Sermon Sum-Up: “Jesus Makes Us Able”
First, a note. Just because someone is not healed when you pray for him, does not mean you lack faith. James 5:15 says “And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.” However, remember Matthew 15, the Syro-Phoenician woman to whom God said “no.” She pressed on. This was her faith. Moreover, Jesus who is faithful had to persevere in the case of the man blind man (Mark 8:22). Remember that “faith” can also mean our “establishment” from God. God may be establishing us by calling us to patience. We may be showing “faith” or “establishment” through patience and perseverance.
Question: Why are to persevere in prayer?
Judges 3:2 “When Israel came into the promised land, God left certain enemies in the land in order to teach the people to war, to train them up,” that is, to teach them to fight the good fight to teach them to be patient and to fight despair
Go back to Luke 9:28ff, Jesus is not in agony because boy is not healed right off the bat. The problem is much bigger. Note in each version of this story (Matthew and Mark) the repetition of the phrase, “not able.”
This is the problem, the spirit of fear and the spirit of “we can’t.”
Read Numbers 13:30ff-14 Spirit of “We cannot!” Spirit of Fear “Let us go back to Egypt” Choosing a way that is no way. Contradicting God.
Jesus, on the other hand, gives us the spirit of “Can do!” Lord, we are able!
Jesus heals the boy but note what he then says to his disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears, the Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men.”
The crowd that so admires him now, will betray him. This reminds us of I Samuel 26:25.
However, we should not be distressed by their or our fickleness. Remember Joseph’s words to his brothers, “do not be distressed or angry at yourselves.” (Genesis 45:4)
Remember too, Psalm 51
…3For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. 4Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak.
David, looking back on his sin, sees that it was to show the justice of God. The crowd that crucified Jesus but God meant it for good and for their good, and for our good...to his show his justice.
God’s justice shown on the cross of the Son of Man makes us able, not a people of “I can’t” but rather, “I Can” and “We Can!”