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January 9, 2022 12:01 am
Jesus performed many miraculous healings out of compassion for the suffering. But Christ's miracles were much more than acts of mercy. Today, R.C. Sproul continues his expositional series in the gospel of Luke, showing how Jesus' miracles attest to the divine authority and truth of His teaching.
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One of the strongest motivations for juicers miraculous ministry was Jesus compassion for people who were suffering but there is a larger question about the function of miracles altogether in sacred Scripture, Jesus would travel from village to village, healing was simply that the miracles he performed, are meant to prove the existence of God. Other say that they're meant to draw unbelievers to salvation.
How should we view the today on Renewing Your Mind. We returned to the gospel of Luke to study the miracles of Jesus Dr. RC Sproul Bullock has been giving us a chronicle of the activity of uses in the early years of his Galilean ministry.
We saw what happened when he preached at his home. Synagogue of Nazareth when the response of the people was we know who you are your Joseph son. Then he goes to Capernaum when these come from a there by a demon who says a little bit something different from what the people it said that Nazareth they said we know who you are. Your low holy one boson of God and so is first identified simply as the son of Joseph and then not so simply, the son of Almighty God and Luke continues the narrative by telling us what happens when he goes back to the house of Simon Peter, where presumably he was taking lodging in that place. But when the they got there, Simon's mother in law's wife's mother was sick and Luke the physician tells us that she was ill because of a high fever. This was a serious matter for Peter and his wife in those days if you ran a high fever that could be something that would indicate a fatal illness and so they were profoundly concerned and Jesus came in and were told that they made a request to him concerning her and I'm interested in how Jesus responded to that beseeching of the family.
We rate so he stood over her game over start over cider and rugby you the favor black. It's one thing for Jesus to rebuke Damon and have the demon leave the poor soul that it had possessed but we don't think of fevers as being capable of being admonished or rebuked we might administer aspirin or put cold compresses on somebody's forehead or at least call the doctor.
But usually if our child were far mother anybody in the family running a fever you don't stand there and admonished the favor. Whoever heard of such a thing. Well I and I'm not a physician you well know, and I don't really always understand the difference between viral infections and bacterial infections, but I note that in some cases a fever may be an indicator of a bacterial infection.
Is that right Don, thank you very much. He's a doctor I'm not why I'm a doctor, but not of medical doctor. So in any case, I'm assuming that this was a bacterial infection because bacteria are living organisms subject to the creator of life subject to the one who was sovereign over all life. But even if it were not bacterial if it were not a microscopic organism that were producing this favor in Peter's mother-in-law if it were an art inorganic nonlimiting cause, no matter the same one who's there who can calm the sea and still the storm by the word of rebuke has the power and the authority to command rock to speak or bacteria to leave the human body and so the authority of Jesus over all power and force of nature is manifest in this event when he simply heals Peter's mother-in-law by admonishing the fever and instantly it's not only that the fever broke but the fever left and left her so completely that with the departure of the fever also went all of the consequences of that fever and the weakening of the fever that had this letter where she was so completely instantly healed, but she got up from her sickbed and ministered to those who were there serving them, presumably their dinner. The remarkable thing is not and then Luke goes on to say after this, everybody in the town that anybody sick. They came to Jesus in great crowds and multitude beseeching him to heal their loved ones who were suffering from diseases from demonic oppression and possession and other matters and were told that Jesus laid hands on every one of these persons and healed them and healed them completely. As I've said before, during the earthly ministry of Jesus's ministry was accompanied by a ladies of miracles. What I like to consider in the time that we have left this morning is this question why all these miracles.
What was the point of all these miracles, will the answer to that question dear friends, is not so simple, and it can't be answered with one basic factor in mind. Certainly one of the strongest motivations for Jesus miraculous ministry was Jesus compassion for people who were suffering we are told again and again before he heals people that he feels compassion for them. He demonstrates his concern and his care. He has the power to relieve the suffering and so he doesn't out of compassion, but there is a larger question about the function of miracles altogether in sacred Scripture, and here we find a lot of confusion even in the churches today.
