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Breakthrough - Miracles

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Opening Question:
It is actually based on a Movie that is coming out in Theaters on April 17th…
Good Morning, Today, we are beginning a new series entitled… “Breakthrough ” From now until Easter Sunday…
The kind of breakthrough that we will be talking about is the kind of that is miraculous in nature
Heb 11-
Hebrews 11:17–19 ESV
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
Hebrews 11:17 ESV
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son,
Heb
Our biggest test is not going to be what you lay down --- Do you believe that God is sovereign? Do you believe that God can do miracles?
It what to do when faced with the impossible situation… What happens when human ingenuity fails… What happens when our best efforts are not good enough? You have done your best and you still come up short?
It’s the kind of
You have done your best and you still come up short?
It what to do when faced with the impossible situation…
What happens when human ingenuity fails?
What happens when our best efforts aren’t good enough?
You have done your best and you still come up short?
What happens where the doctors tell us there is no hope?
You have done your best and you still come up short?
What happens when you need a miracle?
What happens when you hit a barrier and need a breakthrough?
What is needed is a Miracle! What is a miracle...
Author and Theologian ..Norman Giesler Defines a Miracle like this...
“In brief, a miracle is a divine intervention into, or an interruption of, the regular course of the world, that produces a purposeful but unusual event that would not (or could not) have occurred otherwise.” Norman B. Geisler
The natural world is the world of regular, observable and predictable events … a miracle is an unusual, irregular, specific way in which God acts within the world.… if a miracle occurs, it would not be a violation or contradiction of the ordinary laws of cause and effect, but a new effect produced by the introduction of a supernatural cause.”
Source: Norman B. Geisler, Miracles and Modern Thought (Zondervan, 1982), 13.
Source: Norman B. Geisler, Miracles and Modern Thought (Zondervan, 1982), 13.
As we come into the Easter season… we are reminded that God is a God of miracles…
Easter is about Resurrection about God coming back to life...… Easter is about a divine intervention/ interruption in regular course of the world..
When Jesus died it seemed that like all systems had failed — it seemed like death had won the day… Luke tells us that those who had witnessed Jesus final words and seen Jesus breathe his last breath… were visibly impacted..
For three days where it seemed like all systems had failed — it seemed like death had won the day… Luke tells us that those who had witnessed Jesus final words and seen Jesus breathe his last breath… were visibly impacted..
Easter is about Resurrection about God breathing life into an impossible situation… For three days where it seemed like all systems had failed — it seemed like death had won the day… Jesus final worlds on the cross “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
look at this...
Luke 23:48–49 ESV
48 And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. 49 And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.
Luke 23:48-
Luke 23:48–49 ESV
48 And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. 49 And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.
Luke 23:
Luke
Read when the onlookers saw Jesus breathe his last breath. Why do you think they were so distraught? How important is the miracle of the Resurrection? What hope does it give us today?
Luke 23:
Luke 23:48 ESV
48 And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts.
Luke 23:48–49 ESV
48 And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. 49 And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.
Luke 23:47 ESV
47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!”
The crowd witnessed Jesus’ last breath.. He didn’t faint… He did not become unconscious to be revived later… simply Jesus called out to the Father… “Father into your hands I commit my spirit.” and then Luke says. “And having said this he breathed his last.” This is the spectacle that Luke talks about… where the Centurion at the foot of the cross… saw the injustice… said… “Certainly this man was innocent”
He breathed his last breath…
Seeing Jesus lifeless body on the cross must have been a stark and unbelievable sight… The hope of Israel… The promised Redeemer… nailed to the cross like a broken reed.. What intense sense of loss… and hopelessness…The Message Bible tells us that the crowd was overcome with grief..
but standing on this side of the Easter Story... …
We know this is not how the Easter Story ends
we have grief… disappointment… disillusionmenton the otherside you have joy, you have hope.. you have a miracle...
It’s Friday and Sunday’s coming… You see death was no match for the Jesus … the Savior the Son of God… years ago a Dr. S.M. Lockridge Preached a powerful sermon entitled, “That’s my King.”
Lockridge tells us that Jesus was
because death was no match for the Son of God… years ago a Dr. S.M. Lockridge Preached a sermon, “That’s my King.”
indescribable... incomprehensible. That Jesus was invincible. Well, Pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him. Pilot couldn’t find any fault in Him. The witnesses couldn’t get their testimonies to agree. Herod couldn’t kill Him. Death couldn’t handle Him and the grave couldn’t hold Him. That’s my King
You see..
On that first resurrection Sunday when the two Mary’s and Martha took spices to the anoint Jesus body..… They found was not our Lord’s body but an empty tomb....Easter is about Resurrection… it’s about miraculous…
Play Clip 1.
In fact the whole Christian Faith is based upon the miraculous.. you have a virgin Birth, you have the incarnation God becoming man, you have death and resurrection…The Bible that we believe is inspired by God… The gift of Salvation itself is miraculous..
but death was no match for the Son of God… The Third day the tomb is empty and death had been destroyed
But we still seem to struggle with the nature of miracles today… We all faced with this question...
Does God still do miracles today..
The Breakthrough series is about God doing still miracles today.
Does God still do miracles..
This “Breakthrough ” is a sermon series about God and miracles… On April 17 you can watch this true story of John Smith… in the movie “Breakthrough”
It based on the true story of John Smith…
When John was 14 years old, John fell through the ice in the St. Louis area. He was under the water for 15 minutes. When they pulled him out, he was dead.
They worked on John for another 45 minutes. Nothing. At this point, he had been without oxygen and a pulse for over one hour.
There was nothing else the doctors could do. They called his mom in to say goodbye. Joyce walked into the room and made a choice to believe that God could do the miraculous..
I want to show you what happened. (Show clip #1)
Amazing Story… of a modern day miracle…
When we talk about the word breakthrough it implies that we got stuck somewhere… we found ourselves in corner without options…
When we talk about the word breakthrough it implies that we got stuck somewhere… we found ourselves in corner without options…
The Merriam Webster defines a breakthrough as an offensive thrust that penetrates and carries beyond a defensive line in warfare.. When there is sudden in advance in knowledge or technique.. (a medical breakthrough).
The Merriam Webster defines a breakthrough as an offensive thrust that penetrates and carries beyond a defensive line in warfare.. When there is sudden in advance in knowledge or technique.. (a medical breakthrough).
 
