Sermon # 17 Series: Matthew
Title: SEVEN LESSONS FROM A DAY OF MIRACLES
Text: Matthew 8:1-34
Subject: Lessons from the Miracles of Matthew 8
Date: Tuesday Evening – October 25, 1994
Tape: # Q-60
The great miracles which our Lord Jesus performed while he walked on this earth were, without question, supernatural works. They were, indisputably, miraculous works. The Jews made every false accusation imaginable against our Lord’s even the slightest hint of a question about were his genealogy and the miracles he performed. Both were matters of public record beyond dispute. They could not be denied, or even called into question. Basically, our Lord’s numerous, unprecedented miracles served two purposes.
1st, They proved him to be the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God (Matt. 11:4-5).
2nd, The miracles, like all the supernatural works of God in the deliverances of his people in the Old Testament, were designed to be pictures of God’s saving grace and were intended to teach us spiritual lessons.
Illus: Noah and the Ark
Israel out of Egypt.
Daniel from the Lion’s Den
Tonight, I want us to briefly examine some of the miracles performed by our Lord in a single day. Matthew chapter eight, is full of miracles. J.C. Ryle said, “There is a beautiful fitness in this. It was fitting that the greatest sermon ever preached should be immediately followed by mighty proofs that the preacher was the Son of God.” The title of my message tonight is Seven Lessons From A Day Of Miracles. My text is Matthew chapter 8.
Our Lord’s miracles are both pictures of his grace and object lessons full of spiritual instruction for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear the things that are here revealed.
I. First, in verses 1-4, we are given A Lesson About Repentance.
Would you know how to come to Christ? Do you want to know how a sinner can come to Christ and obtain mercy from him? If you are interested, learn from the leper.
A. This man came to Christ as he was – a Leper!
He was an unclean, unworthy, legal outcast. Death was in his breath. He had an incurable disease. He had no right to approach the Lord Jesus. But he knew that no one else could for him. So he came out of the crowd to the Savior.
B. He worshipped Christ as Lord.
He bowed down in humble reverence before a man whom he acknowledged to be his rightful, sovereign Lord. There is no other way to come to the Savior.
Illus: The Syrophenician Woman (Mark 7:18).
The Dying Thief (Luke 23:42).
Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:5).
C. This leper freely acknowledged Christ’s sovereign right to give or withhold grace according to his own sovereign pleasure as Lord.
“If thou wilt, thou canst make me whole.”
D. He obtained mercy!
The Lord Jesus said, “I will!” And with a word of grace the Son of God made this vile son of Adam clean. “Be thou clean.”
If you would obtain mercy, if you would be saved, come to Christ, just like this leper did.
II. In verses 5-13 we are given A Lesson About Faith.
While the scribes and Pharisees and the people of Israel despised the Lord Jesus and his gospel this unnamed Roman officer fully believed that the Man standing before him was the only Lord God, sovereign over all things, with whom nothing is impossible, or even difficult – (vv. 5-10).
A. This centurion was a picture of God’s elect among the Gentiles who must be saved (vv. 11-12).
B. This centurion shows what a great and precious gift the gift of faith is – (v. 10).
Few are willing to come to Christ as helpless, lost sinners, and commit their souls to him. Few will forsake their own righteousness and trust Christ alone as the Lord our Righteousness. Few will come to Christ, trusting him alone to save them.
But true faith, that faith that worketh by love,” is the highest privilege, greatest gift, and rarest jewel in the world. Many have religion. But few have faith. This centurion had faith!
III. In verses 14-17 there is A Lesson About Sickness.
Indeed, there is much to be learned in these verses. And the things taught are so obvious that only willfully ignorant people can miss the meaning of Matthew’s words. He intends for us to understand that…
A. Peter was a Married Man – Not a Celibate Priest!
B. Holiness does not Secure Immunity from Disease – Sickness and disease, the forerunners of death, the result of sin ran through Peter’s house just as it did any other man’s.
C. Those who are the Objects of God’s Mercy Should be Diligent in the Lord’s Service – “She arose and ministered unto them,” unto the Lord Jesus, unto Peter, and unto all who were with them.
D. Our great Savior, our sovereign Lord, is in Complete Control of All Disease – It takes no more than his word, or his touch to relieve his suffering child.
E. Our Savior so completely identifies himself with us that He Takes Our Infirmities and Sicknesses To Be His Own, Just As Surely As He Bare Our Sin in His Body on The Tree – (v. 17).
This verse does not teach that there is healing in the atonement! It teaches that there is sympathy in the Savior, who sends sickness and death, or healing and life as he sees fit to the people he loves.
