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Summary: Today we are going to see Jesus Christ do something miraculous, and we will see how our perspective determines our response, or how our response gives away our perspective, which ever you prefer.

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WILL IT TAKE A MIRACLE?

Mark 8:1-21

INTRO: Last October, the miraculous occurred. The Anaheim Angels beat the San Francisco Giants 4 games to 3 to win the World Series. It was miraculous because the Angels have been playing major league baseball for 42 years, and had never even been to the World Series. They had never even won a playoff series before. They had suffered through 42 seasons of mediocrity and heartbreak. I know, because growing up just a few miles from their stadium, I had suffered along with them for more than 30 of those season. Not only that, they started the season 6-14, the worst start in their history (which is saying something). Of course, miracles are all a matter of perspective. The Giants had a 3 games to 2 lead, and were ahead 6-0 in game six – just a few outs from victory. They weren’t nearly as excited as the Angels. A few of the Angel’s other competitors were not that impressed either. Listen to these quotes:

Oakland’s Scott Hatteberg said he thought the A’s were the better team last year. The Cubs’ Lenny Harris called the 2002 Angels "a mediocre team" that got the big hits at the right times. Texas’ Alex Rodriguez suggested the Angels might have been "the third-best team in the division."

Your response to the miraculous depends on your perspective. The miracles of Jesus Christ recorded in the Bible are no different.

PREV: Today we are going to see Jesus Christ do something miraculous, and we will see how our perspective determines our response, or how our response gives away our perspective, which ever you prefer. Today you will be asked to consider what your resonse reveals about your perspective. It all takes place in Mark, chapter 8. Turn there with me, please. As I read Mk. 8:1-3, notice the compassion Jesus shows.

A. Jesus shows his compassion for people (1-3)

In a remote place, listening to Jesus for 3 days.

Their supplies and resources are exhausted.

You know how you feel after being at church all morning, without any food?

Maybe friends came and helped you all day, putting in a yard, moving, went without lunch. Now you want to feed them.

He wants to feed them because he cares about them.

They had sacrificed in order to hear the Word of God.

As I read vv. 4-7, we will see Jesus’ compassion lead to a showing of his power.

B. Jesus has a plan… (4-7)

Disciples concerned with practicality : How could anyone have enough bread for this crowd?

They essentially ask, “What can you do about it?”

Jesus said, “How much bread do you have on hand?”

Like trying to feed our crowd with 1 slice of bread and a handful of goldfish crackers.

That was their situation.

Let’s read vv. 8-10 to see how it turned out…

C. Jesus shows his power (8-10)

Jesus blesses the bread, typical Jewish blessing.

He has the disciples start passing them out.

They had a few small fish, too. He blesses them – unusual.

He tells the disciples to pass them out as well.

What happened? They ate and were satisfied – ate until they were completely full.

4,000 men were satisfied. Imagining feeding that many men!

They collect more leftovers than they started with!

It’s a miracle!!

Baskets - large rope or mat hampers, a man could fit inside

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? This is the 2nd feeding miracle.

Its is similar, but it is also quite different.

At what point did it dawn on them?

He can do anything!

I. JESUS’ MIRACLES SHOW US HIS COMPASSION AND POWER

The feeding of the 4,000 shows us Jesus’ compassion, and power.

His miracles allow us to grasp his character and identity

When we look at the miracles of Christ we see the identity of Jesus!

He has the desire and the power to feed you.

This combination of compassion and power led him to the cross.

Illus.: Last November, returning from Colorado with a December 1 start date; wanting to sell the house before I came out so we wouldn’t be separated, and Anne wouldn’t have to sell it with me gone. The weekend before, it sold in an unusual way. The Lord didn’t have to do this for us, but he did…

Transition: Now, his miracles require a response. In fact, indifference is impossible! How do we respond to these miracles? Let’s look at how some who were there responded, and compare that to our own response. We will see the first type of response as we read vv. 11-13.

A. An Unbelieving Response (11-13)

The Pharisees are out to test him. A continuation of their encounter in 3:22-30.

They ask for “a sign from heaven.”

Sign: evidence of trustworthiness, not of power.

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