- Who ISN’T looking for a miracle? What is top on your list? For me, it’s healing for a family member who is bed-ridden with a condition earthly doctors cannot cure or even identify.
- Jesus’ word has the power and authority to change lives.
- Jesus erases boundaries:
- purity—The leper was dead to his family and friends. He did not question Jesus’ ability to heal him. Jesus’ touch communicated love and comfort.
- social—The Centurion, a Gentile (different race) and a Roman (considered the enemy)
- gender—Jesus ministers to a woman. He touches her hand. Jesus’ word has the power to bring physical and spiritual healing.
- Jesus challenges expectations:
- Some were too quick to make promises and too slow to perform.
- Following Jesus is exciting but involves personal sacrifice.
- Enthusiasm is not enough. Procrastination is not a good thing.
- True disciples willingly submit to Jesus’ authority.
- Jesus tests our faith:
- In times of fear—Faith is practical reliance. Jesus calmed the storm AND the waves.
- In times of change—The people preferred the pigs. God likes to surprise us by doing what we think is impossible. The demons stirred up controversy by killing the pigs. The entire town who rejected Jesus was now vulnerable to the thousands of demons looking for a new place to live. (Yikes!)
Half-hearted disciple — The traditional second burial—gathering the bones one year after the first burial and placing them in a stone box—could have been an alternate reason for the would-be disciple to postpone his commitment.
The disciples followed Jesus into the boat. Jesus led them into the storm. I’ve always heard sermons emphasizing that Jesus was in the boat with them during the storm they encountered—an encouragement to all of us as we encounter life’s storms. I never thought of it the other way around. Yeah, Jesus was with them, but He led them into what felt like a death trap. The song “Where He leads me I will follow” takes on new meaning in light of that.
I’ve been singing this all week…