One of the challenges when we hear about such miracles is to wondering if God still performs miracles today.
There are some Christians who believed that miracles stopped in the Apostolic age. Do you think the statement that the “Resurrection of Jesus should be enough.” is true?
I was reading this great article in Christianity today written by Tim Stafford - The article is entitled - “A new age of miracles,” It about the growing reports of miracles around the world…What do they mean? (Tim Stafford)
He tells of his friend Larry who is a medical doctor and dedicated Christian who takes the Bible at face value when it describes miracles.. But as a doctor - and typical of many doctors he is skeptical of stories of Miracles…
typical of many doctors he is skeptical of stories of Miracles…
He sees many sick people, and he knows that things happen to them that are hard to predict and explain. Some people get worse unexpectedly. Other people get better. You can’t always say why.
Larry as a Christian didn’t put much weight on the subjective claims of miracles - but, he also doubted whether the issue was that important… Larry said “Isn’t the resurrection of Jesus a great enough miracle.”
Is that true?
Tim points out that...
Larry represents a tradition in Protestantism that can be traced back to the Reformation. He believes in God’s power to do miracles but doesn’t see it much in the present. And he doesn’t see miracles—whether they happen or not—as terribly important (CT56. v8)
The question is Does God do miracles? --- Are they necessary today?
Some of you in this room may be wondering if God still performs miracles today.
T/S We are going to ask a interrogational questions that hopefully will shed some light on the place of miracles.. the first...
In our world, many people –– including believers –– don’t believe God performs miracles anymore.
T/S When it comes to Miracles we should first know the purpose of a Miracle..

