Sermon Illustrations


There are three true stories about holy images: A few years ago a woman in New Mexico was frying tortillas. One of the tortillas burned and the result was an image that looked like a face; she thought it looked like Jesus. She took the tortilla to her priest and he agreed it looked like Jesus, so he blessed it. The woman and her husband took the blessed tortilla back home and placed it in a box surrounded by cotton to make it appear as if it was floating on air. They built an altar around it and started praying there. Word began to spread about the holy tortilla and soon thousands of people visited their home to pray before the holy tortilla. People are desperate to catch a glimpse of Jesus.

A few years ago in Poland, a man discovered a tree with a strange shape in its bark. He thought it looked like the face of the Virgin Mary. He claimed he was healed there. Sixty miles away another similar tree was found, and it, too, had the face of Mary in its bark. Soon people from all over Poland began buying train tickets to visit these two trees. Thousands of worshippers have knelt before the two trees and have left money and other offerings there. People desperately want to be able to see and feel the power of God.

A few years ago, a lady in Arkansas turned on the kitchen light in her mobile home. The reflection of the light on the mobile home beside her looked like a man's face. She turned the light off and the image disappeared. When she turned the light back on, the image reappeared. She was certain it was a miracle--she could see the face of Jesus! News soon spread and hundreds of people were visiting her trailer to walk into her kitchen and flip on the light. Because of the crowds, she started charging a dollar a person. A local television station interviewed one of the men who had paid his dollar to see the image. He was pretty skeptical. He said, "I want my dollar back, it looked more like Willie Nelson to me."

Do you want to see Jesus? Don't go to a tortilla, a tree, or a trailer--go to the Word of God. Go home and read Revelation 1 and you will see what Jesus looks like now.

(From a sermon by Fred Markes, Mt. of Transfiguration, 8/30/2011)

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