For example, I hear people say frequently that the miracles of the Bible are there to prove the existence of God. I don't know a single place in sacred Scripture, where the Bible says that the function of the miracle is to prove the existence of God. God doesn't need miracles to be performed to have his existence proven the creation proves the existence of God, and Paul tells us in Romans chapter 1 that God's general revelation that is the revelation that he gives up himself both externally in nature and internally in the conscience of every human thing that God reveals himself clearly, plainly and manifestly and utterly convincingly to every human being that walks on the face of the earth, and to such a degree of the apostle tells us that every person here in this world. No, that God exists. Now we know their people deny that we know that there people who protest against them. But we know that they're not telling the truth.
They say they don't believe in the existence of God, but they can avoid believing in the existence of God, they can bury. If they can repress the thinking that my if they can hate to think of the spider they can do all those things, but they can't destroy the knowledge of God that God has planted in them and shown to them through the creation of the function of miracles, not to prove the existence of God or in the give corroborative evidence of the existence of God love us not the point of miracle beyond compassion.
What is the primary point of the America we know there is no word miracle in the New Testament that word in our vocabulary.
You may find it in some of your English translations, but there's no in the Greek there's no single word that means miracle we have three words that are used sick time you want to get three's for Christmas. Thankfully Ahmad Burke take Burke for an hour and 1/2 right three words per miracle signs, wonders and powers and we look at those three word signs, wonders and powers and extrapolates from them. The common essence of the three and then articulate our concept of the miraculous will you like. Take for example the word sign in John's Gospel, where, when Jesus changes the water into wine, and he does other miracles on the site and this sign did Jesus came's call to sign because it's significant. The point of the work that we call the miracle that John calls a sign is as a signpost ordinarily does points beyond itself to something else that is the miracles of Jesus and of the apostles are signs that point beyond the immediate action to something else.
So what were looking at this morning is what is this something else. What is it that the miracles .2 if they're not pointing to the existence of God. What are they pointing to their pointing to the attestation of God himself to the person who is performing the miracle that is the miracles are God's certification of his agents who speak and proclaim his word. Now let's look for a moment. If we can back in the book of Exodus, where we see this where the first outbreak of plenteous miracles are recorded in the Old Testament during the ministry of Moses and for preparation for and then afterwards the Exodus out of Egypt. God appears to Moses as we know in the burning bush the Midianite wilderness and God gives Moses the task.
The mission impossible.
If it were of the day to go to the most powerful monarch in all of the world. Pharaoh and say to Pharaoh. God says that you are to let my people go. I've heard the cries in the groanings of these people that you have enslaved and I want you Pharaoh to set them free that they can come out and worship me at my mom. That's the task, and then God says Moses you have to go tell the people to be involved in the greatest walkout and mass labor movement in the history of the world against all this power you have to persuade the people to revolt against the power of Pharaoh and get up late so these are not too small task and and and and Moses is possible he said I'm supposed to go to Pharaoh say let these people go. If it was, and why should I do that to say to what I was talking this bush on the desert and that his voice came out of the bush and told me that supposed to come to you and say let these people go home because I don't work or if I go to the people and save okay stop making the bricks were out of here.
Follow me, and then say you're out of your mind. How is anybody going to believe that you are sending me, and I am speaking your word that's the question that Moses brings to God not listen to how God answers. Chapter 4 verse one Moses answered and said suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice. Suppose they say the Lord is not appear to you.
That's the question here's the answer. God says the Lord said to him, what's that in your hand, and he said Iran and God said, will fraud on the ground and so he cast it on the ground and it became a serpent and Moses fled from terrified of the snake. God says the Moses, Moses, just reach out your hand and grab a hold of that snake. How would you like to do that, not me.
I don't like snakes. Men like me and so he reached out and he caught it and it became a rod in his hand again, that they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.
Furthermore, the Lord said to Moses, put your hand in your bosom and your shirt put his hand in his bosom, and we took out his hand was leprous is okay, put your hand in your bosom again. He put it back in brings a background it's clean.
What what is happening. Moses assigned to God. How is anybody going to listen to me and got answers that, by telling him to throw his rod on the ground in the put is and that it might become leprous. What's he doing he sneers a little listen to you to perform miracles and when you perform those miracles won't be till the end that these people will know that I exist.