1. What is the Purpose of Miracles?

In other words if we have somehow conclude that miracles are impossible… we have some real problems with Christianity… Because the fundamental claims and doctrines of Christianity are all miracles: incarnation, resurrection, salvation, inspiration of scriptures.
David Hume… Harvard Philosopher..
David Hume
In other words if we have somehow conclude that miracles are impossible… we have some real problems with Christianity… Because the fundamental claims and doctrines of Christianity are all miracles: incarnation, resurrection, salvation, inspiration of scriptures.
These are Christian imperatives… If any one of these objections is valid, the whole of Christianity is refuted
if there was no virgin birth Jesus is not God… if there is no resurrection we have no hope… if there is no salvation… we are unregenerate.… if no inspiration… we have no truth...
So, there are censatonists that believe that miracle ended during the apostolic period… This series makes a case that God still does miracles today...
I’m here to tell you today that God didn’t stop doing miracles. He still does them today.
If miracles are impossible, then they are not actual, and if no miracles ever actually happened, then Christianity is false. For the fundamental claims and doctrines of Christianity are all miracles: incarnation, resurrection, salvation, inspiration. If any one of these objections is valid, the whole of Christianity is refuted
Christianity is false. For the fundamental claims and doctrines of Christianity are all miracles: incarnation, resurrection, salvation, inspiration. If any one of these objections is valid, the whole of Christianity is refuted
I’m here to tell you today that God didn’t stop doing miracles. He still does them today.
Here is the thing when we think of miracles we see it as “proof" that God is real and powerful that God can break into the natural world with supernatural power.
Why might miracles being a sign of a coming kingdom rather than proof of the existence of God be important?
But when the Bible speaks of miracles the most typical word is a sign.... Today we use GPS but we still depend on sign --- because signs tell us what is ahead… Have you ever taken a corner a little faster than the sign… the other day— I took a corner that “suggested" 20 miles an hour… pretty sharp and I took it at 25.. well it was a little scary for a second… Signs don’t normally lie… they are giving us information what is up ahead.. Miracles are like signs - they are never an end in themselves..
They do not point to themselves. They are not proof of anything in themselves. They exist not to make us think we have arrived, but to lead us somewhere new.... Jesus was a miracle worker but He criticized the Pharisees and Sadducees when they demanded that he prove himself by doing miracles. “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign!” he told them
Matthew 12:39 ESV
39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
Read Why do you think Jesus called the Pharisees an evil generation when they asked for a sign (proof)? What does this tell us about chasing after miracles?
At the same time...Jesus performed many miracles during his ministry… when the religious leaders confronted Him… He spoke of His miracles..
Jesus performed many miracles during his ministry… when the religeous leaders confroned Him… He spoke of His miracles..
He criticized the Pharisees and Sadducees when they demanded that he prove himself by doing miracles. “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign!” he told them ().
They worked on John for another 45 minutes. Nothing. At this point, he had been without oxygen and a pulse for over one hour. There was nothing else the doctors could do. They called his mom in to say goodbye. Joyce walked into the room and made a choice to believe big and pray big. Instead of accepting the outcome, she began to pray. I want to show you what happened. (Show clip #1)
John 10:25 ESV
25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me,
Read Why did Jesus perform miracles in his ministry? If Jesus used signs to point to the coming Kingdom… Do you think that miracles do the same today?

1. It’s about believing in the Sovereignty of God.

Jesus message was about the Kingdom of God… The point wasn’t signs and wonders. They were symptoms more than substance. They pointed forward, not to themselves. And thus those who focused on the signs, demanding more, were stuck in the present order, missing the point.
The point wasn’t signs and wonders. They were symptoms more than substance. They pointed forward, not to themselves. And thus those who focused on the signs, demanding more, were stuck in the present order, missing the point.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians that they had seen in his ministry “the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles” (). He wrote to the Romans about “what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done—by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God”
2 Corinthians 12:12 ESV
12 The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works.
(). He wrote to the Romans about “what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done—by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God”
. He wrote to the Romans about “what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done—by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God”
(). Clearly for Paul, just as for Jesus, gospel work was accompanied by signs and wonders.
Romans 15:18–19 ESV
18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ;
). Clearly for Paul, just as for Jesus, gospel work was accompanied by signs and wonders.
When it comes to the miraculous we don’t chase after miracles.. but at the same time… these Signs are important...
Tim…
Love How Tim Concludes his article...
With all respect, I think my friend Larry was wrong when he said Jesus’ resurrection is the only miracle we need.
It was not enough for Jesus, after all. The signs of the kingdom that he displayed throughout his life prepared the way for those who saw him raised from the dead. And if I read the New Testament rightly, it is the same with us. The signs we see prepare the way for the fullness of the kingdom, when we shall live a resurrected life.
The purpose of Miracles are to point to the Coming Kingdom…

Paul wrote to the Corinthians that they had seen in his ministry “the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles” (2 Cor. 12:12). He wrote to the Romans about “what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done—by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God” (Rom. 15:18–19). Clearly for Paul, just as for Jesus, gospel work was accompanied by signs and wonders.

T/s T/S We asking interrogational questions that hopefully will shed some light on the place of miracles.. the first...
Hebrews 11:17–19 ESV
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
Our biggest test is not going to be what you lay down ---
Mark 9:2–8 ESV
2 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. 4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 5 And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7 And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” 8 And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.
Mark 9:2-
If miracles are for today…

