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Miraculous Signs, Evil Spirits, Startling Statements, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
June 10, 2021 7:05 am

Miraculous Signs, Evil Spirits, Startling Statements, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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June 10, 2021 7:05 am

The King’s Kingdom: A Study of Matthew 8–13

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When you follow Jesus you will eventually run into people who want to bridle your enthusiasm unwanted expectations legalist recall them have a way of stifling Christian experience by imposing fabricated rules that are possible to follow Jesus day they call these legalist Pharisees.

The Pharisees were religious leaders were trapped in their own self-righteous today on Insight for living trucks went all this teaching from Matthew chapter 12 in this passage Jesus lively showdown with the Pharisees, titled today's message of miraculous signs, evil spirits, startling state. Paul tells us in first Corinthians 1. That the Jews always want to sign what they want to see the proof they want to see evidence they have had proof after proof after evidence seemed never goes, what's the lame meal they have seen the blind receive sight, what situations lame hand is not been made whole thing signs again. Teacher that's the spirit and he catches it and isn't intimidated by he sees the sentences I'm in. So he answers them as to what they were not so much what they wanted. He calls them an evil and adulterous generation not here later and yet again the third time is a new thing he knew them to be cynics. In fact, he says you know your Bible better than anyone else around you know the story of Jonah is in the belly of the great fish three days and three nights of the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth. Verse 41, the people of about stand up against this generation on Judgment Day and condemn it, for they repented of their sins. After hearing the message of Jonah. You have seen me at work.

You have heard my words and you have attributed my work to the work of Satan.

So there's a crucial question that comes to the surface.

If I may pause and apply this at this moment is this am I becoming a cynic, showing signs of Pharisaism. How many signs you need to be convinced that I'm for you. Never enough because when you're sending you really want evidence.

You want a reason to prove it wrong. Second crucial question is your heart becoming softer and the passing of time or heart. You want to know who is the most difficult person to reach for Christ.

The moralist, the one who was religious has scrubbed up on the outside and looks so right tell you it's much easier to share Christ with an out and out scumbag center who is greedy and immoral and rotten to the core and proud and all those things I could list because he knows is the center. As if that isn't enough, look at the narrative coming right out of the heels of this rather heated dialogue look at this as Jesus was speaking to the crowd. His mother and brothers stood outside stuff. Think it would go again where they live.

They live in Nazareth where is Jesus. According to correlated passages Jesus is in Capernaum over the Sea of Galilee. That's quite a walk and they walked in those days, and they walked all the way to Capernaum, who are they, his mother and his brothers stood outside asking to speak to you. Look at chapter 1313 verse 55 then they scoffed.

These are people in his hometown. According to verse 54 is in Nazareth.

They scoffed saying is just a carpenter's son stop.

The carpenter had nothing to with his conception. Unless of course you live in Nazareth and believe the scuttlebutt so about how they got their minds made up the wrong but they say he's just the carpenter's son but to go further, we know Mary. Keep reading we know is brothers. This is the place for their name James site Joseph Simon and look at that Judas, not the one who betrayed him or those days that was a common name Judas Iscariot came later. But James, Joseph, Simon and Jude. You know what they grew up with further all his sisters live right here among us all, probably more than two or they would say both his sisters so at least three maybe four here. Here is Jesus asking who his mother is is brothers are that about is nobody said who is my mother who are my brothers, when you read your Bible, let it be Try to change it. He asked the question, or those questions with me as best I can understand he is expanding their understanding of the spiritual family.

He is enlarging it so that it isn't just the immediate mom and Joseph and four boys, brothers and sisters, it's my followers.

I got a couple things I want to say about this.

Stop and think I said again.

Some of you were closer to other people in the family of God then you are your own siblings don't answer out loud. I know that I'm some people that are so near and dear to me. They are that they are as close if not closer than my own brother is much as I love my sister some of those people are as close if not closer than my own sister and some older ladies that I know of women of God and people who helped shape my life there they mean as much to me as my own mother. If not, at times bold, you got it.

