2015-12-06 Jesus, Our Mighty God

Cornerstone EPC                                                                              Sunday morning
Franklin, NC 28734                                                                          December 6, 2015

“Jesus, Our Mighty God”
Text: Isaiah 9:6-7

(HERE READ THE TEXT)

Note once again the wonderful names applied prophetically to Jesus in our text.  Last week we considered closely how Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor—and I hope you experienced at some level this week His wonderful counsel in your life.  In weeks to come, God willing, we shall see Jesus, our Everlasting Father, and Jesus, our Prince of Peace.  Today, though, we consider Jesus, our Mighty God.  May God do a powerful work in your souls as we see Jesus’ matchless might on display in His Word.

We see, from the Scriptures, Jesus’ might on display in several arenas.  Note, first, Jesus’ power over sickness.  Often, during His earthly ministry, He manifested His power over sickness by touching the sick person—and the sick person was made well.  Early in Jesus’ public ministry, Peter’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever (Mark 1:29-32).  Jesus, upon hearing this news, went to her, took her hand, and lifted her from where she lay.  The fever left her, she was well, and she was sufficiently healed that she began to serve them.  Later in Mark’s Spirit-led Gospel account, a woman came near to Jesus who had endured an issue of blood for twelve years (Mark v.25-34).  She spent all her money on physicians, yet grew no better—but only worse.  Yet, when she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, she was healed—and that utterly.  Recall also the exchange between a leper and Jesus (Matthew viii.1-4).  The leper came to Jesus, worshiped Him, and said, “Lord, if You will, You can make me clean.”  To this Jesus replied, “I will; be clean.”  And, indeed, the leper was cleansed.

True, Jesus often healed by His touch, but He often healed at a distance—without a touch—as well.  Consider the paralyzed man healed by Jesus in Mark 2:1-12.  Notice that Mark does not tell us that Jesus touched the man.  We do read that Jesus commanded the man to rise, to pick up his bed, and to go home.  These the man did, and the witnessing crowd marveled, saying, according to Luke, “We have seen strange things today” (Luke 5:26).  Remember also the ten lepers that Jesus healed in Luke 17:11-19—of which only one, a Samaritan, returned to give thanks.  Jesus touched not one of them, but—within seeing and hearing distance—told them to go show themselves to the priest, and as they went they were cleansed.  Finally, note the similar healings of both a centurion’s servant (Matthew 8:5-13) and an official’s son (John 4:46-54).  These were done at a presumably far distance—certainly beyond seeing and hearing distance.  In all of these, note the tremendous might of Jesus, God incarnate, displayed over sickness.

Second, Jesus is mighty over the demonic order.  The New Testament is replete with examples of this; three shall suffice.  In the exorcism performed at Capernaum synagogue (Mark 1:21-28), a man being afflicted by an unclean spirit was there.  Immediately the demon openly (and fearfully) acknowledged Jesus’ true identity.  When Jesus commanded it to be silent, it fell silent.  When Jesus commanded it to leave the man, it left the man.  Note Jesus’ total authority over this demon.

Note also Jesus at the tombs in the country of the Gadarenes, a legion of demons—some six thousand of them, for a legion of soldiers in the Roman Empire numbered six thousand—infested the man of the tombs (Mark 5:1-20).  When the demons saw Jesus from afar, they acknowledged His true identity and begged to be spared affliction themselves.  When Jesus commanded the demons out of the man, into a herd of pigs, they obeyed at once.  Jesus’ mighty power over the demonic horde is compelling and powerfully reassuring.

See also Mark’s Spirit-led account of the exorcism of the boy with an evil spirit (Mark 9:14-32).  The boy’s father petitioned Jesus’ disciples, but they could not cast out the persistent demon.  Jesus then arrives on the scene, and the demon writhes at seeing Him.  After a poignant scene of a father’s concern for his son’s suffering, Jesus commanded the demon out of the boy never to return.  This happened, and all was well.  Let us marvel too at Jesus’ limitless might exerted in utter final victory over the demonic order.

