Summary: The most overlooked social class by the church in America are people in the middle class and the people who are wealthy.
“Many Miraculous Signs and Wonders”
"The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade.” Acts 5:12
Intro: “Two Blondes.” (pause) Two blondes were shopping at a children’s retail store when they ran across a big sign that said clearance. On the shelves were just dozens of jigsaw puzzles. They just laughed and laughed. They began to talk big to other people around them about their skill and how easy it was for them to work jigsaw puzzles. They boasted about how that on the box it 2-4 years. But they bragged about how they could work those jigsaw puzzles in just 2-4 weeks.
Have you ever had something turn out in life that just wasn’t what it seemed to be but then turned out to be even worse than you thought? Kind of like the joke preachers try to make.
Sometimes the opposites can be true with the things that God is doing in our life. Things can seem to be going just awful but God pulls out a miracle and things miraculously turn around and all the people are filled with amazement and filled with great belief and courage.
We gather to worship. We unite around prayers. We sing with anticipation of God hearing us. We pray with trust to a merciful God. We are so filled with faith and full of hope believing that in a matter of time God will send an answer. But God does not always come as quickly as we want an answer. And God’s answer doesn’t always come in the form we are looking for.
God gives us miracles. God gives us signs today. God gives us wonders today just like he did to his disciples in the days of the bible. It is just that: 1. We don’t always get the answer or the sign we want. 2. We just don’t recognize that God is doing a miracle and wondrous thing around us at all. 3. There is just no sign or there is just no answer given other than “not now, wait, wait.” As the Gospel of Luke stated: “As the crowds increased, Jesus said, "This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Luke 11:29 People want a sign from God but being swallowed whole by a whale like Jonah is not the sign we are looking for.
The title of today’s sermon is “Many Miraculous Signs and Wonders.” On the east side of the wall of Herod’s Temple in Jerusalem, just inside the walls of the courtyard, there is this row of magnificent covered columns known as Solomon’s (Colonnade) or Solomon’s porch. From this very walkway Jesus, himself had taught the religious leaders the lessons of the prophet Ezekiel said, God, “will set one shepherd over them, even (over) my servant David. He will feed them and be a shepherd to them.” Ezekiel 34:23
What Jesus is really telling them is that Jesus himself is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Ezekiel. He is clearly saying that he (Jesus) is this good shepherd. That the temple will soon no longer be the place of animal sacrifice and forgiveness of sins but he himself will be the sacrifice for eternal life, and those who follow him will not perish. (Jesus is talking about his crucifixion and salvation through his death on the cross.) Again, not the miracle, or the sign or the wonder, that people were looking for. To this crowd of Jews crucifixion on a cross was not the kind of answer to their prayers they had been looking for. Jesus was not giving these Jews the kind of answer to their prayers they had been praying. Second, we know that many people just did not recognize that God was going to do a miracle and wondrous thing by allowing the death of his begotten son. How can allowing the Romans to shed the blood of God and kill the Son of God be a sign or miracle or wondrous answer to thousands of years of waiting and prophecies about the coming of the Messiah and the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant to make a new nation of Israel?
But Jesus taught and performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. Of course the Jewish leaders saw and heard this as blasphemy against the laws of Leviticus. They planned, to stone, Jesus.
It was at this same place where these same religious leaders had secretly tried to have Jesus put to death that Peter and the other Apostles came teaching and performing many miraculous signs and wonders among the people also. The early disciples also performed signs and miracles as proof that Jesus was who he said he was. And in spite the crucifixion, regardless of the fear of persecution, crowds of both men and women came from towns and villages near Jerusalem. They brought the sick and the demon possessed to Peter and the Apostles and more and more people believed and were brought to the Lord.