Teaching Sermons For Pastors and Laymen

7-23-04

Title: John the Baptist’s Problem



Text: “AND BLESSED IS HE, WHOSOEVER SHALL NOT BE OFFENDED IN ME. “ (Matthew 11:6)


Bible Reading: Matthew 11:3-6


INTRODUCTION:


I WANT TO BEGIN WITH A QUESTION.  


YOU DON’T NEED TO ANSWER; JUST THINK ABOUT IT.  


APART FROM JESUS, WHO WAS THE GREATEST MAN WHO EVER LIVED?  


HE’S THE MAN THAT JESUS SAID IS THE GREATEST MAN BORN OF A WOMAN.  


THAT WAS THE LORD’S ASSESSMENT OF HIS COUSIN, JOHN THE BAPTIST.  


SEVERAL THINGS CAN BE SAID ABOUT THIS GREAT MAN:


HE WAS SENT BY GOD TO GO BEFORE JESUS AND TO PREPARE THE WAY FOR HIM.


HE WAS BORN TO BE A PRIEST, BUT HE PREFERRED THE ROLE OF A PROPHET.


HE WAS AN OUTSTANDING PREACHER, AND HIS MESSAGE WAS REVIVAL.


THE RESULT OF HIS PREACHING WAS THAT HE HAD GREAT SUCCESS.


THIS WAS THE MAN KNOWN AS JOHN THE BAPTIST.  


HE WAS A GREAT MAN OF GOD, BUT AS WE BEGIN TODAY’S MESSAGE HIS MINISTRY IS IN SHAMBLES.  


HIS WORLD IS REDUCED TO A PRISON CELL.


HIS LIFE IS ONLY A HEART BEAT AWAY FROM HEROD’S AXE.  


IT’S NO WONDER THAT JOHN BEGAN TO HAVE DOUBTS.  


AFTER ALL, JESUS, HAD NEVER COME OUT AND TOLD HIM PERSONALLY THAT HE WAS THE MESSIAH.


THEREFORE, JOHN HAD SOME LEGITIMATE QUESTIONS:


HAD HE BEEN MISTAKEN?


WAS JESUS REALLY THE MESSIAH?


HE HAD TO KNOW THE ANSWER, BEFORE THE EXECUTIONER CAME TO PUT HIM TO DEATH.  


SO, HE SENT HIS FRIENDS TO JESUS TO ASK THE QUESTION, AND TO GET SOME STREIGHT FORWARD ANSWERS; AND GET THEM HE DID.


OUR TEXT HAS IN IT BOTH THE QUESTION AND THE ANSWER.  


IT SAYS IN MATTHEW 11:3-6—


3 AND SAID UNTO HIM, ART THOU HE THAT SHOULD COME, OR DO WE LOOK FOR ANOTHER?

4 JESUS ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO THEM, GO AND SHEW JOHN AGAIN THOSE THINGS WHICH YE DO HEAR AND SEE:

5 THE BLIND RECEIVE THEIR SIGHT, AND THE LAME WALK, THE LEPERS ARE CLEANSED, AND THE DEAF HEAR, THE DEAD ARE RAISED UP, AND THE POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM.

6 AND BLESSED IS HE, WHOSOEVER SHALL NOT BE OFFENDED IN ME.


THE QUESTION THEY ASKED OUR LORD WAS, “ARE YOU THE MESSIAH?”  


TODAY’S MESSAGE WILL BEGIN BY LOOKING AT HOW THE QUESTION WAS ASKED, AND THEN WE’LL SEE HOW THE QUESTION WAS ANSWERED.


IT’S IN VERSE 3 THAT WE CAN SEE HOW THE QUESTION WAS ASKED.


BUT BEFORE WE LOOK AT THE VERSE, LET’S LOOK AT THE  MAN, JOHN THE BAPTIST.


IN FACT, LET’S LOOK AT HIM IN THREE WAYS.


FIRST, LET’S LOOK AT JOHN AS A PERSON


HIS BIRTH WAS SIGNIFICANT AND I BELIEVE IT WAS THE SECOND MOST IMPORTANT BIRTH IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND. 


 JOHN’S FATHER WAS A PRIEST BY THE NAME OF ZACHARIAS AND HIS MOTHER WAS ELIZABETH.  


IN LUKE IT SAYS, “AND THEY WERE BOTH RIGHTEOUS BEFORE GOD…”   


HOW WERE THEY RIGHTEOUS?  


