Summary: Christ’s love is designed to saturate the whole person giving new life and new purpose.
LESSONS FROM THE GARDEN: ONIONS
Sermon Objective: Christ’s love is designed to saturate the whole person giving new life and new purpose.
We are beginning a new series today called Lessons from the Garden. As many of you are probably aware, there are characteristics of many fruits & vegetables which we can use to illustrate Biblical principles and apply to life. That’s what we’ll be doing for the next few weeks. The upcoming series will include sermon on:
• The Asparagus (9:09-13)
• The Potato (9:14-17)
• The Garlic (9:18-26)
• The Strawberry (9:35-38)
Today’s sermon is A Lesson from the Onion.
I enjoy a good bagel. My favorite is jalapeño. I remember the time that I went to the bagel shop and got a dozen mixed fresh bagels. They placed them all in a bag and I took them home and placed them on the counter.
The next morning I reached in the bag and pulled out a cinnamon-raisin bagel for breakfast. I noticed that it had a slight taste of onion, thought this was strange, but ate it anyhow.
That evening I reached for another bagel, an apple-spice bagel and noticed it, too, had an onion flavor to it. This time the aroma and taste were much stronger. I discovered that two of the bagels in my mixed bag were onion bagels. It was too late by then; all of the other bagels in the bag had been permeated by the overbearing aroma -- every bagel in the bag tasted like an onion!
Have you ever left a cut onion in the fridge, or maybe the sealed container came open? The onion penetrates everything else inside.
This ability to affect the aroma and taste of other food items is one of the trademarks of the onion. It saturates everything around it.
I would liken this trademark to the love of Jesus.
This morning’s sermon is about a paralytic. But it is about more than just a paralytic. It is really about Jesus. In the story Jesus not only speaks to the paralytic -- HE SPEAKS TO YOU!
1 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town.
2 Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”
3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”
4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?
5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?
6 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. . . .” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.”
7 And the man got up and went home.
8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men.
Let’s listen closely to three healing words which, when HEARD, will spread the love of Jesus through your spirit like an onion can influence the character of other foods.
#1. “BE OF GOOD CHEER” (V. 2)
The King James Bible translates “Take heart” as “Be of good cheer.” I like this interpretation better -- it is more picturesque; more graphic and illustrative of what we can expect from God’s love.
The first healing word we discover is joy. Have you ever noticed when a Christ-follower, filled with Christ’s meek and joyful Spirit, enters a room he/she has the ability to bring lift the countenance of everyone else there? I want to suggest that this is a trademark of God’s love -- it can transform and saturate the environment it enters.
I have mentioned this before but, there are many Christians who are inflicted with the “Eeyore syndrome”. They look at life much like Eeyore of Winnie the Pooh fame. They have the uncanny tendency (or curse) to see the negative, the pessimistic and dark side of life – even when the positive side is present and screaming to be experienced … just like the story of Jesus’ healing we just read. THANK GOD THE FRIENDS OF THE PARALYTIC WERE NOT EEYORES!
WHAT WE LEARN IN SCRIPTURE IS THAT JESUS’ JOY CAN BE AN ACT OF HEALING. IT IS EVIDENCE OF FAITH AND HOPE … NOT NAIVETÉ. IT IS EVIDENCE OF THE PRESENCE OF JESUS.
Vickie and I have some friends in Oklahoma named * and , who experienced this healing.
* and * have been married quite a long time and are a Godly couple. They have adopted three special-needs children as well as caring for their own and * is a doctor at an Indian clinic where he cares for the underprivileged.