Eleventh Sun. aft. Pentecost
Our Savior Lutheran Church
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
August 8, 1999
(When we read the miracles of Jesus, we often think of them incorrectly. Many read of them and assume that Jesus is performing some sort of magic trick, but that is not so. He says no incantations, calls on no other powers, sometimes He doesn’t even pray…He says does them. Magicians today are quite different. 98% of their act is build up with the cloud of smoke and disappearing taking place in a brief instant. No, Jesus is no magician. Others read of Jesus’ miracles and presume that He is just giving a display of His divine power. He is God in the flesh after all! Still others claim that such miracles as feeding the 5,000 are His way of revealing that He is the Messiah. Of course, these things are true, but there is far more going on here, much of which must have scared Satan and his demon hoards to death!
JESUS’ MIRACLES ARE MOST CERTAINLY LIGHTENING BOLTS OF HIS DIVINE POWER!
They are designed to demonstrate that this “mere” man is also God in the flesh!
In itself, this was a radical notion to both the Hebrew and Greek mind!
The Jews had refused even to say the name Yahweh out loud because the mention of God’s name was a holy thing.
Some of this kind of respect would be refreshing today!
We are a society that has tried to make God “common” emphasizing His approachability, His humanness.
That’s what the 60’s and 70’s were all about!
ILLUS: “Holy, Holy, Holy” replaced with “Kum By Yah”.
The Greeks were heavily influenced by Platonic thought that saw everything fleshly or material as totally unimportant and only the spiritual having significance.
The thought that God would become flesh was abhorrent to them.
The idea that God would touch material things was rank foolishness in their minds.
With the eyes of faith, those who beheld the miracles, believed while with the eyes of unbelief, those who witnessed the miracles did not believe.
Man’s free will is the innate ability to reject God.
Seeing is not necessarily believing after all!
Indeed the miracles were divinity on display, power that can only come from God.
His Omniscience, or having all power, is an attribute of God which no one else can have.
Therefore, Jesus the Christ, reveals His divinity through the exercise of divine power.
Therefore, those observing the miracles are seeing God in action.
What is incredible is the illogical, irrational reaction of unbelief!
“It’s a magic trick, done by the power of Satan!”, the Pharisees concluded.
Remember Jesus’ miracles were verifiable, observable, and unexplainable…and yet, there was unbelief!
The miracles are always acts of compassion for human need in which the curse of the old Satanic age are repelled.
IT IS THE AGE OF SATAN, DEATH AND SIN WHICH THE MIRACLES ATTACK!
Such a world condition was the farthest thing from God’s mind at its creation.
We are told of the resplendence of God’s created world:
A perfectly ordered world from the hand of a perfectly orderly God.
A world in perfect harmony with itself…no death, no decay, only the perfection of existence as we cannot imagine it.
A world in which humans were in perfect harmony with each other.
A world in which humanity was in perfect concord and communion with God Himself.
This was the age of perfection, the crown of God’s creative genius!
But we all know what happened to that incredible creation which reflected the very holiness of God Himself:
A rebellion of the angels resulted in a new order of disunity, disharmony, disobedience and discord!
With the desire of Lucifer, now Satan, to take the place of God, evil had entered the perfection of God’s creation.
Without hesitation the Evil One approaches Eve to bring about the destruction of God’s creative work.
Adam and Eve had before them, with the temptation of Satan, the opportunity to love the eternal Father as faithful children.
Tragically, they both failed miserably and the world has been a miserable place ever since.
The marks of this fallen age are the activity of Satan, sin, sickness, and death.
Since then, we find ourselves in the Age of Darkness…the true Dark Ages:
The age of rebellion, war, and death.
The age of sickness, pestilence, and famine.
The age of natural destruction, devastation, and disaster.
BUT NOW COMES CHRIST WITH BOLTS OF HEAVENLY LIGHTENING MARKING THE APPROACHING END TIMES NEW AGE!
The End Times New Age is the time of total defeat for the Old Age of Sin, Satan and Death!
That age now co-exists with the Old Age, but will finally disappear when Christ returns and brings the history of this tired globe to an end.
This age was established when Christ was raised to life on Easter.
ILLUS: Easter was like “V-E” day during WWII and the Second Coming will be like “V-J” day…the victory was assured, but the war was not yet finished.
While we wait with longing hearts for the Day of final deliverance, we also rejoice that the victory of Christ is now complete and the result is not in doubt.
Why are we waiting? Because not all of those lost in unbelief are yet called to faith.
This is the age of the Church, the time of the Gospel presentation to a lost and dying world.
This Old Age will come to an end the instant all who will be called have come to faith!…The Church’s sacred task!
When Jesus feeds the 5,000 and performs other miracles, it is a lightening bolt from heaven that the end of the Old Age is approaching.
It is notice given that because of Christ, the Old Order will not stand:
Suddenly, sickness is reversed, hunger is satisfied, death is defeated!
No wonder the demons are shocked. (Mt. 8:29)
The work of Satan is being reversed right before people’s eyes!
Everyone knows sickness eventually brings death…maybe not!
Everyone knows that death has the final word…no it doesn’t!
And who has the power to close the Old Dark Age?…Only God in the flesh!
Here is the only-begotten Son of God.
It is God in His fullness, confined in humanity’s flesh!
It is God who is betrayed, who suffers, and yes, who dies for our sins.
A priceless ransom has been paid for our liberation from the Dark Age of Satan.
And in the miracles, we see Him for who He is.
In the miracles we see a sign of the conquest that is coming!
In the miracles we see our very own salvation!
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