THEY RECOGNIZED THAT THEY WERE SINNERS AND BROUGHT THE PROPER SACRIFICES.  


THEY LIVED LIVES OF OBEDIENCE TO GOD, AND WHEN THEY COMMITTED A SIN OR MADE A MISTAKE THEY BROUGHT THE PROPER SACRIFICE.  


KEEP IN MIND THAT THEY WERE STILL UNDER THE LAW AND THE SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM.


WERE UNDER GRACE TODAY.


HOWEVER, THERE WAS TRAGEDY IN THEIR LIVES, BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T HAVE A CHILD.  


THEY WERE OLD AND CHILDLESS, AND IT WAS A DISGRACE FOR A HEBREW WOMAN TO BE CHILDLESS. 


ONCE WHEN ZACHARIAS WAS ON DUTY IN THE TEMPLE AN ANGEL APPEARED.  


HE TOLD ZACHARIAS  HE WOULD HAVE A SON AND THAT HE WAS TO BE A NAZARITE.  


THAT MEANT THAT HE COULD NEVER DRINK STRONG DRINK OR WINE.  


HE ALSO SAID HE WOULD BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT.  


ZACHARIAS DIDN’T BELIEVE THE ANGEL AND AS A RESULT HE EMERGED FROM THE TEMPLE UNABLE TO SPEAK.  


BUT BEFORE HE LEFT, THE ANGEL IDENTIFIED HIMSELF AS GABRIEL.  


HE IS THE SAME ONE WHO ANOUNCED THE BIRTH OF JESUS TO MARY.  


LUKE TELLS US THAT WHEN MARY WAS IN THE SIXTH MONTH OF HER PREGNANCY, SHE VISITED HER COUSIN ELIZABETH WHO WAS ALSO PREGNANT WITH JOHN.   


WHEN THEY MET, SOMETHING VERY WONDERFUL HAPPENED.  


HERE’S HOW LUKE DESCRIBED THAT OCCASION.  


HE SAID, “AND IT CAME TO PASS, THAT, WHEN ELIZABETH HEARD THE SALUTATION OF MARY, THE BABE LEAPED IN HER WOMB; AND ELIZABETH WAS FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST.”    


REMEMBER, ZACHARIAS, THE FATHER, HAD BEEN UNABLE TO SPEAK AND THAT’S HOW IT WAS FOR NINE MONTHS.  


BUT WHEN JOHN WAS BORN, HE WAS ABLE TO SPEAK AGAIN.  


JOHN WAS TO BE CALLED A PROPHET OF THE HIGHEST.  


HE WAS TO GO BEFORE THE LORD TO PREPARE HIS WAYS.  


HE WAS A VERY UNUSUAL PERSON AND HE WAS PREPARED TO DO A SPECIAL TASK FOR GOD. 


NEXT, LET’S LOOK AT JOHN AS A PREACHER.


HIS MINISTRY WAS A SOLITARY MINISTRY.  


HE DESCRIBED HIMSELF AS A VOICE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS.  


HE DIDN’T HAVE A LARGE NUMBER OF FRIENDS WHO FOLLOWED HIM AND HELPED HIM.  


EVEN THOUGH HE DIDN’T HAVE MUCH HELP, HE HAD A SUCCESSFUL MINISTRY.  


PEOPLE CAME LONG DISTANCES TO LISTEN TO HIM.  


OTHERS CAME BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO SEE THE PREACHER WHO DRESSED IN CAMEL HAIR, AND ATE LOCUSTS.  


THE BIBLE DOESN’T RECORD THAT JOHN THE BAPTIST EVER PERFORMED A MIRACLE.  


BUT, HE PREACHED ABOUT REPENTENCE AND THE COMING OF THE MESSIAH, AND MANY BELIEVED AND WERE BAPTIZED BY HIM IN THE JORDAN RIVER.


FINALLY, LOOK AT JOHN AS A PRISONER


HE WAS EXPECTING TO DIE.  


AT ANY MOMENT THE EXECUTIONER COULD COME TO HIS CELL AND CHOP OFF HIS HEAD.  


JOHN WASN’T AFRAID TO DIE, BUT HE HAD TO KNOW IF JESUS WAS THE PROMISSED SAVIOR.


HE WAS EXPERIENCING DOUBT.  


THAT’S WHY HE ASKED THE QUESTION, “ART 

THOU HE THAT SHOULD COME, OR DO WE LOOK 

FOR ANOTHER?”


WE HAVE SEEN HOW THE QUESTION WAS ASKED, SO NEXT LET’S SEE HOW THE QUESTION WAS ANSWERED.


