Sunday, July 26, 2009

Eighth Sunday After Pentecost

Today's Link
Bible Study Inside Out

Today's Saying
Faith is putting all your eggs in God's basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch. ~Ramona C. Carroll

Today's Picture

In the Liturgical Churches today is celebrated as the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost and the Gospel according to the Common Lectionary is John 6:1-21.
I love this text because it contains two miracles. But they aren’t miracles as we usually think of them. There is no healing here. There is no magic waving of the hands. There is no patting on the head.
‘One of the problems with miracles is that both believers and unbelievers misunderstand their purpose. People that think that miracles are to prove the faith or to create faith. So believers proclaim them and unbelievers debunk them.
The truth is as my Grandfather used to say “ You can’t make anybody believe no matter what you show them. They have to decide to believe on their own.
If miracles don’t create faith what is their purpose ?
Sometimes like in the first part of the Gospel the purpose of the miracle is just to help people, no strings attached.
People were hungry and Jesus saw to it that they were fed.
He didn’t stand up an announce that his next trick to prove He was God was to multiply a little food do they could all eat.
He just sat them down and fed them.
He was not trying to prove anything.
Most of the people probably didn’t even know a miracle had happened.
They did know they got fed and that Jesus was somehow responsible but instead of seeing Him as God they wanted to make Him King so the food would keep coming.
Nor does Jesus correct them and say something like “ I am God believe in me because of the miracle.”
No! He just shakes his head and makes a quick departure.
For those who want miracles to prove something this is a disappointment. For those that don’t believe in miracles it seems hardly worth debunking.
But to Jesus hungry people got fed and that was good enough.
Now the second miracle is more spectacular. Jesus walks on water.
Now if you wanted people to believe he was God he would have done it during the day when the Sea was calm and everybody on the shore could see Him. It would have been fantastic.
But instead he comes walking on the water in the midst of a horrible storm. One can hardly see ten feet ahead.
He comes not to unbelievers but to believers.. He comes because the disciples are scared.
The immediate result of this miracle is not more faith but more fear.
They see Him walking on the water toward the boat and decide He is a ghost.
The only good thing is in time he calms both them and the storm.
Please note the purpose of the water walk was not to prove anything but to comfort his disciples.
Most of the miracles in our lives are God reaching out in love.
The world calls the wonderful things coincidences.
But the believer knows they are the loving touch of God.
To my believing friends I have had enough of those wonderful happenings to give Praise to God.
To my unbelieving friends I have had so many wonderful coincidences that I still have to praise God.
The loving God touches our lives , even the lives of unbelievers with miracles.

Pastor Joan 's sermon is HERE

Pastor Steve had a great sermon on this text this morning. You can hear it HERE.


Blogger Bill ~ {The Old Fart} said...

Another wonderful post Dr John, I look forward to your Posts on Sunday. I can only imagine what it was like to sit in your Church and hear you spread the Word.

Blessed Sunday to you and Betty and your family.

Yes it was a Rock in the Picture.

2:15 AM  
Anonymous quilly said...

And -- AMEN! Excellent sermon, Pastor. Thank you.

3:07 AM  
Blogger Jinksy said...

Every new day is a miracle...Think of everything that needs doing to make it happen. :)

3:25 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

Nicely said! Thank you.

3:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Faith is blind always.
And listen to inner-voice.

4:56 AM  
Blogger Melli said...

WOW! That was an excellent sermon! But SOMEtimes He did do miracles that He wanted the people to KNOW He had done. Was it the blind man? Or the leper? When He TOLD him to go TELL your family and friends! So sometimes, he wanted to get some return on those miracles.... Let's face it... anyone can claim to be the Christ... but you've gotta have SOMEthing to back it up with to gain the followers! Would ANY of us be Christians today if he had NOT performed miracles? I wonder...

6:20 AM  
Blogger LoieJ said...

Well said, simple and to the point. Sometimes Jesus did miracles in the same way that he suggested we pray, in a "closet" not so much in public view. And he didn't cure everybody who was lying around sick. The miracles seemed to have a practical purpose.

6:54 AM  
Blogger Baron's Life said...

Thanks Dr. John...It was very gratifying to wake up to your sermon this am.
God Bless.
You been bestowed an award at:
Claim award here!

7:02 AM  
Blogger Gattina said...

I am protestant. In Germany there are half of the population catholics the others are lutherian protestants. But Luther has declared that there are no saints so how is it possible that the church is called St. Marks ? Mark was an apostle nothing else.

7:20 AM  
Blogger Maude Lynn said...

Dr. John, this is the most wonderful sermon on miracles that I have ever read. I have never thought of miracles this way. It truly shows the hand of a loving God. Thank you.

7:38 AM  
Blogger Lou said...

You have a wonderful way with these Sunday messages.

I believe the miracles are in the everyday details of life.

8:37 AM  
Blogger Dr.John said...

Thank you for your kind word Bill,Lou,Mama Zen,Baron, Sue, Quilly, and Melli.
Melli-Be careful to look for the why when you proof text.
Gattina- Luther said that we are all Saints and Sinners and so the disciple Mark has as much right to be called a Saint as any other sinner.
Hobo- Depends on the inner voice.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Cherie said...

Preach it, brother! That was wonderful! :)

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll buy that a miracle is a coincidence...enjoyed the read :)

5:42 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for reminding me about miracles. I needed to hear that today.

7:49 PM  
Blogger anthonynorth said...

I love the way you offer this to believers and unbelievers. For me, I don't believe in God, in that I don't accept a single system, but I'm certain there is something. With miracles in particular, I've used the 'coincidence' angle, but then await science being able to tell me just exactly what a coincidence is.

12:48 AM  

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