Review of Lord’s Day: November 18th 2012
Pastor Shane Walker
My take on Sunday's morning sermon at Andover Baptist and other thoughts.
Jesus did not come to conquer physical death but spiritual death. The power He shows over death and disease shows His power to make men spiritually alive.
- Are you sick enough to need Jesus?
- Find God and yourself in the fish
- Find God's will in Jesus
- True healing is the forgiveness of sin
1) Levi (Matthew) used his position and his resources to serve God. He did not waste these means once he had been called to serve God as a follower of Jesus. The Pharisees took issue with Jesus and His disciples because they thought eating with sinners was a sign that they enjoyed sinning. But Jesus was reaching out to them in a way that did not break the moral law. The Pharisees thought that the law, and their additions to it, were sufficient to make men right in the eyes of God. Jesus makes it clear that He came to save those who are not able to keep the law. He came to save those who know that they can't keep the law. If we think we're doing well in the eyes of God and are pleasing Him because of our success at keeping the law we're not sick and we don't need a physician. But if we realize that we are complete failures and have broken the law, we have recognized our sickness and Jesus came to heal such as recognize their need of Him.
2) Peter was aware of His need. Look at his response at the miracle of the fish! Pastor Shane taught us that the interesting thing about this miracle is not only the fish, but the reaction of Peter. As he looks at the fish, he immediately recognizes the truth of the situation - Jesus is God in the flesh. Peter realizes He is standing in the physical presence of the I AM and recoils in horror as one standing before God as a sinner. We need to recognize that we stand before God as sinners as well. The right response is to fall down in fear at the feet of God and plead for His mercy.
3) The leper refers to the will of God when he says, "if you will you can make me clean." This is an expression of faith in God. It never ceases to amaze me that Jesus does not merely heal him with the word of His power in this instance, though He could have. Instead, Jesus reaches out and touches the untouchable. This is the great kindness of our savior. This is the working of the great physician. This is a poignant picture of our estate as sinners and the warm tenderness of Jesus in the work of salvation. We are not called to ascertain the mysterious secret will of God found in His eternal decrees. No - we are called to repent because this is the revealed will of God for us. If we will repent, we will surely feel the kind hand of Jesus upon us, healing us from our sinful disease, as He welcomes us into the community of the people of God. Indeed, into His own family.
4) We deal here with a very interesting question; "why does God not heal us of pain and sicknesses now?" We believe Jesus did these miracles and that He still has the power to do them. So why do Christians still get sick and die? Does Jesus not have the power to heal any longer or does He simply refuse?
Neither. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The great need of man is not to be healed from physical sickness. The sinfulness of our world actually makes living forever undesirable! Life here is ultimately unfulfilling. So Jesus does much better than heal our physical problems. Indeed, what sort of healing would it be if we were healed from sickness and later died and were damned to @#!*% ? Is this what we really want, to be healed from physical sickness and left under the penalty of sin? Not at all! It would be cruel if that were the only healing provided to us. Jesus heals us from our spiritual sickness. He is the great physician primarily of the soul. Sometimes God does demonstrate His power through physical healing. But it is to point us to the greater healing of our souls, the forgiveness of sin.