AFTER JOHN THE BAPTIST HAD BEEN ARESTED AND IMPRISONED, JESUS WITHDREW FROM JERUSALEM TO THE TOWN OF CAPERNAUM, WHERE HE PICKED UP WHERE JOHN HAD LEFT OFF.  


JOHN HAD PREACHED A MESSAGE OF REPENTANCE.  


IT WAS A SIMPLE MESSAGE, MEANT TO PREPARE THE PEOPLE TO RECEIVE THEIR MESSIAH, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.  


WE ARE TOLD IN MATTHEW 3:1-2, WHAT THE MESSAGE WAS. 


IT SAYS: “IN THOSE DAYS JOHN THE BAPTIST CAME PREACHING IN THE WILDERNESS OF JUDEA, AND SAYING, ‘REPENT, FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND!’”  


JOHN MADE IT CLEAR THAT HE WAS ONLY A MESSENGER SENT BY GOD TO PREPARE THE WAY FOR THE ONE WHO WOULD FOLLOW.


THE MESSAGE JESUS PREACHED SOUNDS A LOT LIKE JOHN’S MESSAGE, BUT IT WAS DIFFERENT.  


MATTHEW, WHO WAS AN EYE AND EAR WITTNESS TO EVERYTHING JESUS SAID AND DID, TELLS US: “FROM THAT TIME JESUS BEGAN TO PREACH AND TO SAY, ‘REPENT, FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND.’” (MATT. 4:17)


THE MESSAGE OF JOHN THE BAPTIST WAS CLEARLY PROCLAIMED BY JESUS CHRIST. 


HOWEVER, JESUS, WHO WAS THE MESSIAH TO THE JEWS, AND A SAVIOR FOR YOU AND ME IS NOT CALLING ON HIS LISTENERS TO PREPARE FOR THE COMING OF THE KINGDOM, BUT RATHER,  HE ANNOUNCES THAT THE KINGDOM IS HERE. 


IT WAS HERE, SINCE THE KING, HIMSELF WAS HERE AND HE WAS STANDING IN FRONT OF THEM.  


THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS HAD PROMISSED THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL THAT THE MESSIAH WOULD COME.  


THEY WOULD KNOW HIM BY THE DISCRIPTION THAT ISAIAH GAVE.  


HE SAID: “THEN THE EYES OF THE BLIND SHALL BE OPENED, AND THE EARS OF THE DEAF SHALL BE UNSTOPPED” (IS. 35:5).

 

THAT’S WHY WE HAVE SO MANY UNUSUAL MIRACLES INCLUDED IN CHRIST’S’ MINISTRY.  


INCURABLE DISEASES AND AFFLICTIONS BEYOND OUR UNDERSTANDING WERE CURED BY THE POWER OF HIS TOUCH AND HIS WORD, AND THE MIRACLES FULLFILLED PROPHESY AND BECAME HIS CREDENTIALS. 


REMEMBER, JOHN THE BAPTIST IS IN PRISON, AND HE HAS BEEN THERE FOR A WHILE NOW, BUT HE HAS BEEN KEPT INFORMED ABOUT THE MOVEMENTS OF THE LORD JESUS. 


JOHN’S DISCIPLES HAVE BEEN WATCHING JESUS AND REPORTING TO JOHN. 


JOHN IS EXPECTING THAT ANY DAY NOW, THE DOORS TO HIS PRISON WILL BE OPENED, BECAUSE HE BELIEVES JESUS IS COMING IMMEDIATELY TO THE THRONE TO ESTABLISH HIS KINGDOM.  


OF COURSE, WE KNOW THAT JESUS CAME FOR ANOTHER REASON.  


HE TOLD ZACHEAUS, “THE SON OF MAN HAS COME TO SEEK AND TO SAVE THOSE THAT ARE LOST.”   


BUT, IT’S A LOGICAL QUESTION THAT JOHN ASKED HIS DISCIPLES TO POSE TO JESUS: “ART THOU HE THAT SHOULD COME, OR DO WE LOOK FOR ANOTHER?”  


LISTEN AS I READ THE LORD’S ANSWER AGAIN: “GO AND SHEW JOHN AGAIN THOSE THINGS WHICH YE DO HEAR AND SEE: THE BLIND RECEIVE THEIR SIGHT AND THE LAME WALK, THE LEPERS ARE CLEANSED, AND THE DEAF HEAR, THE DEAD ARE RAISED UP, AND THE POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM.”