It will be for the purpose of letting them know that I sent you and that you are speaking my word, and that's exactly what Moses did he want to Pharaoh and made the demands of God had made. And Pharaoh brings all these magicians and they play their little games of throwing their sticks on the ground and they become snakes and and Moses states eats up their snakes.
The whole point is that the court magicians of Pharaoh were just that magicians collapsible boxes that concealed snakes that kind of trick was known in antiquity, and I pulled out all of their tricks, but it didn't take long for their tricks to and in the miracles of God to stay and to prevail.
The higher point of the miracles that we find in the New Testament was to authenticate the spokesman for God that they were sent from God.
Nicodemus got it when he came to Jesus by night, music teacher, we know that thou art a teacher sent from God or you would not be able to do the things that you do know you want this to get tough two minutes. I have left I get this question all time our city believe that miracles happen the day. I hate it when people asked because what they're asking me isn't what I'm saying they're not hearing what I'm saying but if you want to give a simple answer answered no to go on the pastor's office and the sciences expect a miracle if you expect a miracle if miracles are expectable. There's nothing miraculous about them if their ordinary they carry no certifiable way. It's by their extraordinary character that they have signed power saw significant's the course when people asked me what I believe in miracles there asking one question on answering a different one if they are saying made you believe that God is still working in the world supernaturally course I do you think the God answers prayers. Of course I do you believe that God heals people.
In response, the prayers of course I do all miracles or supernatural, but not all supernatural acts or miracles. Theologians get real tight and there. This making of distinctions and when I say I don't believe in miracles that I don't believe in that tight kind of miracle in a very narrow sense, where miracles defined as a work that occurs in the external perceivable world extraordinary work in the external perceivable world against the laws of nature by the immediate power of God work that only God can do, such as bringing life out of death, such as restoring a limb that is been cut off by command such as walking on the water, such as turning water into one coming. Some of these marvelous signs and New Testament wouldn't even qualifies miracle in this type definition. So why do we labor so hard for this type definition. For this reason, if anybody can perform miracles.
If a person who's not an agent of divine revelation. Here's the crux of it.
If a person who is not an agent of divine revelation can perform a miracle than obviously a miracle cannot certify an agent of Revelation reset again. If a non-Asian. The revelation can perform a miracle than a miracle cannot authenticate or certify a bona fide agent of Revelation, which would mean that the New Testament's claim to be carrying the authority of God himself. Because God is certified Christ and the apostles by miracles would be a false claim and a false argument. So what's at stake here is the authority, the authenticity and the truthfulness of the Bible itself. That's why I have this tight definition and why I don't expect miracles, because I don't expect to find apostles running around today so that the narrow miracles they stopped at the end of the apostolic age, God still alive. He still working he still answering prayers in an amazing way, but I've seen marvelous answers to prayers. I see people healed of so-called terminal illnesses. I just have never seen anybody raise out of the cemetery or an arm that is severed to be growing back or a preacher walking on the water. And if you find one who can turn water into wine. Give them my phone number but in any case, the Lord Jesus did these miracles not only in the broad sense, but in the narrow sense, this is miracles of the New Testament are so important to us because they are God's attestation of Jesus and of the apostles, for whose authority we submit will there are teachers and denominations. They claim to still be performing the miracles we heard described today. Dr. RC Sproul's explanation of why those signs and wonders cannot continue in modern times was very helpful. Glad you joined us for Renewing Your Mind on this Sunday.
Each week we continue Dr. Sproles verse by verse series from the gospel of Luke. Let me recommend that you request our resource offer today is a helpful study companion for this series. It's Dr. Sproles commentary on the Gospel of Luke contacted us today with a donation of any amount and we will be happy to provide you with a digital download of this nearly 600 page commentary. Our offices are close in the sports day, but you can give your gift and make your request online at Renewing Your Mind.war was recloser program today. Let me also remind you that our goal here is leader ministries is to come alongside the local church. It would never be our desire that this program replace the fellowship that you enjoy with your church family were grateful that you benefit from Dr. Sproles teaching, but we also hope you're benefiting from the means of grace in the proclamation of God's word and in the sacraments that your church Renewing Your Mind is the listener supported outreach of leader ministries on behalf of all of my colleagues here. Thank you for listening or blessing in the coming