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Seven Signs (John 1-11)
Message #16 of "John: A Story to Believe" by Pastor Jeff MacLurg; Our Savior's Baptist Church, Federal Way, Wash.; Sunday, June 26, 2011 (My notes from the 9 and 10:45 am services. I pray they will useful to you.)
--- "Signs": (John 20:30-31) ---
Why did John write this book? He tells us. Not all of Jesus' miracles, but the ones (the signs) he believed would help you see what he saw, so that you might see and believe.
Signs - a unique word here for "miracles" - John intends these to stand out as big huge arrows pointing at Jesus to say "Yes, Jesus is God. Jesus is your Messiah."
About Jesus: Jesus is MESSIAH-GOD.
To us: Believe to LIVE.
--- Sign #1: Water Becomes Wine (John 2:1-11) ---
Pots probably held 150 gallons of water. Usually reserved for water that was used for ceremonial washing. "This is the best wine. The former was OK, but this is the best."
About Jesus: Jesus, the Messiah, fulfilled the FORMER to give the BETTER.
He fulfilled Moses' law to bring us grace. The old testament law showed us that we needed God's help - we could never live up to the law. Jesus didn't come to bring a new religion (a new set of rules).
To us: Jesus replaces old RELIGION and makes you NEW.
(This is *transformation* - He's not making better water.)
John says "this is the first sign" - he was saying "start counting!"
--- Sign #2: Healing the Official's Son (John 4:43-54) ---
The official was a member of Herod's court. Jesus did heal the son, but only after working with the man's faith.
About Jesus: Jesus has AUTHORITY EVEN AT A DISTANCE.
Just like God spoke a word and the universe was created, Jesus spoke a word and the boy was healed. So even now, Jesus doesn't have to physically be present to hear and respond to our prayers. Jesus worked with the man - He said "you won't believe unless you see signs, miracles and wonders" - that we are looking for the wrong things, we are are looking for what He can do for us. But instead, if we seek after Him, He's freed up to do more in our lives - and then the miracles bring Him glory and not just checking an item off of our wish list. (And they might be miracles beyond our limited imagination.)
To us: Seek Jesus your MASTER more than Jesus your MIRACLE-MAN.
--- Sign #3: Healing Lame Man at Bethesda (John 5:1-15) ---
He healed the man and got in trouble with the religious leaders for it - first for performing a miracle on the Sabbath (not that they could do it themselves on the Sabbath or any other day) and then secondly for saying He was related to God. The religious rules were tougher than what God had even asked for.
We're saying that there's a difference between rules in the Bible and man-made rules. God's rules explain his character, Man-made rules are an attempt by us to take God's place, whether it's in religion or politics. When the legislature or the church makes rules that are contrary to what God says, then we stand for what God says.
About Jesus: Jesus cares more for people's NEEDS than RELIGION'S RULES.
Remember, when Jesus asked the man if he wanted to get well, the man didn't say yes, he made up excuses. His illness/sickness was his new normal and he wasn't sure he wanted to change. Jesus needed him to demonstrate his desire to get well. "Pick up your mat and walk.".
Do you want to change, to know Jesus better? Do you want to be spiritually-strong? "Pick up your Bible and read."
Do you want your family to be spiritually strong? Get up, turn off the TV put your family's focus on Jesus.
Stand up and demonstrate that you want to be changed and Jesus will change you.
About us: You must DECIDE you want to be CHANGED.
--- Sign #4: Feeding Thousands with Bread and Fish (John 6:1-15) ---
Only one of two miracles (the other being Jesus' resurrection) captured in all four Gospels. Jesus created food from nothing. But not before setting up His disciples - Philip looked at what they would need and didn't see how it could be possible. Andrew brought the boy and the food, but not his faith. (Eeyore). They believed Jesus was the Messiah, but they didn't believe *in* Jesus.
About Jesus: Jesus the Messiah is the CREATOR-GOD.
About us: "CALCULATORS" and "PESSIMISTS" need to become "BELIEVERS."
--- Sign #5: A Walk on Stormy Water (John 6:19-21) ---
Why did Jesus do it that way? Why didn't He warn them He'd be joining them in the boat? He was doing that to prepare them for what was about to come. Shortly after this event, Jesus did and said things that would surprise and confuse them. It caused some to fall away. But not the twelve, the surprise of Jesus walking on the water and also the storm responding to Jesus' commands to become calm helped them to see that they could believe and that Jesus was truly different and powerful.
About Jesus: Jesus' activities SURPRISE you to PREPARE you.
About us: In time, your questions about Jesus WILL HAVE ANSWERS.
(Until then, hold on and keep rowing through the storm.)
--- Sign #6: Enlightening the Blind Man (John 9:1-41) ---
Who sinned? This man or his parents? Neither, this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in this man's life. When we have a great need, Jesus is able to show His wonder. This wasn't instantaneous, this was messy and Jesus didn't actually even promise that he'd be able to see - he was just called to be obedient and he was.
About Jesus: Through human NEEDS Jesus REVEALS His wonder.
About us: HUMBLE yourself before Jesus to gain INSIGHT about Jesus.
It is people who will not allow themselves to be imperfect who are not able to see or appreciate Jesus the way others are. It is only people who have needs who can see how amazing Jesus is. It's when others see our imperfectness that they can see Jesus' perfection as He works in our lives. When we are willing to say "Jesus, I need help" then He will step in and start that transformative work in your life.
--- Sign #7: Raising Lazarus (John 11:1-57) ---
"This sickness will not end in death." Again (like John 9) Jesus says this will show His glory.
"You've answered other people's prayers, Jesus, why not this time? You could have saved him, but why did you delay and not save him?". (When Jesus got there, Lazarus had already been in the tomb several days and Jesus had been less than two miles away.)
We've all screamed at Jesus "Jesus, if only...!" (that sickness, my marriage, my child, my job...) We're trying to point out to Jesus that He didn't do what we asked him to, according to our plans. If only you had done it my way. He could have healed and they believed He could, but now it was time to show that Jesus' power was much greater than that. (Do you believe THAT Jesus is God, or do you believe in Jesus as YOUR God?)
About Jesus: Jesus even rules OVER LIFE AND DEATH.
To us: BELIEVE IN Jesus, and you'll LIVE FOREVER.
Seven signs that show us Jesus and tell us about our own life's potential. Seven signs that prove who Jesus IS. Jesus did that so you would believe. Living forever means not just later, but now as well. Are you really living? Do you believe?
- I Have a Hope
- All Because of Jesus
- My Savior, My God
- You Alone Can Rescue
- It Is Well
- I Will Rise