BY HIS ANSWER, JESUS IS SAYING, YOU BE THE JUDGE.  


MY CREDENTIALS ARE THE THINGS YOU SEE AND HEAR.  


THE MIRACLES ARE HIS CREDENTIALS, AND THEY PROVE HE IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS.


JUST LOOK AT THE MIRACLES JESUS PERFORMED.


HE GAVE SIGHT TO THE BLIND.   


SIN DARKENS OUR PERCEPTION OF HOW WE SEE THINGS.


IT CAUSES US TO SEE THINGS FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF SINNERS AND FROM THE LOW LEVEL OF SIN. 


SICKNESS AND DISEASE AND ALL AFLICTIONS ARE THE RESULT OF MAN’S SIN.  


THE PROMISE OF GOD IS THAT NONE OF THESE TROUBLES WILL ACCOMPANY OUR SOUL WHEN IT FLIES TO HEAVEN.


ISAIAH DECLARED THAT GIVING SIGHT TO THE BLIND WILL BE ONE OF THE WORKS PERFORMED BY THE MESSIAH.  


HE SAID, “THEN THE EYES OF THE BLIND SHALL BE OPENED” (35:1).  


THIS WAS OFTEN DONE BY OUR LORD JESUS WHEN HE WAS HERE UPON EARTH.   


WE EVEN HAVE THE RECORD OF JESUS GIVING SIGHT TO A MAN WHO WAS BORN BLIND.  


THE STORY IS IN THE 9TH CHAPTER OF JOHN. 

 

WE ARE TOLD THAT JESUS ENCOUNTERED A POOR BEGGAR THAT HAD BEEN BLIND SINCE BIRTH.  


THIS MAN WAS A DESPERATE CASE, SO BY GIVING HIM SIGHT, JESUS WOULD SHOW THAT HE HAD THE POWER TO RELIEVE SUFFERING THAT NO ONE ELSE CAN. 


 THIS IS HOW JOHN DESCRIBED WHAT HAPPENED WHEN JESUS MET THIS BLIND MAN.


“WHEN HE HAD SAID THESE THINGS, HE SPAT ON THE GROUND AND MADE CLAY WITH THE SALIVA; AND HE ANOINTED THE EYES OF THE BLIND MAN WITH THE CLAY. AND HE SAID TO HIM, “GO, WASH IN THE POOL OF SILOAM” (WHICH IS TRANSLATED, SENT). SO HE WENT AND WASHED, AND CAME BACK SEEING” (VS. 6-7).


CHRIST HAD TO TOUCH THE BLIND MAN, AND THE BLIND MAN HAD TO OBEY CHRIST.  


CHRIST MUST TOUCH OUR SPIRITUAL VISION AND BRING NEW LIFE TO OUR DEAD SPIRITUAL SOUL.  


IF CHRIST HAS NOT TOUCHED YOUR EYES, YOU ARE NOT SEEING.  


THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE RIGHT IN OUR CHURCHES TODAY WHO ARE BLIND AND DON’T KNOW IT.  


SOMETIMES PEOPLE WILL SAY TO ME THAT I SAID SOMETHING NEW, AND THAT ALL OF A SUDDEN THERE EYES WERE OPENED AND THEY UNDERSTAND.  


JUST LIKE THE POOR YOUNG MAN IN THE MINE EXPLOSION, THERE ARE PEOPLE STANDING IN THE LIGHT OF THE WORD OF GOD WHO SAY, “WHY DOESN’T SOMEONE TURN ON THE LIGHT?”  


THAT’S WHAT PONTIUS PILOT DID.  


HE ASKED, “WHAT IS TRUTH?”  


AS HE IS STANDING RIGHT IN THE PRESENCE OF THE ONE WHO SAID, “I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE.”  


WE NEED TO LET CHRIST TOUCH OUR EYES, SO WE CAN SEE.  


I WANT TO STOP HERE AND SHOW YOU HOW THE CONDITION OF THE BLIND MAN PARALLELS OUR CONDITION AS SINNERS BEFORE WE WERE SAVED.


1. THE BLIND MAN WAS OUTSIDE THE TEMPLE WHEN HE MET JESUS.   


HE WAS SHUT OUT FROM GOD.  


THAT’S WHAT PAUL SAID IN EPHESIANS 2:12.  


HE SAID THAT WE WERE STRANGERS FROM THE COVENANTS OF PROMISE, THAT WE HAD NO HOPE; WE WERE WITHOUT GOD IN THE WORLD. 