2. What are the Barriers to Miracles?

So if miracles are for today… How come we may not be experiencing them?
Faith also means Believing…It’s the verb of faith… Jesus often used the verb form of Faith...
When Jesus performed miracles in the Bible… It was often connected to Faith..
In Matthew - Jesus said
“If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed”
().
He said to the woman who washed his feat... “Your faith has saved you” ().
When Jesus healed the paralytic in Capernaum —Four men had bi- passed the crowd by opening up the roof — and let the man down by ropes...the scripture tells that “When Jesus saw their faith” () — he forgave the man and healed him.
Faith is one of those words that has a few different meanings....
We talk about Saving Faith- - which is putting our trust in Christ… It is the knowledge of, trust in, and commitment to Jesus Christ that is required for salvation.
The Obstacle of Unbelief...
Saving Faith is to putting our trust in Christ… It is the knowledge of, trust in, and commitment to Jesus Christ that is required for salvation.
Faith is the knowledge of, trust in, and commitment to Jesus Christ that is required for salvation.
Putting weight on something…
Faith can also be used to speak of the Gospel... the body of knowledge — the content of what is (and should be) believed about the gospel - encourages the church to “Contend for THE FAITH that was once delivered to the saints.
The kind of Faith that Jesus talked about was not the noun Faith … but rather the Verb Faith… Which means belief or Faith in Action… Jesus didn’t just train his disciples…to be followers… but He also taught his disciples how to step out in Faith and believe God —
Jude 3 ESV
3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
Jesus equipped his disciples and then empowered them for the work of Ministry... He gave them authority over evil spirits and the ability to perform miracles..
Mk. 6:1
In
Mark 6:12–13 ESV
12 So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.
Mark 6:12 ESV
12 So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent.
In Matthew -
There is this occasion when the Disciples seem to struggle with Believing for a Miracle...
“If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed”
().
He said to the woman who washed his feat... “Your faith has saved you” ().
When Jesus healed the paralytic in Capernaum —Four men had bi- passed the crowd by opening up the roof — and let the man down by ropes...the scripture tells that “When Jesus saw their faith” () — he forgave the man and healed him.
“When Jesus saw their faith” ()
After the transfiguration --- where Jesus tranforms before Peter, James and John… It that point in scripture when Jesus shows his disciples his Glory…
He also gave them authority over evil spirits and the ability to perform miracles.. In we see that Disciples proclaim the Gospel with miracles following -
Mark 6:7 ESV
7 And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.
When they were sent out they proclaimed the gospel… and performed miracles...We are told that many demons and many sick were healed by the Disciples.. But we also see that disciples struggled at times to believe God for miraculous..
We are told that many demons and many sick were healed by the Disciples .. When we get to Mark chapter 9 we learn of a father who approaches the Disciples with a desperate need for help--- His son has was having these server seizures… but they are more than seizures because there are times when his son was thrown into the fire — demonic in nature… These disciples evidently try to heal this son… and are unsuccessful…
When we get to Mark chapter 9 — We see that the disciples hit a snag.... there is a BARRIER TO A MIRACLE..
Mark 9:14–18 ESV
14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.”
Mark 9:14–18 ESV
14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.”
Read Jesus comes down from the mountain with Peter James and John. How might “mountain top experiences differ from the issues we face in every day life.?”
How does Jesus respond to the crowd? What is the conflict over? Can you relate to the disciples when it comes praying for miracles?
Mark 9:14
The context is that… When Jesus came down it is speaking about Jesus and his disciples coming down from the Mountain where Jesus hand been transfigured before Peter,James and John…
. We learn of a father who approaches the Disciples with a desperate need for help--- His son has was having these sever seizures… but they are more than seizures because there are times when his son was thrown into the fire — demonic in nature…
It was a moment when Jesus revealed to them his divinity… It was mountain top experience in every sense of the word.. they had seen Moses and Elijah… they had heard God’s voice… Jesus whole being had become me radiant --- But as they come down from the Mountain --- they begin to hit some reality of life…
there are times in our lives when we have these mountain top experiences… but we have to come down the mountain..
Wiersbe tells us the Christian life is Marked by “A land of hills and valleys.” — there are times in our lives when we have these mountain top experiences… but we have to come down the mountain..
The disciples had tried to cast out this demon… but when they failed… … Religious scribes… used this an opportunity to discredit Christ the gospel… The failure of a miracle produce a miracle ment the gospel must be false...
Raphael the Italian artist’s.. last great painting unites this scene with the transfiguration story. In the painting Jesus is displayed in dazzling white on the hilltop with Moses and Elijah, while below, the disciples struggle to heal an epileptic boy. The painting marks the contrast between the serenity of the mountain top and the chaos and confusion below....
On the Mount of transfiguration Where Jesus just showed them His Glory… Christ whole being became radiant and intensely white… Elijah and Moses appear on the scene..Jesus like Elijah would restore all things… This like being in one of those worship services… awesome… felt God’s presence… then you come down from the mountain and hit real life..
In out text…Jesus crowd of people locked in this conflict…
