Summary: Jesus was clear that our walk should be marked by signs and wonders. What is following you? Is your life “signless”?
Jesus challenged us and at the same exact moment gave us a small glimpse into our heritage and inheritance as a believer. With two small statements He made it known that a “normal” believer would see “abnormal” occurrences in their daily walk. He made it known that as one of His followers and disciples we are not limited to or restricted to operating in the realm of the “natural”, but that on a regular basis the “supernatural” would invade our existence. He makes this declaration in John 14 when He said we would do greater things than He did. We believe Him when He said we are free from sin. We believe Him when He said we would go to heaven. So it is time for us to take His Word about our access to the supernatural in John 14. Then He follows it up in Mark 16 and makes sure that we know that we should be constantly looking over our shoulders because signs should be following us. Signs should be consistently present to validate what we have been saying with our mouth. No signs . . . no validation. And so, I have been laying down the challenge to you that signs should be following us. I have been challenging you that we must examine our signless life and go back and claim the promise that we have been given. I have challenged you to stir up your faith again to realize that our lack of faith is a huge problem because it means that we can no longer offer hope to those who are hurting. We need signs!
We have examined 2 of Jesus’ miracles and learned that sometimes you have to go out of your way to get your need met. We have learned that we can’t let a put off result in a walk off. You have been challenged to take Jesus at His Word. You have been reminded that His Word is not restricted to time or space. If He promised it, then you can bank on it. Then last week I declared that we must become amazed again at the authority that we have access to. We can’t underestimate it or under communicate it. We can’t grow comfortable with sickness, addictions, or issues. We must silence the voice of the enemy so Jesus can be heard again. So today I want us to move into another moment when Jesus’ life was marked by a sign.
Text: Matthew 8:1-4
1-2 Jesus came down the mountain with the cheers of the crowd still ringing in his ears. Then a leper appeared and went to his knees before Jesus, praying, "Master, if you want to, you can heal my body." 3-4Jesus reached out and touched him, saying, "I want to. Be clean." Then and there, all signs of the leprosy were gone. Jesus said, "Don’t talk about this all over town. Just quietly present your healed body to the priest, along with the appropriate expressions of thanks to God. Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done."
I won’t take time to read to you out of Mark. The only addition in the text, although an extremely important one, is that when this man approached Jesus Mark says “Jesus was deeply moved.”
a. We need to get off the mountain.
Jesus comes down from the mountain with the cheers of the crowd ringing in his ears. Why were they cheering? In Matthew 5, Jesus goes to the top of the mountain, sets down and over the course of Matthew 5, 6, 7 delivers what any commentary, theologian, or world leader with any wisdom at all will tell you was the greatest masterpiece of a sermon ever delivered. The Sermon on the Mount set an entire world system on its ear. This one sermon literally established kingdom laws on planet earth. It was and continues to be the pinnacle of preaching. All other sermons by the greatest preachers of any day or our day fall so far below this level of preaching that they aren’t even in the same league. This was a powerful day of ministry. This was a great day. This was His life teachings wrapped up in one sermon and the crowd that was there recognized its power, depth, anointing, and responded with cheers and perhaps applause. They were in awe of Him due to this sermon. And when He finishes His teaching He comes off the mountain and is immediately face-to-face with an aids patient. That is a modern day equivalent of leprosy.
This sequence of events speaks directly to those of us who take time out of our week to attend church and perhaps serve in the church! I am convinced that most of us would have stayed on the mountain. When the cheers began we would have camped out. Or at the very least we would have come off the mountain and thought we were finished. Our thought process is as follows . . . We just sang the best we have ever sung on the worship team so I have been on the mountain, I have heard the cheers and now I am done for the week. I have just ushed the best I have ever ushed . . . that was my mountain so I am done for the rest of the week. I have worshiped, danced, praised, listened, given at the highest level I have ever ascended to in my life and so I am done. Don’t you hear the cheering? That should be enough. I should get a break. I did my Christian thing! I get Monday thru Saturday off and I will come back to the mountain on Sunday and do it all again and people will be amazed again.