Sermon series: Jesus' Life and Ministry
Connection to unit theme
Jesus' miracles signified His compassion for people, His power and authority, and His identity as the promised Messiah. Likewise, the miracles of Jesus show us how He is prophet, priest, and king over all creation. Jesus speaks authority, shows love, and exercises power in His multiple displays of miraculous works.
Think of the best communicator you've ever heard - that person who wows you with their words, speaks straight to your heart, and convicts you with passion and sincerity. It might be a politician, a preacher, a professor, or a teacher. Now, think of the most loving person you've ever met – someone who makes everyone feel encouraged, who knows how to show love to all kids of people, and who naturally meets others' needs. It might be a grandparent, a Sunday School teacher, but probably not a politician. Now, think of the most powerful person that you know – a person with unbelievable strength who could put everyone else to shame in the gym. It might be an athlete, a body builder, or your husband. It's likely that you did not think of the same person for all three characteristics.
Jesus is the only person who has embodied all three of those characteristics perfectly and fully. Jesus lived with a phenomenal ability to speak, an incredible compassion for others, and a powerful authority about Him. Jesus' three characteristics are His offices of Prophet, Priest, and King. When we read about Jesus performing miracles in the gospels, we encounter awesome displays of these three offices.
I. Jesus performs miracles as Prophet (Mark 4:35-41)
After teaching several consecutive lessons, Jesus wanted to go to the other side of the lake. While the disciples were taking Him across on a boat, a huge storm raged and began to engulf the vessel. Jesus was napping below deck, so His disciples woke Him by calling him "Teacher!" He got up, spoke to the wind, commanded peace, and told it to be still. He then rebuked His disciples for their fear and lack of faith. They were amazed by His Words. Jesus performed this miracle as the prophet of God. Many prophets had come before Him, but none came with powerful words that could even make the wind obey.
Application: How do you respond to Jesus' words? When you hear a sermon or spend time personally in God's Word, do you obey? Will you be a prophet like Jesus and speak for Him?
II. Jesus performs miracles as Priest (Mark 2:1-12)
Jesus was such an amazing prophet that people would crowd into a small house to hear Him teach. Four men brought bring their paralytic friend to Jesus, but they couldn't get into the house. They went to the roof, removed part of it, and lowered him down to Jesus. Because of their faith, Jesus forgave the man of his sins. He explained that forgiving someone of their sins is a far greater act than healing them of paralysis. Jesus performed this miracle as the priest of God. Many priests had come before Him, but none came with the perfect compassion, the immaculate love, and the divine ability to forgive sins like Jesus. He looks on sinners with eyes of mercy and grants them His great grace.
Application: How do you respond to Jesus' love? When you experience His mercy and understand His forgiveness, does it compel you to extend mercy and forgiveness to others?
III. Jesus performs miracles as King (Mark 1:1-12)
Again we see Jesus operating in the role of prophet. While Jesus taught in the synagogue, in walked a demon-possessed man screaming questions at the Lord. Jesus simply told the demon to be quiet and leave the man's body. This demon that had overpowered the man left his body because of Jesus' far greater authority. Jesus performed this miracle as King. Many kings had come before Him, but none came with His divine power and authority.
Application: How do you respond to Jesus' authority? Do you worship Him as you witness His power? Do you obey Him as you submit to His authority? Do you operate in His power by resisting temptation, repenting of sin, and trusting in the gospel?
In that last story from Luke 11, we saw Jesus' three offices beautifully come together at one event. He prophetically spoke to the demon, had priestly mercy on the man, and authoritatively drove the demon out in a kingly way. However, we see Jesus as prophet, priest, and king mostly clearly in the gospel story. Jesus as Prophet taught truth throughout His life. Jesus as Priest extended mercy by dying on the cross for our sin. Jesus as King rose to life out of His powerful authority over death, sin, and the grave. He is our teacher, our lover, and our ruler. Our response to the gospel is to hear the Word our Great Prophet, receive the compassion of our Great Priest, and live faithfully for our Great King.
As we respond to God, this perspective of the gospel also changes how we respond to others. What should we do when something tragic happens in the lives of those around us? Because Jesus is Prophet, we proclaim to them the promises in God's Word. Because Jesus is Priest, we personally minister to those who hurt and provide for their needs however we can. Because Jesus is King, we show them the powerful authority Jesus has over their life and their need to worship Him. That is when we can watch God do miracles by creating new life by grace through faith.