THAT’S THE CONDITION OF EVERYONE BEFORE THEY’RE SAVED: WITHOUT GOD, WITHOUT HOPE, SHUT OUT!


2. THE MAN WAS BLIND.  


HE WAS UNABLE TO SEE THE SAVIOR.  


BUT THE BIBLE SAYS WE WERE BLIND WHEN WE WERE WITHOUT CHRIST.  


LET ME ASK YOU A QUESTION? 


“DID YOU SEE HIM AS YOUR SAVIOR BEFORE YOU WERE SAVED?  


WAS HE THE WONDERFUL ONE TO YOU THEN?”  


NO!  


WE WERE BLIND.


3. THE MAN HAD BEEN BLIND FROM BIRTH.  


WE WERE BORN IN SIN.  


WE CAME INTO THIS WORLD AS SINNERS.


4. THE BLIND MAN WAS BEYOND HUMAN HELP. 


NOBODY HAD A CURE FOR HIS BLINDNESS.  


WE WERE HELPLESS SINNERS IN THIS WORLD AND NO ONE HAD A CURE FOR US.


5. HE WAS A BEGGAR.  


THIS IS WHAT HURTS A LOT OF PEOPLE.  


THEY HATE TO ADMIT THEY ARE BEGGARS.  


THEY WOULD BE WILLING TO PAY FOR SALVATION, BUT IT IS NOT FOR SALE.  


YOU HAVE TO COME TO GOD FOR SALVATION LIKE THE BEGGAR DID.  


GOD GIVES IT AWAY.  


THIS BEGGAR COULD NEVER HAVE BOUGHT SALVATION, BECAUSE HE DIDN’T HAVE ANY MONEY WITH WHICH HE COULD BUY IT.


6. HE MADE NO APPEAL TO JESUS.  


HE DIDN’T KNOW JESUS.  


IT TOOK A LONG TIME FOR HIM TO GROW IN THE GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS CHRIST.  


FRIENDS, DID YOU REALLY WANT TO GET SAVED?  


WERE YOU LOOKING FOR SALVATION?  


WERE YOU LOOKING FOR THE LORD JESUS?  


IF YOU’RE LIKE THE AVERAGE PERSON YOU WERE NOT.  


YOU WERE NOT LOOKING FOR HIM, BUT HE WAS LOOKING FOR YOU.


7. THERE WAS NO PITY SHOWN TO HIM BY OTHERS.  


THE JEWS PASSED HIM BY ON THE WAY TO THE TEMPLE.  


THEY HAD NO INTENTION OF SHOWING MERCY TO THIS MAN, AND THEY WERE NOT PREPARED TO DO ANYTHING FOR HIM.  


THIS IS THE PICTURE OF ALL OF US.  


CHRIST FEELS COMPASSION FOR US, AND CHRIST ALONE CAN HELP US.


JESUS ALSO GAVE STRENGTH TO THE LAME.  


IT SAYS IN MATTHEW, “THEN THE BLIND AND THE LAME CAME TO HIM IN THE TEMPLE, AND HE HEALED THEM” (MATT.21:14).  


JESUS DIDN’T JUST HEAL A FEW, HE HEALED ALL OF THEM.  


SIN DISABLES PEOPLE.  


A BELIEVER WHO IS INVOLVED WITH SIN CANNOT HAVE A CHRISTIAN WALK, BECAUSE SIN HURTS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AND HINDERS THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.  


BUT, JESUS HAD A REMEDY FOR SIN.  


HE WAS ON HIS WAY TO THE CROSS.  


IT WAS AT CALVARY WHERE HE WOULD PAY OUR DEBT OF SIN BY SUFFERING AND DYING IN OUR PLACE. 


AS HE HUNG ON THE CROSS, HE SAID, “IT IS FINISHED.”  


HE MEANT THAT HE HAD DONE ALL THAT GOD REQUIRED, AND NOW ALL THE BARRIERS BETWEEN GOD AND MAN WERE REMOVED.  


TODAY, IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, HE WILL FORGIVE US AND “CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.”  


THOSE WHO ARE LAME DUE TO SIN DON’T HAVE TO STAY THAT WAY. 


NOW, CONSIDER THE LEPERS WHO LIVED WHEN CHRIST WALKED ON EARTH.


THEY WERE IN A DREADFUL CONDITION, BUT THE GOSPELS REVEAL THAT HE HEALED MANY OF THEM.


LEPROSY WAS A HORRIBLE DISEASE.  


