Summary: Easter 2 (B) - Jesus is greater than any miraculous sign. Many wicked want miraculous signs. God’s word is our miraculous "sign".
JESUS IS GREATER THAN ANY MIRACULOUS SIGN (Outline)
March 30, 2008 –
EASTER 2 -
INTRO: “Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!” These words of scripture are our proof positive that Christ rose again from the tomb on that first Easter Sunday. Often people demand concrete proof. They want something tangible. They need to see, feel, and touch the proof to make it true. This was the case with Thomas (cf. Gospel: JOHN 20:19-31). Jesus’ power is seen in his resurrection. The awesome power of God’s word created the heavens and the earth. Everything that you and I do see, feel, and touch was created out of nothing. This is more proof that God, yes – even Jesus, is greater than any miraculous sign. "Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything"(HEBREWS 3:3,4).
JESUS IS GREATER THAN ANY MIRACULOUS SIGN.
I. Many wicked want miraculous signs,
II. God’s word is our miraculous “sign”.
I. MANY WICKED WANT MIRACULOUS SIGNS
A. Matthew chapter 12 is very interesting. The leaders of the church reveal their hatred towards Jesus.
1. In the opening verses the Pharisees accuse Jesus and his disciples of working on the Sabbath.
2. A few verses later Jesus heals a man; again, on the Sabbath. Next, Jesus drives out a demon.
3. The Pharisees and scribes are upset. They accuse Jesus of getting his power from Satan.
B. Verse 38. These leaders who hated Jesus now ask for a miraculous sign. How ironic.
1. They now seek a sign from one whom they think is empowered by the devil.
2. The leaders seek an earthly sign. Healing and forgiving are not miraculous enough for them.
C. Verse 39. Jesus answers harshly. They are wicked and adulterous along with those who follow them.
1. Once united to the Lord God Jehovah their unfaithfulness have divorced them from the Lord.
2. The miraculous sign they seek can be found in their own history, verse 39b, 40.
3. Jonah was brought safe from the belly of the sea creature. Jesus would rise from the grave.
D. Today the wicked still want miraculous signs. There are some religions that teach without miraculous signs there is no faith. In wanting miraculous signs they demand of God healings, tongue speaking, and other outward show as proof of faith. There are some churches that have been established which consider themselves as God’s kingdom. They are often man-centered and have been passed down from father to son. What once started out focused on Christ is now focused on self-serving interests. The Lord reminds us: "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you"(LUKE 17:20b, 21). God’s miraculous sign is that God’s kingdom is alive and well in the hearts of believers who confess Christ as their Savior.
E. The distractions to see miraculous signs do not only come from religious false prophets. There has been an enormous growth in new age and self-help materials and leaders. Many misguided, self-appointed gurus offer fulfillment here on earth with no regard at all for eternity. They declare that sin is out dated and not fulfilling. “Who needs God, when we are gods ourselves?” Such is the devastating, false hope that our society has come to know and like. "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear"(2 TIMOTHY 4:3). Prosperity in this life and earthly success is the miraculous sign that the wicked of our day desire and pursue.
F. The true miraculous sign that the Lord God gives us is the resurrection of his Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus had to die in order to be raised. The reason Jesus died was to pay for our sins and the sins of the world. The resurrection of Jesus is the proof positive, miraculous sign that death is not our master. "Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him"(ROMANS 6:8,9).
JESUS IS GREATER THAN ANY MIRACULOUS SIGN.
Many wicked want miraculous signs.
II. GOD’S WORD IS OUR MIRACULOUS “SIGN”
A. Jesus talked of the sign of Jonah. Remember why Jonah was in the belly of a sea creature?
1. God called his prophet Jonah to preach repentance to Nineveh. Jonah fled away on a ship.