This leads to argument between scribes who took advantage of their failure....
There is lots of Frustration… barriers..
There is Frustration within the Crowd… there is crowd that has gathered — made up of the disciples, onlookers and the scribes… We don’t know what was said… but we can imagine the religious Scribes were using this as an opportunity to “disprove” the Christian faith — maybe there were those in the crowd trying to defend miracles..
- His son has was having these sever seizures… but they are more than seizures because there are times when his son was thrown into the fire — demonic in nature…
You have Father who is Desperate need of a miracle… His son has was having these sever seizures… but they are more than seizures, because there are times when his son was thrown into the fire — demonic in nature…
The demon was doing his best to destroy the boy.. can you imagine what it was like for the father to try and care for and protect him..
but they are more than seizures because there are times when his son was thrown into the fire — demonic in nature…
There is Frustration in regards to the disciples that had been trying to cast out this demon, but had been unsuccessful..
On the Mount of transfiguration Where Jesus just showed them His Glory… Christ whole being became radiant and intensely white… Elijah and Moses appear on the scene..Jesus like Elijah would restore all things… This like being in one of those worship services… awesome… felt God’s presence… then you come down from the mountain and hit real life..
When Jesus and the 3 disciples come down from this mountain top experience to face the disciples in conflict with the scribes....
Mark 9:14 ESV
14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them.
Mark 9:114
because it is Causing a Conflict. You have the skeptical Scribes who are using this as an opportunity to “disprove” the Christian faith —
When Jesus arrives there are some that were relieved… They were greatly amazed… some commentators tell us that there may have been some residual glory upon Christ… Just like the glory that was Moses.. when God spoke to him in the tent of meeting..
You have the skeptical Scribes who are using this as an opportunity to “prove” that Christian faith has not substance to it…
The crowd run towards Jesus to solve the tension… the frustration…
How Does Jesus Resolve the Problem?
Raphael’s last great painting unites this scene with the transfiguration story. In the painting Jesus is displayed in dazzling white on the hilltop with Moses and Elijah, while below, the disciples struggle to heal an epileptic boy. The painting marks the contrast between the serenity of the mountain top and the chaos and confusion below....
The disciples had tried to cast out this demon… but when they failed… … Religious scribes… used this an opportunity to discredit Christ the gospel… The failure of a miracle produce a miracle ment the gospel must be false..
Jesus resolves the Problem...
Mark 9:14 ESV
14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them.
We learn of a father who approaches the Disciples with a desperate need for help--- His son has was having these server seizures… but they are more than seizures because there are times when his son was thrown into the fire — demonic in nature… The disciples try to cast out this demon… but they fail… This leads to argument with the Religious leaders who took advantage of their failure....
Mark 9:19–23 ESV
19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”
Mark 9:14–24 ESV
14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” 19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
Read Why might the father struggle to believe that Jesus could heal his son? Why might Jesus question the mans faith? How does the situation from Gods perspective look different from ours?
Mk. 19-23
Mark 9:19–23 ESV
19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”
Mk 9:
Mk . 9:19-
The first thing we notice is that when Jesus comes down the mountain there seems to be something about his appearance… some say it way have been residual glory of transfiguration… it could be the fact that the presence of Jesus brought hope in what seemed to be a hopeless situation...
Jesus shows concent
How does Jesus resolve the the issue..
Jesus takes in the whole situation… He observes the crowd and that they are arguing.... He deals with this issue as a generation…
He call them a “faithless Generation”… interesting term.. it describes the world that Jesus lived in that…they as a generation could be described/characterized by a lack of belief and trust in someone or something — They were skeptics by nature…
unbelieving adj. — characterized by a lack of belief and trust in someone or something; especially of those who deny or reject the truths of the Gospel.
Jesus then gets down to the issue of the Miracle…
He listen to the distraught father - who comes with this desperate need of his son who is possesed by a demonic spirit…(now this is not normal seizures) — ..
Spirit caused the boy to be mute… he was violently thrown down to the ground...… caused him to foam at the mouth grind his teeth and leave him for dead…The boy was totally spent and immobilized by the seizues..
throws him down… causes him to foam at the mouth grind his teeth and leave him for dead… He hear the fathers frustation that disciples were unable to help...
Jesus hear the fathers frustation that disciples were unable to help…
was not even sure that Jesus could succeed; hence his statement, “If you can do anything”
Jesus says ....Bring Me the Son… and immediately the spirit reacts to the presence of Jesus.. fell down on the ground convulsing and rolling around foaming at the mouth…
The father cries out to Jesus for compassion… If you can do anything!!! helps us…
J
At this point the Father was not even sure that Jesus could succeed; hence his statement, “If you can do anything”
What is interesting is that Jesus doesn’t Just immediately heal the boy… Jesus processes every word… He query’s the father… he repeats the phrase - If I can!
The father of the afflicted boy expressed doubts about Jesus’ ability to help him. Jesus responded that “everything is possible for him who believes” (9:23).
Mark 9:24 ESV
