IN A NUTSHELL - For the past four weeks we have looked at the Methods Jesus used to make disciples out of acquaintances. He taught us to pray for the salvation of even the people we struggle to get along with, He spread a lot of seeds EVERYWHERE! He showed us through the good Samaritan that we need to listen to people's authentic needs and learn how to help them through our selfless love, and that hosting a dinner and sharing Jesus with them is simple yet effective. For the next eight weeks we are going to consider Jesus' Message. Two sermons urging us to believe in Jesus, two messages from the sermon on the mount about "Building for Good", two sermons about dealing with Satan (our opponent), and three sermons on the "First Steps of Faith" for the young Christian.
THIS SERMON: Miracles were for establishing credibility for the messenger (His Identity as being sent by God) not necessarily focusing on the comfort for the listener, and definitely not entitlements for certain groups of people. The challenge is for people to look through their long held selfish assumptions to seek the truth, even if the truth hurts. We must come to believe in Jesus. He died to demonstrate that he wants the best for us (period!).
What is the purpose of fireworks? Why not just have barbecue and ice cream on July 4th?
CONNECTING TO THE TEXT
- What was unique about Jesus’ teaching?
- Why would Jesus rebuke the demon from testifying about who Jesus was? Luke 4:33-36
- How did Luke summarize people’s response to Jesus miracles and teaching? Luke 4:36-37
- Where did Jesus go early in the morning and why?
- How did this time of meditation affect Jesus’ plans for ministry? Lk. 4:43
- How are miracles related to our faith and to be tested? (See Mt. 24:24-25; Jn. 13:19; 1 Jn. 4:1-3)
- What is the difference between "a miracle," "God's providence," and "random acts of nature?" (Consider some thoughts by David Lemmons)
REFLECTING UPON OUR LIVES
- How does our world define "Miracle?"
- Reflecting on Jesus' time of meditation and change of plans, describe the last time you decided a good thing in your life had become out of balance.
- What were the indicators that you were out of balance? (Consider reading a good book on Sabbath to help you find a sense of balance.)
- What did you do to restore balance? (Check out the "Wheel of Life.")
CONNECTING WITH THE WAY WE DO CHURCH
- Is it possible for exciting church activities to become unbalanced?
- Is it possible for a church to promote a "miracle" mindset over a discipleship conviction? What does that look like? Why are so many "20-Somethings" leaving church?
- Do you think Jesus embraced the philosophy “What you win them with, you win them to!” Explain your answer.