Summary: Jesus was clear that our walk should be marked by signs and wonders. What is following you? Is your life “signless”?
This will make week 8 of our discussion about signs. I have been praying that this constant and extended emphasis and examination of the miracles that were a supernatural invasion of the natural life of Jesus would cause us to want to want to live up to His example.
Each of Jesus’ miracles reveals lessons and principles that teach us. However, we can’t take time to teach on every miracle. So what I want to do is take the next 2 weeks and do some summary and broader lessons that we can learn from the entire collection of Jesus’ miracles.
Let’s go back and revisit the promises that Jesus made us regarding signs.
Text: John 14:11-14
11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
14Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. 15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 19So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 20And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
a. The blame game keeps us signless.
We want to blame lack of miracles on structured services, style of certain churches, pastors, prayer teams, or any number of other things or people. However, when you become honest about it and boil it down to truth our lack of signs is a direct result of our lack of faith! We have allowed our faith to become so weak and in some cases nonexistent that we really don’t believe that God can do what He has not only said He would do, but promised and declared would be a matter of fact for us (like healing, provision)! We would rather blame others and try to get ourselves off the hook! If you aren’t seeing signs following you it isn’t my fault or anyone else’s fault. Others may partner for your miracle, but your faith is your faith. What you see is a direct reflection of your faith! We have allowed apathy to make our faith so anemic that signs are lost! Where is your faith?
b. Use the faith you have now!
Jesus had an interaction with Peter that, although included no miracle, certainly teaches us about believing for miracles. Peter speaks to Jesus and tells Him that he will follow Him anywhere. Jesus replies that where He is going Peter cannot go right NOW, but you will follow Me there one day.
Peter didn’t lack faith. He had enough faith to leave everything and follow Jesus to this point. Peter just wasn’t ready to follow Jesus everywhere. Not at that moment. You’re not ready to follow Jesus everywhere either. Not at this moment. There are places in your life where your faith is still lacking. There are moments where you still struggle. And here’s the truth: Jesus isn’t expecting you not to struggle.
I think that at times we are like Peter and we overestimate our own faith. We try to act more spiritual and more believing than we really are as if we can fool ourselves and others into thinking we are super Christians. However, I think our bigger problem is that we underestimate the grace and patience of Jesus for our lack of faith even more. Jesus expects you to exercise the faith that you have, not the faith that you still have to develop. That is why the man had it perfectly right when he said, “I believe (I am operating on the faith I do have), help my unbelief (I recognize there is still room for growth in my faith)!