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
The father of the afflicted boy expressed doubts about Jesus’ ability to help him. Jesus responded that “everything is possible for him who believes” (9:23). The father’s plea captures the dilemma of many hesitant believers: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!
how long has he been doing this..
if is… a marker of a condition, real or hypothetical, actual or contrary to fact—‘if.’
Jesus speaks towards any doubts..
All things are possible for the one who believes..
Jesus deals with them as whole -
— Jesus hears the doubt in the fathers voice.....
Jesus was asking for was Belief.... look at how the man responds..
Mark 9:19 ESV
19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.”
Mark 9:24 ESV
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
The father crises out after Jesus tells him that all things are possible.. “I believe, help my unbelief!” Do you relate to this mans request? What should we do when we struggling to believe?
Mark 9:24 ESV
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
Mark 9:18 ESV
18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.”
The father’s plea captures the dilemma of many of us face when it comes to facing impossible situations..
and its not so much a faith issue but a belief issue... “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!
The problem is not divine unwillingness or divine inability but human unbelief!
tobserves the arguements… He hears the frustration… then He aswer
What is impossible to humans is possible to God (10:27). “ ‘Everything is possible to him who believes.’ ”
The issue that Jesus deal with is the difference Between faith and believing..
Faith is believing there is a God. Belief is believing that God will do what He says He will do.
It’s why we don’t see Jesus asking people to have faith or asking if they have faith. He asked people repeatedly, “Do you believe I can do this?”
Faith gets you into heaven, but it is belief that positions you for a miracle. We need to grow our belief so we can believe big. We do this by exercising it.
Belief is how we put our faith into action. We could say that faith is having muscles, and belief is using our muscles. What grows our muscles is going to the gym and using them. What grows our belief is using it. When we actively believe God can and God will, we see God work, and our belief grows.
Our belief growing cannot be tied to what we expect the outcome should be. It has to be tied to trusting God for the outcome whatever He chooses to do and however He chooses to do it.
What I can see about miracles is that.. we choose to Believe God.. but that means trusting that God with outcomes...
When we exercise our belief, we are positioning ourselves for a miracle because big belief leads to big prayers, and big prayers lead to big miracles.
When we face situations that seem impossible, or we need a breakthrough, one of the most important choices we have to make is choosing belief or fear. You can’t have both. If you allow fear to rule the situation, it will steal your belief.
Choosing fear means we don’t trust God or believe He can come through for us.
Choosing belief over fear goes back to our relationship with God. If we know how much God loves us and have experienced His perfect love, there won’t be a place for fear to take root in our lives.
(NLT) tells us “18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.”
The NLT translation says this perfectly. Perfect love “expels” all fear.
Many believers allow fear to steal their belief.
The outcome of allowing fear to rule your life is worry, anxiety, stress, and depression. Our world is struggling with the effects of fear in a big way today. Believers can break the power of fear in their lives by choosing belief over fear.
With God’s help, we have the power to break off the effects of fear in our lives. Why? Because perfect love casts out all fear. Fear is the reason we don’t pray big prayers… We pray big believing God for His outcomes...
T/S
Mark
Mark 9:13–25 ESV
13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.” 14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” 19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
“Frail Faith in a Strong Savior
Mark 9:13
Jesus and the Disciples come Down from the Mountain of Transfiguration. Jesus had just been transformed before Peter James and John. Jesus who in this moment revealed to them his Glory…
.. When He comes down the mountain there seems to be something about his appearance… some say it way have been residual glory of transfiguration… it could be the fact that the presence of Jesus brought hope in what seemed to be a hopeless situation...
The interplay between the journey inward to God and the journey outward to the world is common to Scripture
When they came down and joined the rest of the disciples there was a commotion going on… The disagreement is between the scribes the religious scholars and the disciples… The argument was over a father who had brought his demon possesed boy to the disciples to cast out an evil spirit.
His son is mute and racked by seizures that dash him to the ground, cause him to foam at the mouth and grind his teeth, and make him as stiff as a board.
The Experience of Frustration
Mark 6:10–11 ESV
10 And he said to them, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. 11 And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.”
God had been working mightly through the disciples … but they get to this “difficult” situation…They pray and nothing happened.--- interesting that they get distracted by the “Theological arguement.”
Mark 6:10
“This kind” may mean “this type of demon” or “a demon this difficult.” But it may also mean “this race [of being],” that is, evil spirits in general
They pray and nothing happened.
But in this case they were perplexed why there wasn’t a miracle.... On top of their failure the religious scribes were looking for a way to discredit Jesus…began to argue with them.
The disciples are frustrated because seem to have impotent faith… empty faith... faith without power..
Hebrews 11:17–19 ESV
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
Our biggest test is not going to be what you lay down ---

