle something you settled long ago?

Peter took his eyes off Jesus- nothing new was happening around him except that he took his eyes off Jesus. When you take your eyes off Jesus, you will have doubts. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus (Heb12). Take everything to Him. Get yourself in the presence of the Lord Jesus.

Here is the good news. In the end, it does not matter. He will rescue you whether you have weak or strong faith. It damages the joy of your faith, your witness and example, but you have not lost everything. It does not matter whether you are faithful to Jesus. It matters that He is faithful to you and He always is.

Peter cries out to Jesus. Jesus is there for you even if you are sinking or drowning. This is the Christian life- it is storming, we think we will drown. But our salvation does not depend on this. 2Tim 2:13- He will never leave us. He is able to keep us from falling. Jude 24- The key to the Christian life is fellowship with Jesus. Keep in touch with Him always. When you have Jesus, you have everything- John 1: 16.

These two great miracles tell us that the Lord will meet every need and when the storm of life breaks upon you He will walk to you. Don’t take your eyes off Him and He will keep you from falling. The attacks don’t disappear forever. You stand by keeping your eyes on Jesus. You can walk on the storms of life to Him.

( to be concluded in Part 3)