That's one thing I want to say is I think that is implicit in what is asking. In fact, he points to his disciples and said look, there's my mother there's my mother there's my brothers so first in this in the family of Christ. There are relationships that are absolutely intimate in the in the right sense of the word and and deeply satisfying fulfilling and were there that don't like family. I can go to Canada I could go to Australia I could go to an island in the sea. I could go to South America to go to a part of Europe and I would meet up with and spend enough time with those in the family of God, they would be just like one of my own.

That's what's no one else is saying.

He's saying to be careful that you don't make a family member and I so important to you, so significant that they take first place, which is to be occupied by only one Christ himself. He wants to free us from that.

I appreciate the words of Kent Hughes, who writes this in his book on Mark. Listen carefully today were witnessing the disintegration of the family all around us, even in the church in a valiant effort to stem the tide. Many Christians and non-Christians alike, and made the family everything meeting their immediate family. Every moment of every day every involvement, every sought commitment.

Every engagement is measured and judged by by the question.

How will this benefit. My family while this is generally commendable, it can degenerate into a familial narcissism. I'd never seen words those two words put together into a familial narcissism. The four walls of the home become a temple and only with EN and for those walls or any sacrifices made. Thus we commit domestic idolatry. This is an immense tragedy will tell you how it becomes important and very real practical tragedy. The Lord calls you to pull out and to move away to be engaged in ministry for his purposes and for his glory and it will mean the sacrifice of closeness with your family. In fact, you may rarely see them again.

There is of the missionary alive serves in some field beyond these United States. If there were Americans who had not gone through this and you pull away but you do it because there was one who was first place and is not your mother and is not your father or your brother or your sister in the words of Jesus as he points to his disciples. These are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does the will of my father in heaven is my brother and my sister and my mother question is Christ really in first place in my life I'm as serious as a judge, listen to me is Christ first.

Don't be glib and respond well yeah absolutely stop because you somewhere which will mean the sacrifice of the closeness that you've enjoyed. Through the years with that you going to do it. You say yes if you are to be engaged in something that will cause some hardship for the family, but it's for the glory of Christ, human sacrifice are you going to be overly protective, and never close difficulty for family because after all, their family, let major families first so you got answer the crucial question is Christ really in first place about friendships above geography above career above possessions.

Now you realize though it is a difficult passage is like a sword that drives this way right into the core of your being you becoming pharisaical your heart softer or harder Christ in first place in the beauty of Christ. He really says it is. It is, and in fact, if I may go back just briefly to Mary, would you please stop the veneration of Mary, you are caught in that she needed the Savior just as much as the brothers just as much as you and I for all the sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. She certainly was chosen.

She certainly was the vehicle God used, but please, she is not the mediate tricks between man and God, don't go there. Part of the reason I love that wonderful song, but he green sings Mary did you know Mary did you know that this child that you delivered will one day deliver you love that line you know that you know what she heaved that. Did you know that the beauty of the teaching of Christ is that it just brings such freedom I say it again.

I'm freed from the expectation of a fellow who may come along and be a Pharisee in my life I'm I'm free of intimidation because of what Christ means to me and I'm freed by the grace of God, of picking up the traits of a self-righteous Pharisee because of the brokenness Christ can bring into my heart. You could be freed the same.

I'm freed from a hard heart because Christ lives within me and softens it regularly as he doesn't work in my life that I can't describe it any other way than profound and I'm freed from much as I love my family absolutely adore my wife.

She is not in first place in my life nor should she be moving her.

She doesn't want to be Nora my and hers love the words of Steve Brown, please listen you are really and truly free, completely free, there's no kicker. There's no if and or. But you are free you can do it right or wrong you can obey or disobey. You can run from Laura to Christ, you could choose to become a faithful Christian or an unfaithful Christian, you can cry and cousins fit laugh and sing and dance. You can read a novel or the Bible you can watch television or you can pray your free you're really free. Then he writes, Abraham Lincoln went to a slave market there.

He noted a young beautiful African-American woman being auctioned off to the highest bidder. He bid on her and one he could see the anger on her face in the woman's eyes he could imagine what she was thinking another white man will buy me and use me and then discard me as Lincoln walked off with the young woman by his side. He turned to her and said your free unshackle her. Your free yeah was that mean she reply, it means your free that mean I can say whatever I want to say yes replied Lincoln, smiling. It means you can say what ever you say doesn't mean she asked incredulously that I can be whatever you want me you can be whatever you want to be free doesn't mean that the young woman said hesitantly that I can go wherever I want to go.

