Summary: The power of Jesus is available to anyone who will tap into it.
A Messiah of Power
Text: Matt. 9:18-26
1. Illustration: Once there was a lady who had a small house on the seashore of Ireland at the turn of the century was quite wealthy but also quite frugal. The people were surprised, then, when she decided to be among the first to have electricity in her home. Several weeks after the installation, a meter reader appeared at her door. He asked if her electricity was working well, and she assured him it was. "I’m wondering if you can explain something to me," he said. "Your meter shows scarcely any usage. Are you using your power?" "Certainly," she answered. "Each evening when the sun sets, I turn on my lights just long enough to light my candles; then I turn them off." Yarborough goes on to say, “She tapped into the power but did not use it. Her house is connected but not altered. Don’t we make the same mistake? We, too-with our souls saved but our hearts unchanged - are connected but not altered. Trusting Christ for salvation but resisting transformation. We occasionally flip the switch, but most of the time we settle for shadows.
2. As Christians we believe in the unlimited power of Jesus, but far too often we do not make use of that power.
3. If we truly wanted to live the abundant life the our Lord intends for us we need to:
a. Trust His Power
b. Touch His Power
c. Take Hold of His Power
4. Read Matt. 9:18-26
Proposition: The power of Jesus is available to anyone who will tap into it.
Transition: The first question we need to ask ourselves today is do we...
I. Trust In His Power (18-19)
A. But You Can Bring Her Back to Life
1. In our text today, we see a series of events that took place right after Jesus authority is questioned.
2. Immediately following this questioning of his authority, "As Jesus was saying this, the leader of a synagogue came and knelt before him."
a. Exactly who is this "leader of the synagogue?"
b. Based on other ancient writings, we know that synagogue officials were highly respected (Turner, Cornerstone Biblical Commentary: Matthew, 141).
c. The ruler of the synagogue was one of the most prominent men of the congregation and was responsible for the order of the synagogue service and the keeper of the sacred books. He was also the administrative head of the city (Horton, CBL: Matthew, 175).
d. As you might imagine, he was a man of considerable authority and power.
e. However, what is so amazing about this man is his extraordinary faith.
f. The ruler’s exceptional faith in Jesus is demonstrated by both his words and the fact that he knelt before him, which is an act of worship.
g. Here is this man of great authority and power, yet he humbles himself in the presence of Jesus recognizing that he is in the presence of one whose authority he is no match.
3. The leader of the synagogue says to Jesus, “My daughter has just died, but you can bring her back to life again if you just come and lay your hand on her.”
a. Matthew’s version of this story is a little bit different from that of Mark and Luke’s.
b. In those accounts, the father is only asking for healing, but here the girl is already dead.
c. Therefore, Matthew’s account focuses not on Jesus power over sickness, but rather his power over death (France, NICNT: Matthew, 362).
4. This account is also unique in that it does not mention the word faith.
a. However, it does show that this man had an "even more remarkable ability to see beyond a natural impossibility" (France, 362).
b. Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
c. Not only did he have the confidence to hope for something that had not happened yet, but he also had the ability to see something that from a mere human standpoint was impossible.
d. His actions speak for themselves.
5. Now a way that this account is not unique is that this man is asking Jesus to do something that is forbidden.
a. He is asking him to touch someone who is dead.
b. Just as it was forbidden for Jesus to touch the leper, it was also forbidden for his to touch a corpse
c. It is possible that he was thinking that if Jesus touched her and she lived that would cancel out the fact of touching a corpse.
d. On the other hand, he probably didn’t care because he wanted his daughter back, and was willing to risk asking Jesus to do what was forbidden.