Summary: Jesus was clear that our walk should be marked by signs and wonders. What is following you? Is your life “signless”?
Well, we have arrived . . . the conclusion of this series. However, my sincere prayer is that this will not be the conclusion of your expectation for and seeing of signs in your daily life. This cannot just be another series. This series must become a reality in the life of each of you and in the life of our church.
You will remember last Sunday we began to summarize the lessons or truths that the overall examination of Jesus’ miracles teach us. Let me quickly remind you what we talked about:
1. The blame game keeps us signless. If you see no signs examine your faith rather than accusing or blaming someone else.
2. Use the faith that you have now. Jesus is expecting you to utilize your present level of faith.
3. Be a copycat of the Jesus’ faith rather than trying to mimic His miracles.
4. Leave the church. Let signs become a part of your daily life.
5. Participate in your miracle. Obedience is the key component.
So that is what we talked about last week. I want to once again go back and read the promises on which this series has been based, but I want to read it a little differently today. I am going to read it, but I am going to pause at particular points so that you can insert your name. I want you to get to the place where these passages of Scripture become part of who you are as a believer.
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. ______________ 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; In my name shall _________ cast out devils; ______ shall speak with new tongues; 18______ shall take up serpents; and if ______ drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt ______; ______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.
Now before you get nervous and think we are going to pull out snakes and jugs of poison let me just remind you that one of the greatest signs God produces in our life is COMMON SENSE!
So let’s continue to learn from Jesus’ example.
a. Our demand for explanation will keep us signless.
Please don’t underestimate Jesus’ craziness! I am convinced that the people of His day probably thought He was certifiable. Put yourself in the place of those that experienced signs while Jesus was here. Put yourself in the place of the blind man. He desires to see. Jesus comes along and in preparation to bring sight this blind man, whose hearing is honed to sharpness, hears Jesus gathering spit in His mouth. Put yourself in the place of disciples who need to pay taxes. “Jesus, do you want us to go to the local ATM and make a withdrawal?” “No? You tax payment plan is to go fishing for one fish out of all the fish in the sea?” I think there were some eye rolling, finger spinning moments when Jesus’ life was about to be interrupted by signs. I honestly believe that if they had stopped to demand explanation there would have been no sign!
I have already shared with you one instance regarding signs where the same statement made by two different people is met with different response (Bartimeaus and James and John). Let me share another one with you that speaks to this head/heart struggle. Their brother is dead and has been 4 days. Martha hears Jesus arrives and makes a logical, thought out statement, “If you had been here he would not be dead.” Jesus doesn’t go into tomb raiding action because of this response. Then Mary comes out and says the exact same thing, “If you had been here my brother would not have died.” However, this time the passage says, “And Mary wept.” Then it says, “Jesus was moved deeply.” Jesus goes into resurrection mode, but Martha still needs explanation. Remove the stone? Are you nuts? He will stink. Was He moved by the demand for an explanation? No! He was moved by Mary’s heart hurt.