IV. Look at verse 16 again. Here is A Lesson About Usefulness throughout the four gospels to constantly mention the fact that men and women brought other needy men and women to the Lord Jesus to be healed by him, and were always commended for doing so. Some may think. “God does not need man. I could not agree with you more. God does not need us. But I rejoice in the fact that God has chosen and ordained the use of saved sinners for the saving of other sinners. I want you to see two things.
A. The highest greatest most useful service we can perform to the souls of men is to bring them to Christ.
B. No one in the New Testament ever brought a needy soul to the Savior who did not obtain for their friend the mercy they sought – God honors that faith that brings sinners to Christ!
Illus: Luke 4:17-20 – “When he saw their faith!”
V. In verses 18-22 our Lord Jesus teaches us A Lesson About Discipleship.
Our Master was not one of your modern, slick, polished, soul winning evangelists, who will use every trick imaginable to get people to make a profession of faith. When the scribe came and said, “I will follow thee,” and one who professed to be his disciple said, “I will follow just as soon as I have buried my father,” Our Master replied with solemn words of warning and reproof (vv. 20, 22).
We must keep back nothing from those who say they want to follow Christ. We must never enlist souls in the cause of Christ under false pretences. God’s servants are not trying to win contests. Numbers do not necessarily make strength. Let all who would follow Christ sit down first and count the lost. Before any can wear the crown of glory, he must daily take up his cross and follow the Master.
· That may mean giving up earthly comfort.
· That may mean neglecting ordinary, but unnecessary duties of life – Somebody will bury the dead!
· Discipleship means Christ first!
VI. In verses 23-27 we see the disciples with the Lord Jesus crossing the sea of Galilee and learn A Lesson About Fear.
Fear is inconsistent with faith. But the two often live together in the same heart. True, saving faith is often mingled with fear, weakness, and infirmity. This is a humbling lesson, but a needful one. Many standing upon the shore may laugh at and chide these terrified disciples. But experience tells me that very few behave more confidently when they are in the storm themselves.
Many who believe Christ and love him, who gladly and truly forsake all to follow him, are full of fears in the face of danger. Many have faith enough to cry out, “Lord save us, we perish,” who do not have faith enough to ride out the hurricane at sea in the little fishing boat with tranquility! We will never know the weakness of our faith until it is tried. But weak faith is not false faith – (Ps. 56:3).
If you have the motive, strong faith of Job, that can say, “though he slay me, yet will I trust him” (Job 13-15), do not despise that weak, trembling, fearful faith that cries, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” (Mk. 4:38). Christ doesn’t!
I give thanks to God for a great high Priest who is compassionate and tender-hearted. He knows our frame. He remembers that we are dust. He considers and is touched with our infirmities. He does not cast us off because of our defects. He reproves. But he pities those whom he reproves. And even the prayer of fearful “little faith” does not go unheard and unanswered by him.
VII. In verses 28-34 the Holy Spirit uses two demon possessed men, a heard of hogs, and a group of worldly business men to teach us A Lesson About Unbelief.
In these last seven verses Matthew describes the casting out of these devils with unusual fullness and detail. This is a passage that must not be overlooked and ignored.
A. The devil and the demons of hell are real.
I do not pretend to know much about the subject of demonology. And, frankly, I do not want to know much about it. But I warn you. The devil is a real adversary to our souls. Demons are real. Only a fool will deny their existence. And only a fool will investigate their operations.
B. Satan, the demons of hell, and the powers of darkness are under the total control of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We are no match for them. But the Son of God holds the chain that binds them. They can go only where he leads them, and do only what he allows them to do.
· John 12:30
· Revelation 20:1
· Powerful as he is satan is not omnipotent.
· He only operates by permission (Job 1).
C. None but Christ can deliver lost souls from the power of satan – (Acts 10:38; Heb. 7:25).
He who bruised the serpent’s head is the only one who can bind the strong man, cast him out of his house, and dispossess him – (Gen. 3:15; Matt. 12:28-29).
D. There is no greater hindrance to faith in Christ and no greater power to keep sinners in the darkness and death of unbelief than the love of the world demonstrated by these Gergesenes.
1. God walked on their shores in human flesh – Yet, they believed not!
2. Demon possessed lunatics were retrieved form the clutches of satan before their very eyes – Yet, they believed not!
3. The sovereign Master of heaven, earth, and hell stood before these men – Yet, they believed not and even begged him to go away! Why!
4. The “hope of their gains was gone” (Acts 16:19).
What multitudes perish in unbelief, under the wrath of God for he same reason as these Gergesenes! Their only concern is for many! They care nothing for Christ, his Word, their souls, or the glory of God. A terrible, infectious, spreading disease has entered their hearts. It is a disease from which we ought ever to pray for deliverance. It is called “Worldliness” – The love of the world!
I John 2:15-17