IT IS A CHRONIC, INFECTIOUS DISEASE THAT’S CHARACTERIZED BY SORES, SCABS, AND WHITE SHINING SPOTS BENEATH THE SKIN.  


THOSE WHO HAVE IT OFTEN LOSE FINGERS AND TOES.  


TODAY, THE ONLY THING THAT I CAN THINK OF THAT WOULD BE LIKE IT IS AIDS.  


BOTH DISEASES ARE TREATED BY ISOLATION, BECAUSE THEY ARE VERY CONTAGEOUS.  


LEPROSY DEGRADES THE PERSON IT CLAIMS.   


SIN CAN DO THE SAME THING.  


IT CAN DEGRADE AND DEFILE A PERSON.  


MORE PEOPLE ARE SICK FROM SIN THAN ANY OTHER DISEASE, INCLUDING LEPROSY.  


I’M NOT SURE, BUT I DON’T BELIEVE WE HAVE A CURE FOR LEPROSY.  


BUT THERE IS A CURE FOR SIN, AND HIS NAME IS JESUS CHRIST.  


THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN HIM HAVE ALL THEIR SINS FORGIVEN.  


THEY HAVE A CLEAN SLATE EVERY TIME THEY CONFESS THEIR SINS TO GOD AND ASK HIM FOR FORGIVENESS.


JESUS ALSO ENCOUNTERED MANY WHO WERE DEAF.


HE USED A VERY UNUSUAL METHOD TO HEAL ONE MAN WHO HAD A SPEECH IMPEDIMENT AND COULDN’T HEAR.  


MARK WROTE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED IN THE 7TH CHAPTER OF HIS GOSPEL.  


ACCORDING TO MARK, SOME PEOPLE BROUGHT A MAN TO JESUS WHO WAS DEAF AND COULD NOT TALK PLAINLY. 


THE PEOPLE THAT CROUDED AROUND HIM BEGGED JESUS TO PUT HIS HAND ON THE MAN AND HEAL HIM. 


BUT INSTEAD, JESUS LED THE MAN AWAY FROM THE CROWD. 


HE PUT HIS FINGERS IN THE MAN’S EARS AND THEN SPIT AND TOUCHED THE MAN’S TONGUE.


THEN HE SAID TO THE MAN, “BE OPENED.”


AT THAT INSTANT, THE MAN WAS ABLE TO HEAR AND TO SPEAK CLEARLY.


I BELIEVE JESUS USED THIS METHOD IN ORDER TO HELP THE MAN’S FAITH.  


HE COULD SEE THE CONDITION OF THE MAN, SO HE DECIDED TO HEAL HIM IN THIS STRANGE MANNER.  


WE ARE NOT TOLD THAT JESUS HEALED THE MAN’S SIN PROBLEM, BUT I BELIEVE HE DID.  


AFTER ALL, DIDN’T JESUS SAY THAT THE REASON HE CAME INTO OUR WORLD WAS TO SEEK AND SAVE THOSE WHO ARE LOST. 


 SIN CAUSES SPIRITUAL DEAFNESS. 


IT CAUSES US TO AVOID CHURCH AND TO TAKE OUT OUR BIBLES ONLY ON SUNDAY, IF AT ALL.  


BUT, THERE IS A CURE FOR THIS TYPE OF DEAFNESS.  


REMEMBER THE MESSAGE OF JESUS AND JOHN THE BAPTIST, “REPENT, FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND.”  


WHEN WE REPENT, WE ARE SORRY FOR OUR SIN AND WE CONFESS OUR SIN TO GOD.  


THAT IS WHAT OPENS THE COMMUNICATION LINES TO GOD, SO THAT WE CAN HEAR WHAT HE WANTS TO SAY TO US.


IT’S PROBABLE THAT RAISING THE DEAD WAS THE MIRACLE THAT ASTONISHED THE GREATEST NUMBER OF PEOPLE.


THE GOSPELS TELL OF AT LEAST THREE PEOPLE WHOM JESUS RAISED FROM THE DEAD.  


ONE OF THEM WAS THE DAUGHTER OF A RULER OF THE SYNAGOGUE IN CAPERNAUM; WHOSE NAME WAS JAIRUS.  


HE CAME TO JESUS TO GET HIM TO HEAL HIS DAUGHTER, NOT TO RAISE HER FROM THE DEAD.  


HIS FAITH WAS SMALL, BUT HIS SITUATION WAS DESPERATE. 


