Jesus' Power over the Natural :: Grace to You

Jesus' Power over the Natural :: Grace to You

I just finished listening to a John MacArthur sermon this morning. I have read some of his books and sermons, but I think this may be the first time I have listened to a complete sermon. His delivery is not my favorite "style" to listen to. But I like to listen to a variety of sermons and styles. It's not the style, but the content that matters. A friend sent me this link a few days ago and I finally got around to listening. I know that most people don't feel they have the spare time to commit to listening from beginning to end. But I am so glad I did. He begins by talking about the power that exists in the universe, the power inside one atom (very little matter, mostly energy), the power that holds this extremely heavy ball of ours up in space, keeps it going, etc. And he ends with the power that Jesus displayed on the Sea of Galilee, leaving the disciples in awe of Who He was.

Although Jesus willingly took on a submissive role, He displayed His power and identity as Creator even as He operated in a fleshly body. He commanded nature. He had power over disease. He read men's thoughts. He raised the dead. He was worshiped.

Jesus divested Himself of His glory to come and die for our sins. He not only lowered Himself from the glory He had with the Father, He emptied Himself. Philippians 2 describes Jesus,

6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

My son was pointing out to me just this morning that Jesus' sacrifice restored right standing and relationship between God and man. Our sin separated us from a holy God. The covenant was between God and man. The redemption and restoration had to be between God and man. A created Jesus could not have taken the punishment for our sin. God in the likeness of man paid the price as only He could. If we didn't/couldn't pay it, he had to pay it for us.

That conversation reminded me of a sermon I once heard about forgiveness. When a party is wronged and makes the choice to forgive, forgiveness is not free. It costs one or the other. Someone pays the price. That's why forgiveness is hard; because if you forgive and release someone of their debt, you suffer the cost of your own "damages." Either the person who did the damage pays or the person who forgives pays by absorbing the "cost" personally. If you come to my house and break a lamp, I can either demand you restore what was lost or I can simply forgive you. But if I don't require payment from you, I pay to restore what was lost myself. Somebody pays. When it comes to our redemption, God paid Himself.

I copied an excerpt from the end of MacArthur's sermon about Jesus. It was so good. I'm glad I took the time to listen to the whole thing.

...Mark 4:39 says, "He stood up and said, 'Silence.' And instantly not just a calm but a great calm, a total calm. Now if you stop the wind the sea will continue to ripple until the waves have run their course. He said, "Silence." Or as one commentator translates it hush and the sea became as glass. The waves stopped, the wind stopped and it was still. Now folks that's power. That is power. It's impossible to measure the power of the wind that was existing in that kind of a storm because we don't know how far that storm extended, but just in a normal storm there are millions upon millions of units of horsepower generated in a storm through the wind and even more through the rain if that was involved. No one could even measure the power of the earthquake, incredible power, and Jesus stopped it with a word.

You see this is Matthew's message to us. This is the one who can conquer disease. This is the one who can handle nature and later He'll tell us He is the one who controls the demons. He is the one who forgives sin. He is the one who raises the dead. Think about it, beloved, He is the one who lives in your life.

Well, they had seen God, that's plain and simple. And what did they do in reaction, verse 27, the portent. The dictionary says portent means to marvel. Something portentous elicits wonder or marvel, amazement, and it says in 27, "The men marveled saying what kind of man is this? Potapos the Greek word. We don't have any categories for Him is what they're saying. What slot does He fit in? What kind of person is this that even the winds and the sea obey Him?

Now listen to me. Mark in his parallel account says, "They were exceedingly afraid." Mark says when the storm came they were afraid. Mark says when Jesus stopped the storm they were exceedingly afraid. You know what's more fearful than being in a storm? Realizing you're standing in the presence of the living God. That's awesome. What an experience to know that God is in your boat. That was far more terrifying than any storm.

When Job saw God through the circumstances of his life he said, "I have heard of Thee by the hearing of my ear, but now I've seen you with mine eye and I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes." When Isaiah saw God he said, "I'm a man of unclean lips." I have a dirty mouth. When Daniel saw God in Daniel 10 we saw a couple of weeks ago, he began to shake and quiver and he fell into a heap into the dirt and his mouth was frozen in dumbness in the presence of God. When Peter saw God in the occasion of the fishing of the sea, he said, "Depart from me for I am a sinful man, oh Lord." When the apostle Paul saw God in the form of a resurrected glorious Jesus Christ he fell on his face in the dirt and he was blind.

And you would be so overwhelmed with holiness if you were to stand in His presence. These disciples knew that God was there and the awesomeness of it was terrifying. They were unmasked. The omniscient one could read every thought, knew everything in them. They were in the presence of God.

The next boat trip they took recorded in Matthew brought them to a similar situation and they said when it was over after He stopped another storm it says, Matthew 14:33, "They that were in the boat came," listen, "and worshipped Him saying, 'It is the truth. You are the Son of God.'" The next time if there was any doubt at all it was removed. He was the Son of God. Even the winds and the sea obey Him.

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Celeste Maia said…
You made me so happy with your generous comment in my blog! So glad you came visiting. Thank you.