Yeah, it means you are free to go wherever you want to go then with tears welling up in her eyes. She said I think I'll go with you.

Listen to me, that's Christ message you want to go with anyone else. You will be enslaved by those who would love to play the Pharisee in your life when he comes he sets us free, free to obey him free to follow him free to shove all of the items off the tables of our lives so that we really can operate as mature believers in Jesus.

Free indeed. Free at last. Please bow just sit right there to stay right there. First of all you really know Christ. If you don't put in the world are you waiting for. He is calm. He is tied. He is open. The way he is cut through the curtain, he has made it possible for you can for you could know and talk with and walk with the living God.

Trust him now believe it now and if you know Christ or you really free. That's all part of the package free to forgive free to understand freedom except free to love without idolizing free to be vulnerable without fear free indeed that I think is what these verses are teaching. I advised you before you turn this off to make sure you have addressed the three questions and then what have you done with Christ and his offer freedom in our journey.

Lord, from earth to heaven filled with all the obstacles that life throws at us. It is easy to get confused and think it's so bound up in pleasing people, including ourselves, that we lose our way. Pray father that you will clear the path of understanding that every person hearing these words today will answer the question and return to your son as Lord and Savior. The source, the question is not did Mary know. The question is do we know we help us as we answer in the name of Jesus I pray this.

Everyone said amen Christ is truly set us free to make sure that you stay free and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law. We would today study in Matthew chapter 12 has inspired you to receive this beautiful gift of grace and liberty you're listening to Insight for living, our Bible teacher Chuck Swindoll titled today's message miraculous signs, evil spirits, startling statement and we set aside several minutes to hear some closing comments from Chuck simply stay with us and to learn more about this ministry. Please visit us online@insightworld.org. In light of the complicated issues facing our country and world today.

It's possible you've come to a place of discouragement.

Perhaps fear quite candidly your trust and confidence in God's sovereignty is waning. Let me recommend a helpful book.

Checks written that will bolster your confidence. This is a tremendous resource for yourself or perhaps someone you love who is going through a challenging time. It's a devotional book called perfect trust.

If you're ready to let go of things you can control.

We believe you'll find the biblical insight in this book a real game changer and you'll find all the details about Chuck's devotional book perfect trust@insight.org/store or if you prefer. Call us if you're listening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8888 Chuck one of the positive outcomes of this radio program has to do with the instant response we received from people who hear inside for living. We love reading their comments. That's right Dave. God uses the feedback from our listening audience to remind me that his word is alive and powerful. In fact, as the writer of Hebrews put it, the word of God is sharper than the sharpest two edge sword, cutting between soul and spirit.

Think of that as an example I was so touched when I recently read The Encouraging Word's from one of our listeners who found his rest in Christ. After an agonizing year in 2020. Listen to what he wrote. Chuck, I can't tell you how much your messages and help me through the storms I have been through starting in September. With the passing of my sister then my stepdaughter in November. Then with the passing of my wife in December, Jesus used your messages to comfort me and love me and give me a piece that words cannot explain.

Thank you.

Clearly the spirit of God has penetrated that man's heart, providing deep and healing soul care during a painful seasonal loss all in one year. For that reason I come to you with a bold request and without apology to help us continue touching the lives in this way, you see, when you give a generous donation by 30 June, you're enabling insight for living ministries to teach the word of God without barriers, allowing the spirit of God to perform spiritual surgery with divine precision. I can assure you that your investment in this nonprofit ministry is yielding fruit. God's word is alive and powerful people responding daily and I mean that literally. I am more energized today than ever before to pursue sharing the good news in all 195 countries of our world that here's our contact information and I look forward to receiving your donation today or shortly by the deadline of June 30, and in advance. Let me say thank you so much and here's how to respond. Chuck Swindoll most convenient way to give is to follow the simple instructions and insight.org or use our convenient mobile app would be pleased to take your phone call as well listening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8880 or go online to insight.for join us again tomorrow. Swindoll tells us what he calls a story or the heart of listening right here on insight for living.

The preceding message, miraculous signs, evil spirits, startling statement was copyrighted in 2016 and 2021 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. all rights are reserved worldwide. Location of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited


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