Jesus has just been on the mountain with Peter, James and John. A bright cloud enveloped them and Jesus glowed with luminescent glory. Moses and Elijah appeared and were talking with Jesus. It was an incredible moment that left the disciples speechless (except Peter of course!).
But we can’t always stay on the mountain top. We still have to face the difficulties and discouragements of life. And the chaos that greets the Lord as He comes down from the mountain, is like a microcosm of the fallen, broken world… • There’s a Heated Dispute • A suffering child • a desperate father • The Disciples are powerless to help • The Scribes arguing and accusing them aren’t helping either! If they’re so smart, why aren’t they casting the unclean spirit out? Because they can’t –– Only Christ Can!
UPDATE: A medical emergency was brought to our attention during this sermon (as heard in the live audio version) which allowed us to stop and pray for God’s help. This prayer was answered by God abundantly! Praise God for His wonderful blessings!
A Proper Spiritual Focus is on God, Rather than Ourselves
‘If What We Think Does Not Reflect Truth, Then What We Feel Does Not Reflect Reality’
Loosing proper focus causes many problems. It can cause us to loose our sense of perspective, or proportion, causes us to make mountains out of mole hills. To major in minors and minor in majors. To strain at a gnat –– but swallow a camel. For example, we loose our peace when we loose our focus. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)
Jesus is trying to wake people up––so they can see properly!
The pharisees focus was spiritually distorted––disproportionate to reality––because they focused on themselves rather than on God (Luke 14:1-6).
A Proper Spiritual Focus is on God, Rather than Ourselves.
Having a Fig Leaf of Religion Will Not Produce the Fruit of Righteousness
In our series on the Miracles of Jesus we’ve seen His compassion and His power. He has given sight to the blind, healed the sick, cast out demons and even raised the dead. But this miracle is completely unique from the other miracles of Jesus in that, this is the only miracle of destruction that Jesus preformed recorded in the Gospels. And since it is the only miracle of destruction––it would help us to find out why (Mark 11:12–24).
In this lesson we ask several questions: Why did Jesus expect fruit on a barren fig tree? Why did Jesus curse the fig tree? And why did Jesus then run the money changers and sellers out of the temple? Are these back to back events related?
When the Covid crisis we’ve been experiencing over the last 6 months is finally over, YOUR FAITH will either be stronger or weaker, than from before we ever heard the word Covid-19. This is a Faith Test––Our faith is being challenged by Covid-19, by Chaos, by Fear, challenged by all sorts of things. Will we grow weaker or stronger from it? A woman is experiencing a crisis––and Jesus will challenge her faith. The question is––how will she respond? Will she become weaker or stronger from it?
We are living in a season of worry and isolation. A time of uncertainty, insecurity, confusion. This is a Faith Test for all of us… In a number of Jesus’ miracles––Jesus used the situation as a faith test. For example, when He asked Phillip, where will we be able to buy bread for all these people? Philip began doing mental calculations and said even a half a years worth of wages could only give everyone a single bite! But Jesus asked him this to test him, because Jesus already knew what He would do. Here Jesus asks Peter to launch into the deep and let down the nets, knowing they had worked all night and caught nothing! True FAITH is Trusting in the Power of God’s Word––Even When things Seem Hopeless!