Summary: There are souls who seek to explain away what God has done before them, even though they have seen His work with their own eyes. This text reminds us of how Peter dealt with those situations and thus we are encouraged by his actions.
May 19 2002
Day of Pentecost
One of my long time friends, Charlie, was at my birthday party when I turned six. As a special gift to me, my mother hired a friend of hers who happened to do a few magic tricks. The man’s tricks would have gone off without a hitch, except for one small problem. You see Charlie sought to explain away all the magic by figuring out how it was done and the funny thing about that was that most of the time Charlie had the magician pegged. When we had to pick out the ace of spades in the deck, Charlie said the whole deck was full of the Ace of spades, and when the coin disappeared, Charlie pointed out that the coin was still in the man’s hand. Needless to say that this magician was so embarrassed and upset after his performance, that my mother told me he gave up his magic act.
Charlie was just having fun at the magician’s expense. Back then we were just innocent kids who meant no harm (hold halo over head J). Sadly, however, there are many people out there who seek to explain away the glory of God not just to have fun with the Christian but instead to seriously challenge their witness. It is hard for us to believe that there are some people who just do not believe that God exists, or that Jesus died for them, or that our Lord had a hand in protecting them when danger passed their way.
We have also fallen into the trap of refusing to see God before us. We too seek to explain away the work of our Lord. Our refusal may not be in the extreme of that of an unbeliever, but still it is our sin none-the-less. Because the truth of the matter is, we do not always recognize God, when he has a hand in our life. For example, how many of us would think right off the bat that God had a hand in our car not starting in the morning. Maybe God kept the car from working so that he would keep us from getting into an accident. Yet we get upset. Or how often do we not listen to the Holy Spirit’s call upon our own spirit to come to worship, or to open up the Bible? I bring this to our attention this morning so that we not only shake our heads at the Jews whom we read about today, but also that we shake our heads over the times we have mimicked their behavior.
When the Galileans began speaking in other known languages. The Jews sought to explain away what they saw. Since the Galileans were not known as scholars, and were in fact not even the best educated and were using words beyond their own language, the Jews assumed those individuals must be drunk. You see, despite the fact that they saw a visual manifestation of tongues landing on all the disciples, they still sought to explain away what their eyes and ears testified to. They did the same thing to Christ when he performed miracles. Back then they said he was healing by the power of Satan; once again seeking to explain away the power that their eyes and ears received.
Yes, there will always be people who will seek to explain away the power and glory of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When the rich man who suffered torment in hell, sought to warn his family of their impending doom, we heard that even if someone rose from the grave, they still would not believe. In other words, they would still seek to explain away what they saw for themselves. It is hard for us to understand how people can be so dense. It is hard for us to understand how we can be so dense at times. But one wonderful truth is that although we do seek to explain away much of what God places before us, it is not a controlling factor in our life anymore. Where before we might have never gotten out of the rut of staying away from Church or personal devotions, now if ever we explain away those desires, it is only but for a moment. This is because with Christ our Lord breaks through our dense notions and reaches us. He places upon us an urge and a need to run to the Word of God more often then the urge to stay away from it. We now have the wisdom that nothing in this world is more important that He. Thus we find time to worship, we make time to study the Bible, and we seek time to fellowship and serve. And we learn, all the more, that God has a hand in more things upon our life that we used to give Him credit for. In Christ, we might now not try to explain away that flat tire or flooded engine so quickly.