3. How do we Reconcile Belief and unbelief?

What I love about the Father’s response is his honesty… Think we can all relate to his response.... Lord I believe… help me with my unbelief… Jesus knew that believing him would be a struggle..
Maybe we have enough faith to believe God for our Salvation… We have enough faith to be believe god the assurance for Salvation… We can know that we are saved…
we all can relate to this Father who said.. Lord I believe… help me with my unbelief… Maybe we have enough faith to believe God for our Salvation… We may even have assurannce for Salvation… Maybe we believe that God answers our prayers… How often have we said to somebody in a text or on FB we are praying for them.. Praying implies that we believe that God can intevene...
We can even believe that God answers our prayers… How often have we said to somebody in a text or on FB we are praying for them.. We have faith for God answering prayer.... but… What Jesus is asks this father… Is do you believe that I will heal your son?
That’s a different question.... I can know that God is able… but do I believe that God will heal…Faith seems to be unreconciled…
What potion of our Faith is unbelief and what portion of our Faith is belief?
Think this is where the Father asked for the gift of Faith… special grace...
The Disciples themselves are puzzled by the question of their faith… Didn’t we believe enough…didn’t we pray hard enough...
Why couldn’t we cast out the spirit..
Mark 9:28–29 ESV
28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
Makr 9:28-29
Read What role does prayer have in believing God? What do you think we should ask for when we praying for a miracle? ..
Closing Prayer — Pray for those in the group that may need a miracle .
Mark 9:28–29 ESV
28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
What is remarkable is that Jesus has an answer for the failure...... There are couple of things to observe in the text… first of all Jesus talks about this kind....in reference to the spirit.
Why had the nine disciples failed?
Jesus says....
“This kind” of demon… or may be
“this type of demon” or “a demon this difficult.”
it may also mean “this race [of being],” that is, evil spirits in general.. comes by prayer and some translations add the words fasting… Maybe the disciples underestimated the forces of darkness.... Just say the words…
The focus of the statement however, is not the demon but rather Prayer...
Jesus’ response, “This kind can come out only by prayer,” implies that they failed because they had not depended on God...It implies that they were trusting in their own ability rather than trusting the power of God… When we say that all you need is faith…
Jesus’ response, “This kind can come out only by prayer,” implies that they failed because they had not depended on God...
It implies that they were trusting in their own ability rather than trusting the power of God… When we say that all you need is faith…
They were trusting in their own ability rather than trusting the power of God…this is more than cheap faith that you can turn on and off… Jesus says the real problem for powerlessness is they had been careless in their personal spiritual walk and had neglected prayer and fasting (). The authority that Jesus had given them was effective only if exercised by faith, but faith must be cultivated through spiritual discipline and devotion.
Because they had been careless in their personal spiritual walk and had neglected prayer and fasting (). The authority that Jesus had given them was effective only if exercised by faith, but faith must be cultivated through spiritual discipline and devotion.
Faith is never just faith in faith… it is not just beleiving for a good outcome...
D.A. Carson tells that disciples had been powerless.. because..Healing depends, on the power of God, not on the extent of our faith...
His disciples had proved powerless, and the father’s faith was limited (21). Healing depends, however, on the power of God, not on the extent of our faith, so Jesus was able to expel the demon and heal the boy.
Believing God is more than cheap faith that you can turn on and off…
this is more than cheap faith that you can turn on and off…
Jesus says the real problem for powerlessness is they had been careless in their personal spiritual walk and had neglected prayer and fasting ().
The authority that Jesus had given them was effective only if exercised by faith, but faith must be cultivated through spiritual discipline and devotion.
Since Jesus did not offer up a prayer to exorcise the unclean spirit, the prayer that he has in mind is not some magical invocation but a close and enduring relationship with God… We just have to look at Jesus own prayer life… he regularly engaged in intense prayer. He went out alone to pray

Jesus’ response, “This kind can come out only by prayer,” implies that they failed because they had not prayed. The disciples were too busy arguing among themselves and with the opponents to pray.

Since Jesus did not offer up a prayer to exorcise the unclean spirit, the prayer that he has in mind is not some magical invocation but a close and enduring relationship with God. Mark hints that Jesus regularly engaged in intense prayer. He went out alone to pray (1:35; 6:45–46), but the disciples interrupted him because they were preoccupied with their own agenda. The one time he specifically asks them to pray with him they sleep

Mark hints that Jesus regularly engaged in intense prayer. He went out alone to pray
Holman Bible Handbook Price for Not Praying (9:14–37)

The father of the afflicted boy expressed doubts about Jesus’ ability to help him. Jesus responded that “everything is possible for him who believes” (9:23). The father’s plea captures the dilemma of many hesitant believers: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (9:24). Jesus responded to the man’s feeble faith. Healing of the boy who resembled a corpse sets the stage for further teaching concerning Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Mark 1:35 ESV
35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
Mark 6:45–46 ESV
45 Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray.
Mark 6:45 ESV
45 Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.
Mark 6
, but the disciples interrupted him because they were preoccupied with their own agenda. The one time he specifically asks them to pray with him they sleep
Remember the story of the sons of Sceva who tried to cast our demons and were beaten up… The demon said Paul, I know Jesus I know who are you!
How do we Reconcile this section called unbelief.... This is where praying comes in… it’s praying for God’s power and also the gift of Faith comes…
this is when we need to be praying for the gift of faith... The Father prays for help --- “Help me with my unbelief.”
Think this is where the Father asked for the gift of Faith… special grace...