HE BELIEVED THAT JESUS WOULD HAVE TO TOUCH HER, SO HE WANTED JESUS TO COME WITH HIM.  


AS JESUS BEGAN TO DEAL WITH JAIRUS, HE WAS INTERRUPTED BY A WOMAN WITH AN ISSUE OF BLOOD.  


THE WOMAN HAD BEEN SUFFERING WITH THE AFFLICTION FOR TWELVE YEARS.  


JESUS DIDN’T TOUCH THE WOMAN; SHE TOUCHED HIM AND WAS HEALED INSTANTLY.  


THERE WAS A CROUD AROUND JESUS AND JESUS WAS BEING TOUCHED BY SCORES OF PEOPLE; YET, ONLY THIS ONE WOMAN WAS HEALED.  


WHILE THIS WAS GOING ON, ONE OF JAIRUS’ SERVANTS CAME FROM HIS HOUSE AND TOLD HIM, “YOUR DAUGHTER IS DEAD; THERE’S NO LONGER A NEED FOR THE MASTER.”  


WHEN JESUS HEARD THIS, HE SAID, “DON’T WORRY, BELIEVE IN ME AND SHE WILL LIVE.”  


UPON REACHING JAIRUS’ HOUSE, JESUS TOOK PETER, JAMES, JOHN AND THE FATHER AND MOTHER OF THE GIRL INSIDE WITH HIM TO WHERE THE LITTLE GIRL LAY.  


HE SPOKE TO THE GIRL IN THIS LOVELY FASSION, “MAID ARISE.”  


HIS WORDS COULD BE TRANSLATED, “LITTLE LAMB, WAKE UP.”  


THE CHILD AROSE.  


JESUS BROUGHT HER BACK INTO THIS WORLD OF SUFFERING FOR THE SAKE OF HER PARENTS; NOT FOR HER SAKE.


FOLKS, IT’S SIN THAT DOOMS ALL OF US.  


THOSE WITHOUT JESUS ARE DEAD SPIRITUALLY; JUST AS DEAD SPITITUALLY AS THIS LITTLE GIRL WAS PHYSICALLY.  


IF IT WASN’T FOR JESUS, WE WOULD ALL GO TO A SINNERS HELL.  


BUT, THE BIBLE SAYS THAT WHEN WE BELIEVE IN HIM WE PASS FROM DEATH TO LIFE.  


WE ARE BORN AGAIN AS GOD’S CHILDREN.


THE FINAL MIRACLE FOR YOU TO CONSIDER CONCERNS THE POOR.


JESUS TOLD JOHN’S FRIENDS TO TELL HIM, “THE POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM.”  


JESUS SHOWED A SPECIAL LOVE AND CONCERN FOR POOR PEOPLE.  


IN FACT, HIS MESSAGE WAS FOR THE POOR.  


HE DIDN’T SPEND MUCH TIME PREACHING TO PHARISEES, RULERS AND OTHER WEALTHY MEN; FOR YOU SEE WEALTH WILL RUIN MOST PEOPLE.


REMEMBER THOSE WORDS OF JESUS, “IT’S EASIER FOR A CAMEL TO GO THROUGH THE EYE OF A NEEDLE THAN IT IS FOR A RICH MAN TO GO TO HEAVEN.”   


ON ONE OCCASION, A MAN DESCRIBED ONLY AS A CERTAIN RULER CAME TO JESUS AND ASKED, “WHAT MUST I DO TO HAVE ETERNAL LIVE.”  


THIS MAN KNEW THAT HE MUST LOVE  GOD AND REPENT OF HIS SINS, BUT HE WAS SHOCKED WHEN JESUS WENT ON TO SAY HE MUST SELL EVERYTHING HE HAD, GIVE THE MONEY TO THE POOR AND FOLLOW HIM.  


YOU SEE, JESUS LOOKED INTO THE MAN’S HEART AND HE COULD TELL THAT HE LOVED HIS RICHES MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE.  


THAT DAY, THIS CERTAIN RULER WALKED AWAY FROM JESUS JUST AS LOST AS HE WAS WHEN HE CAME TO HIM.  


I HEARD SOMEONE SAY, “JESUS MUST LOVE POOR PEOPLE, BECAUSE HE MADE SO MANY OF THEM.”   


THAT’S A TRUE STATEMENT, SINCE JESUS DOES LOVE POOR PEOPLE.  


BUT, HE ALSO LOVES EVERYONE ELSE; HE DOESN’T WANT ANYONE TO PERISH. 