Third, see also Jesus’ might exerted over nature and natural phenomena.  In the midst of a sudden, fierce storm on the Sea of Galilee (Mark 4:35-41), Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves, saying, “Peace, be still.”  The next words we read from the Spirit though Mark are these, “And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”  The disciples, fearing greatly, wondered to each other, “Who then is this, that even the wind and sea obey Him?”  He is no mere man, nor is He mere ordinary man, but He is the God-man: Jesus, our mighty God.  At another time, in the fourth watch of a night (that is, between three and six in the morning), Jesus came to His disciples—as they struggled against a contrary wind—walking on the water.  He even enabled Peter for a brief period to do the same (Matthew 14:22-33).  Marvel, then, with me, at this arena in which Jesus displays His supreme might.

Fourth, Jesus exerts His limitless might over death itself.  Remember the sad case of the daughter of Jairus, the synagogue ruler, whose twelve-year-old daughter lay close to death—and in fact died (Mark 5:21-24, 35-43).  When Jairus heard of his daughter’s death, Jesus said to him, “Do not fear; only believe.”  When they reached Jairus’ home and the assembled mourners, Jesus said, “The child is not dead, but sleeping.”  They laughed Him to scorn.  Yet, after putting all the mourners outside and bringing the family and His followers insider, He raised the girl from the dead and commanded that she be given something to eat.  All present were overcome with amazement.

Remember also Jesus’ raising of the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-17)—a son who was the only son of his widowed mother.  Jesus arrived as his body was carried out, and a great crowd from that town mourned with her.  We read that Jesus felt compassion for her and said to her, “Do not weep.”  Then He touched the bier and the bearers stood still.  Then He commanded the son to rise—and he rose to life and spoke.  Jesus gave him again to his mother with great rejoicing all over town and wide publication of the fact.

We cannot forget Jesus’ supreme act of raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-44).  When Jesus came to Lazarus’ tomb, Lazarus had lain there four days already.  Martha, his sister, demurred to have the stone sealing her brother’s grave moved—for fear of the odor of decay.  Yet Jesus called to Lazarus, four days gone, in that voice that wakes the dead, and Lazarus came forth—bound in grave-clothes.  The joy of Lazarus’ sisters knew no bounds, and many there placed their faith in Jesus who—up until then—had refrained from such.  This resurrection, of course, points to the supreme resurrection of Jesus from the dead—victorious over death, sin, hell, and the evil one himself.  Marvel yet again at the infinite might of Jesus—even over death.

Now, in view of all the foregoing, answer this question: Where do you need to see God’s strength exerted in your life and in the lives of your loved ones?  Perhaps you or someone you love needs healing from sickness, injury, or weakness—and, despite all our God-given medical advances, healing still does not come.  I submit to you, on the authority of God’s Word, that Jesus has all authority over sickness—and, when it pleases Him, He glorifies Himself and blesses folks by supernatural healing.  Call on His Name along this line, and let us see what He will do.

Perhaps you or your loved ones needs supply—material, financial, or otherwise.  Never forget that He Who fed five thousand families from five loaves and two fish can supply your need even to overflowing.  Appeal to His compassionate heart, and see what resources He will release into your life.  Maybe He will bless you along this line to a degree that only can be called miraculous.  Perhaps you, or someone dear to you, needs comfort from on high, for the alleged comforts of this world fail.  Remember that our God is the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3), and He can (and does) comfort to a degree unimaginable—and that when, due to horrific circumstances, you think yourself inconsolable.

Or perhaps you long for another—or, perhaps, for yourself—to know the salvation that is ours in Christ Jesus.  You long for another, or for yourself, to know forgiveness of sin and pardon from same.  You long for another, or for yourself, to know the life of resurrection power to forsake sin, to enjoy God rightly, and to reflect His glory as brightly and as far as you can.  Our God can do this—and delights to do this.  Call on Him for this—and that now, without delay—and see God work both in your life and in the lives of your loved ones to everlasting benefit.

Our God is mighty to save, and to heal, and to supply, and to comfort—and to do anything else needful to do.  Rejoice in, and rest in, your mighty God—Jesus Christ.

AMEN.

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