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Why Don't We See More Miracles?

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Today Pastor Ed Allen continued our sermon series for Lent:  "Jesus Answers Our Questions."  The question we looked at today was "Why don't we see more miracles?"

There are two possible conditions in our hearts when we ask this question:

1)  Our faith is being tested and we need God to move.  For this condition, we looked at Luke 7:18-23.

2)  Faith is absent.  We're being a critic.  For this condition, we looked at Luke 11:29-32.

First, we looked at three introductory observations about miracles:

1)  The miracles in the Bible are real.

The miracle stories are very different from other miracle stories coming out of that culture, and they were written in the lifetime of eyewitnesses.

2)  There are not as many miracles as we might imagine.

3)  Some of the miracles are authenticating Jesus and are uniquely associated with him as the Son of God.

Yet Jesus did promise that his followers would do greater things (John 14:12).  So why don't we see more miracles?

When we ask with skepticism and doubt, Jesus does not respond.  Essentially, he says, "You've seen all you're going to see."

The sign of Jonah:  Even the pagan Ninevites knew to listen to someone who'd been in the belly of a whale for three days.  So they should believe after Jesus would be in the grave for three days.

Christianity is not a code of conduct.  Christianity rises and falls based on a historical fact, and whether it happened or not.

To skeptics, Jesus gives the sign that he overcame the grave.

Jesus will answer those who truly seek, not those coming with mockery or derision (Psalm 1:1).

Seeker or skeptic?  It's a matter of the heart.

God has made us for Himself.  When we come to the point that we want God, sometimes we experience God's power and amazing things happen.  If we just want God's stuff, we don't get either one.

When we come to Jesus with faith, he reminds us that there are miracles happening all around us.

Ed reminded us that the building we were sitting in is one of God's miracles.  And then he told his own story of healing from high blood pressure, even with an extreme family history of heart disease.

John the Baptist sent his disciples to ask Jesus if he was the Christ from prison.  The real question behind it was, "Why am I in prison?"  Jesus' answer was:  I will indeed bring the kingdom, but not yet.

It's also true that the kingdom of God is "already/not yet."

Miracles today are temporary.  Luke 17:20-21, Luke 19:11-12.

Even though Ed was healed from high blood pressure, it's temporary.  He's still going to die one day.

One day, all healing will be permanent.

Jesus' ministry is the presence of the future.

We finished with three answers to the question "Why don't we see more miracles?"

1)  We don't have enough faith.

2)  We don't ask enough (James 4:2).

3)  The kingdom of God is not yet fully here.

We get to see glimpses of it.  It's coming!

Fantastic! - Jesus' Transfiguration

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This week, John Maulella continued Pastor Ed's sermon series, "Fantastic: Incredible Stories from Jesus' life and their Significance for Us."

This week's Scripture passage was Matthew 17:1-13, about Jesus' Transfiguration.

When we're in a dark situation, we need someone with authority and light.

The context for this story was dark.  Peter had his confession, then he got it wrong.  Jesus had been speaking of his upcoming rejection and death.

Mountains in the Bible are places of encounter with God.

Moses and Elijah appeared.  Both knew what it was to lead and love an ungrateful people.  But here the light wasn't reflecting from Jesus, it was radiating from Jesus.  He is "the radiance of God's glory."

There's a common theme from other encounters with God:  They're terrified.

Maybe God seems hidden because we can't handle him.

God is dangerous.  He's powerful; he's holy; and he's different.

When God reveals himself, we're exposed.

Jesus is the tabernacle -- where God's holiness is contained.

Theme of the Bible:  God wants to live with his people.

The cloud of God's glory rested on all of them.

We see here a picture of God sharing his glory with us.

In the Old Covenant, God moved into the neighborhood.  Now he's *in us.*

God doesn't show us anything he doesn't want to share with us.  He calls us to participate in miracles.

The voice of God said, "Listen to him."  Recognize the unique authority and light of Jesus.  Jesus isn't the same level as Moses and Elijah.

A danger in the church may be wanting to mix Moses and Elijah with Jesus. 

Moses:  We like a checklist, performance-oriented Christianity.

Elijah:  We look for an external word.

We need to make Jesus the center of our lives and our identity.

Look to Jesus.

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As I look back on this sermon, I'm putting together the pieces.  If we look to Jesus, and let his light shine in our lives, we're going to feel exposed.  Can we expose our everyday lives to Jesus' light?  Sometimes it's easier to go about our days and let time with him slip away.

How about you?  How did this sermon touch your heart and life?