SIN AND WEALTH ARE A LOT ALIKE, BECAUSE BOTH OF THEM WILL RUIN A PERSON.  


A PERSON CAN GO SO FAR INTO SIN THAT THERE IS LITTLE HOPE OF THEM EVER COMING TO CHRIST.  


SIN HARDENS THE HEART, SEPRRATES GOD AND MAN, AND PUTS A PERSON INTO A DOWN-HILL SPIRAL THAT LEADS TO THEIR DISTRUCTION.  


SIN GIVES SATAN A BEACHHEAD IN YOUR HEART, FROM WHICH HE CAN EVENTUALLY TAKE OVER.


THE LAST POINT TO BE MADE IS THIS, “JESUS CONQUERS ALL.”


HE SHOWED HIS POWER OVER SIN AND DEATH BY THE MIRICLES HE DID.  


IT WAS PROOF THAT HE WAS THE PROMISED MESSIAH AND THE SON OF GOD.  


PAUL SAID WE BECOME MORE THAN CONQUERORS THROUGH FAITH IN THE LORD JESUS.  


IT’S THE SPIRIT OF GOD THAT HE PLACES WITHIN OUR HEART WHEN WE ARE SAVED THAT GIVES US THE VICTORY OVER SIN.  


BUT WHY DID HE SAY WE ARE “MORE THAN CONQUERORS?”  


I BELIEVE THAT PAUL IS REMINDING BELIEVERS OF THEIR FUTURE.  


WE HAVE A BLESSED HOPE; THAT IS, WE BELIEVE THE PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE AND OF A HOME IN HEAVEN.  


WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS, BECAUSE WE ARE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.


CONCLUSION


DO YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS, OR DO YOU HAVE DOUBTS LIKE JOHN THE BAPTIST.  


IF JESUS CAME TO OUR MEETING TODAY, WOULD YOU ASK HIM, “ARE YOU REALLY GOD’S SON, AND CAN YOU REALLY GIVE FORGIVENESS AND ETERNAL LIFE TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN YOU?”  


JESUS MIGHT GIVE YOU THE SAME ANSWER HE GAVE JOHN.  


HE MIGHT SAY, “LOOK AROUND AT THE PEOPLE OF GOD, AND LISTEN TO THEIR TESTAMONY.  YOU BE THE JUDGE!”  


FRIENDS, I CAN SAY THAT I AM ALIVE TODAY, BECAUSE HE HEALED ME AFTER EACH OF MY NINE SURGERIES.  


I BELIEVE SOME OF YOU COULD TELL HOW YOU HAVE BEEN HEALED OF A VARIETY OF ILLNESSES.  


AND ANOTHER THING; THE GOSPEL IS STILL BEING PREACHED AND JESUS IS STILL IN THE SAVING BUSINESS.  


FOLKS, JESUS IS STILL WORKING MIRACLES.  


THE GREATEST MIRACLE OF ALL IS SALVATION.  


I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW GOD CAN TAKE ANY SINNER MAN OR SINNER WOMAN AND CHANGE THEM, SO THEY GIVE UP THE OLD HABBITS AND BEGIN TO LOVE GOD.  


IF YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD, THEN YOU ARE DIFFERENT THAN YOU USED TO BE.  


IN FACT YOU’RE BETTER, AND YOU’RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO GET BETTER.  


THERE ARE MIRACLES EVERYWHERE I LOOK THIS MORNING, BECAUSE IF YOU ARE A BORN-AGAIN BELIEVER, YOU ARE A MIRACLE.  


THE LAST WORD IS THIS.  


“JESUS SAID, I HAVE COME TO SEEK AND TO SAVE THOSE WHO ARE LOST!”  


HE IS HERE TODAY SEEKING THOSE WHO ARE LOST.  


HE WANTS TO SAVE TO THE UTTERMOST ANYONE WHO WILL BELIEVE IN HIM.  


IF YOU FEEL A DESIRE IN YOUR HEART TO BE FORGIVEN AND TO BE SAVED, IT’S BECAUSE JESUS HAS CLAIMED YOU FOR HIS OWN, AND HE IS CALLING YOU TO COME TO HIM.  


WILL YOU COME AND RECEIVE JESUS AS SIERRA PLAYS?


IF YOU BELONG TO GOD, WILL YOU BOW YOUR HEAD AND PRAY FOR THOSE AROUND YOU.


PRAY FOR THOSE WHO NEED TO COME AND RECEIVE JESUS.


AMEN.


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