Sermon Illustrations

Shopkeeper Seeks Revenge on Bitter Rival

What you believe about Jesus determines what you do with him.

Two shopkeepers were bitter rivals. Their stores were directly across the street from each other, and they would spend each day keeping track of each other’s business. If one got a customer, he would smile in triumph at his rival. One night an angel appeared to one of the shopkeepers in a dream and said, "I will give you anything you ask, but whatever you receive, your competitor will receive twice as much. Would you be rich? You can be very rich, but he will be twice as wealthy. Do you wish to live a long and healthy life? You can, but his life will be longer and healthier. What is your desire?" The man frowned, thought for a moment, and then said, "Here is my request: Strike me blind in one eye!"

This illustrates the attitude of the Pharisees and Sadducees when they heard about the resurrection of Lazarus. They couldn’t stand it! They looked at the score board and Jesus was way ahead and leaving them behind. This is the condition of unbelief. As we look at the final verses of John 11 a sad truth surfaces. Some people will never believe.

From a sermon by Greg Nance, What Happens When We Don’t Believe?, 11/5/2009

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