The problem is not divine unwillingness (1:40) or divine inability but human unbelief! What is impossible to humans is possible to God (10:27). “ ‘Everything is possible to him who believes.’ ” What Jesus commands of the father is what he earlier commanded of the hemorrhaging woman (5:34) and the synagogue ruler (5:36). The sole bridge between frail humanity and the all-sufficiency of God is faith. The means by which the exousia of Jesus, his divine authority and legitimacy, becomes effective in human life is faith. The statement that “ ‘everything is possible to him who believes’ ” must appear to the father as an elusive hope, however, for the faith he needs to heal his son is a faith he does not have—or so he thinks.

Faith looks to the More Powerful One (1:7) who stands in the place of God, whose authoritative word restores life from chaos. True faith is unconditional openness to God, a decision in the face of all to the contrary that Jesus is able.
True faith takes no confidence in itself, nor does it judge Jesus by the weakness of his followers. It looks to the More Powerful One (1:7) who stands in the place of God, whose authoritative word restores life from chaos. True faith is unconditional openness to God, a decision in the face of all to the contrary that Jesus is able.

The first test of the father’s faith is to trust the word and promise of Jesus alone, not the immediate empirical consequences of it. Jesus then (lit. in Greek) “raised him, and he was resurrected” (see at 5:41). The disciples have just asked what it means to be raised from the dead (v. 10). In the raising and restoring of the catatonic boy Jesus provides the first object lesson on the meaning of his own death and resurrection

As Ralph Martin notes in his preaching commentary on Mark, “in its original setting [the account] referred to Jesus, the man of faith who is claiming the confidence to see the boy healed on the ground that he trusts his heavenly Father to work through him. We get a fresh insight into Jesus’ own life of trust here, and it calls us to share his faith in the limitless energy of God to touch and heal human lives.”
CONCLUSION
They worked on John for another 45 minutes. Nothing. At this point, he had been without oxygen and a pulse for over one hour. There was nothing else the doctors could do. They called his mom in to say goodbye. Joyce walked into the room and made a choice to believe big and pray big. Instead of accepting the outcome, she began to pray. I want to show you what happened. (Show clip #1)
The disciples once ask Jesus to increase their faith
Luke 17:5–6 ESV
5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
Luke 17:
asked him once, “Show us how to increase our faith.” Jesus told them, “If you had faith even the size of a mustard see, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it would obey you!”
Jesus was saying you either have faith or you don’t have faith.
Faith is believing there is a God. Belief is believing that God will do what He says He will do. It’s why we don’t see Jesus asking people to have faith or asking if they have faith. He asked people repeatedly, “Do you believe I can do this?”
When I start sermons they are normally… as early in my week as possible… Yesterday… going through this verse that says everything is possible… when we Andy calls with the news that Myrna has to be flown to Sacramento because of this blockage on her brain… talk about timing..
Faith gets you into heaven, but it is belief that positions you for a miracle. We need to grow our belief so we can believe big. We do this by exercising it.
What I can see about miracles is that.. we choose to Believe God.. but that means trusting that God with outcomes...
Scripture tells us we are all given a “measure” of faith when we are saved. If you have lost your faith, go back to the moment of salvation and ask God to restore it. This issue is not faith; it’s a matter of asking, “Who we believe?”
Belief is how we put our faith into action. We could say that faith is having muscles, and belief is using our muscles. What grows our muscles is going to the gym and using them. What grows our belief is using it. When we actively believe God can and God will, we see God work, and our belief grows.
The disciples once ask Jesus to increase their faith
Luke 17:5–6 ESV
5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
When we exercise our belief, we are positioning ourselves for a miracle because big belief leads to big prayers, and big prayers lead to big miracles.
Our belief growing cannot be tied to what we expect the outcome should be. It has to be tied to trusting God for the outcome whatever He chooses to do and however He chooses to do it.
When we exercise our belief, we are positioning ourselves for a miracle because big belief leads to big prayers, and big prayers lead to big miracles.
When we face situations that seem impossible, or we need a breakthrough, one of the most important choices we have to make is choosing belief or fear. You can’t have both. If you allow fear to rule the situation, it will steal your belief.
Choosing fear means we don’t trust God or believe He can come through for us.
Choosing belief over fear goes back to our relationship with God. If we know how much God loves us and have experienced His perfect love, there won’t be a place for fear to take root in our lives.
(NLT) tells us “18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.”
The NLT translation says this perfectly. Perfect love “expels” all fear.
Many believers allow fear to steal their belief. The outcome of allowing fear to rule your life is worry, anxiety, stress, and depression. Our world is struggling with the effects of fear in a big way today. Believers can break the power of fear in their lives by choosing belief over fear.
With God’s help, we have the power to break off the effects of fear in our lives. Why? Because perfect love casts out all fear. Fear is the reason we don’t pray big prayers.
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