Matt 14:32-33, Matt 21:19, Luke 19:30-38, John 12:13
It’s always a wonderful treat for the Keller Family to lead us in worship. Sunday morning, Curtis (guitar) and Karen (keyboard) were back home and joined their dad, Richard (not in pic) and Clayton (drums) on the dais. Their mom, Lorette, who usually sings with them, joined the rest of us in the pews. The evidence of the Keller kids time spent in practicing proved a blessing for our ears. What a joy to hear the youngsters raise their voices in this way!
If you're wondering what Pastor Lorne looks like, he's the one sitting in the pew although you only see the back of him at this time.
Sunday School started a bit later than usual since Clayton was needed to lead worship, but once all the kids went downstairs (1/3 of the congregation), we settled down for the message.
Pastor Lorne reminded us of his previous messages about the miracles of Jesus and how they changed people’s lives. He said he wanted to take a different approach this time and show us some of the miracles Jesus performed that showed God’s strength and awesome power.
He referred us to Luke 5:4-8. The preceding verses tell of how Jesus was teaching from the shore of the lake and people were crowding Him. He saw 2 boats floating nearby. Jesus asked Simon, the owner of one of the boats, to put out a bit from the shore. From there, Jesus continued His teachings. Pastor Lorne guessed that one reason for this was possibly the acoustics. Voices don’t go far without a modern microphone or megaphone, but on the water, His voice would have carried farther.
Anyway, Luke 5:4 says: “When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch." Pastor Lorne reminded us that they didn’t have 'Fish Finders' back then but as a commercial fisherman, Simon would’ve known where the fishing spots were. Simon told Jesus that he’d been at it all night and couldn’t find the fish, but because Jesus told him to, he’d let down the nets. The Bible says they caught such a large amount of fish, the net began to break. They even signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help. When Simon Peter saw both boats so full of fish that they were beginning to sink, he realized who Jesus was and sank to his knees before Him.
Pastor Lorne asked us to turn to Matt 17:24-27. This is such a small miracle, I didn’t even recall it, but it is so wonderful! A tax collector asked Peter if Jesus paid the two-drachma temple tax. Peter answered that He did and went to find Him. Jesus asked a question about whether a king’s son pays the tax. When Simon answered that others paid instead, Jesus said in v27: "But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.” This verse confirms that as the Son of a King, Jesus should’ve had the exemption of paying taxes. But instead of making an issue out of it, He sent His disciple out to find the exact coins needed from the mouth of a fish! Wow!
We turned in our Bibles to John 21:3-11, and found another fishing miracle but this one stands out because Jesus had died and rose again by this time. Being fishermen, the disciples had decided to go out and catch some fish. They were out all night but didn’t catch anything. In the early morning, a man they didn’t recognize as Jesus, was standing on the shore and questioned their catch. Verse 6: “He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." Of course, this action made them realize it was Jesus standing there for who else could wield such awesome power to make fish appear out of nowhere?
Pastor Lorne said Jesus performed these miracles where the people lived – where they needed a miracle and He did it when they needed it!
Jesus even had power over the weather! On 2 separate occasions, Jesus controlled the storm:
1 – Luke 8:22-25 shows Jesus sleeping in the boat. When the storm became too fearsome for His disciples, they woke Him up and He calmed the storm.
2 – Matt 14:32-33 covered here tells the account of the storm ceasing the exact moment Jesus climbed into the boat.
Pastor Lorne brought our attention to another small miracle – that of the withering fig tree. We read in Matt 21:19 - “Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered.” Being a farmer himself, Pastor Lorne said, “Wouldn’t gardeners and farmers like to be able to do that!”
Remember the small donkey that was chosen for Jesus’ triumphant entry in Jerusalem (Psalm Sunday). I always knew it was a young one – a colt is what Luke 19:30-38 says, but again, being a farmer, Pastor Lorne brought up a point which I’d never considered...the donkey was untrained (v30). “So what?” you ask. Well, an untrained animal – especially of the equine persuasion – has been known to rear, kick and bolt when scared. Talk to any horse owner about having to ‘bomb proof’ the animal before taking it out into the public. But they put Jesus on this untrained colt and led it through the streets of Jerusalem. Pastor Lorne reminded us people threw cloaks down in front of the animal (v36), people where waving palm branches (John 12:13), and the cheering noise of the crowd must have been stupendous. And this untrained colt meekly walked along, bearing Jesus. How? Because the Son of God has the power to change the dispositions of animals, even.
Pastor Lorne encouraged us to get close and personal with Jesus in our lives. To think of Jesus as someone who can provide us with fish, pay our taxes, and even change the disposition of our animals.
Stay close to Jesus because when you have Him with you, all your problems can crumble away and He will provide the answers.
Do you have a fig tree you want to get rid of? Bills to pay? Groceries to buy? Pastor Lorne said Jesus can perform miracles in your life, home and work. It’s a good habit to set a few mins aside each morning to bring your concerns to the Lord and He will work things out by performing miracles for you throughout the day. All these little miracles that don’t mean anything to anyone else will be exactly what you need.
If you would like to contact Pastor Lorne about this post or any concerns you have, please check out the contact info at the bottom of the right column. Comments are welcome.