Dialogues with Jesus (Part 1)
- Summary: The Bible records many conversations of people with Jesus, the Son of God. These discussions contain some excellent insights in Jesus’ answers to the questions and thoughts of everyday people — of men and women like us!
Matthew 8:2-7 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.... (6) “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.” Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.”
- •• The suffering man said, “Lord, IF it’s your will to heal...”
- • Jesus replied, “I AM willing; [that is, it is my will]; be healed!”
- •• Note also — He was so “willing” that, amazingly, He violated the laws of sanitation and touched the leper with His hand.
- • The compassion!
• The relatability
• The concern for this sick man — and for all the sick!
• “I am willing!” ... “I will go and heal him!”
Matthew 9:27-30a As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you”; and their sight was restored.
- •• The previous verse asked the question: Is Jesus willing to heal? Here the issue is: Is He able to heal?
- • Remember, these were conversations with Jesus, not necessarily “doctrinal” teachings.
- •• Man often cries out to God: “Lord, have mercy!” And that is a good thing to do. Jesus repies here, “Do you believe I can do it?”
•• Appealing for mercy is easy; it takes little faith. So Jesus led him beyond the appeal to the question of faith — Yes, you want your sight restored. But do you have faith that I am able to do it?
Matthew 11:2-5 ...(3) “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.
- •• They had a legitimate question — Are you the promised One, the Messiah, the One in whom we should believe? Or is it someone else?
•• Jesus gave an interesting reply: [vs. 5] The blind, the lame, the lepers, and the deaf are healed. The dead are raised. And the gospel is preached to the poor.
•• There are millions today who have heard of Jesus and are wondering: “Is He the One in whom to believe?”
- • Jesus’ answer tells us that inquiring people will place their faith in Him for two reasons:
(1) They hear the Gospel preached; and
(2) They see it confirmed powerfully by God.
Matthew 12:38-40 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.” He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
- •• This is the other side of the coin from the previous point.
•• Here they are not seeking truth and the Messiah; rather, they are merely seeking a miraculous sign.
•• Jesus’ answer: “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign!” [Notice: they wrongly sought signs, not the Sign-Giver!]
•• By contrast, the sincere inquirers were seeking a Person — Jesus Christ.
Matthew 12:46-50 ...(47) Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
- •• Try to get into the flow of this scenario —
- • Jesus’ relatives — His mother and brothers — are standing outside, inquiring for Him.
• His disciples are inside listening intently to His teaching.
- •• In this context Jesus pointed out the disciples who were receiving His teachings and said [paraphrased], “Here are my true family members ... those who do the will of my Father in heaven.”
- • Evaluate your priorities! Do you make room in your day to spend time “at His feet”?
Matthew 14:25-29 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “Tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
- •• The disciples cried in fear, “It’s a ghost!” Jesus’ reply to the terrified disciples was: “Don’t be afraid!”
- • Jesus’ love and concern for them, as for us, came through in His reply.
- •• Peter: “Lord, If it’s you, tell me to come.” Jesus answered, “Come.”
- • This emphasizes the importance of a “rhema” — a specific “word” from the Lord to direct us in specific situations. Peter had a word from Jesus for that action at that time and that place. This is not a general promise that we will all walk on water.
This is part one of a series of “Conversations with Jesus, the Son of God”. Our next dialogue with Jesus can be seen here. More "Conversations" sermons can be found at the INDEX to Conversations with Jesus.
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©1998, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.