Even If

Even If

Sermon Notes

Matthew’s Themes

  • Jesus is the King
  • We are part of Jesus’ new kingdom
  • Jesus teaches us how to live in this kingdom

Matthew is writing for people who are

  • Geographically removed from Jesus
  • Chronologically removed from Jesus
  • Interested in the life of Jesus

Point to Ponder
We have all heard of glorious miracle stories. But if we are honest, we far more frequently experience the crushing absence of non-miraculous outcomes.

1. Even those closest to Jesus will have doubts about HimMatthew 11:1-6

John the Baptist

  • Cousin to Jesus
  • Leaped in his mother’s womb
  • Forerunner of Jesus’ ministry
  • Conducted the baptism of Jesus

2. Jesus is still your personal Savior even when He has not provided you a personal miracleMatt. 11:4-5, Isa. 61:1
Jesus assures us that He is working in this world even though we may not have the outcomes we would wish for.

3. Jesus teaches His listeners that this moment represents a grand shift from the Old Covenant to the NewMatt. 11:7-15

Personal miracles are nice. But don’t lose sight of God’s larger story. God’s miracles are temporary glimpses into his eternal working into this world.

Warning: Don’t hinge your faith on a miracle. Hinge your faith on Jesus.
Challenge: Will you trust God’s movement even if the miracle is absent?

Discussion Questions

TALK IT OUT

  1. Pastor Rusty said, “We have all heard of glorious miracle stories. But if we are honest, we far more frequently experience the crushing absence of non-miraculous outcomes.” Share a time when you experienced a miracle. Share a time when you wanted and even expected a miracle but didn’t receive one.
  2. Matthew 11 tells the story of how even John the Baptist experienced doubts and didn’t understand what was happening to him. Pastor Rusty suggests that honest doubts can actually strengthen our faith. Share a time when that has happened in your life. Have you ever seen doubts destroy someone’s faith? What makes the difference between our doubts weakening or strengthening our faith?
  3. In Matthew 11:5 John the Baptist was told to look at Jesus’ ministry: 1) the blind could see, 2) the lame were walking, 3) those with leprosy were cured, 4) the deaf could hear, 5) the dead were being raised, and 6) the good news was being preached. Why do you think Jesus told John to look at the results of His ministry, instead of just delivering him from prison? Although God can do miracles He doesn’t always do them. Why do you think God doesn’t always make sense to us?
  4. Jesus said people went out to see John the Baptist not because he was dressed nice, or he told them what he thought they wanted to hear. Why did people want to hear John the Baptist? What lessons can we learn from that today?
  5. Pastor Rusty made this statement in the message, “Personal miracles are nice. But don’t lose sight of God’s larger story. God’s miracles are temporary glimpses into his eternal working into this world.” It’s impossible to know what God is doing. How can that fact ultimately strengthen our faith?

LIVE IT OUT

  • Pastor Rusty says, “Don’t hinge your faith on a miracle. Hinge your faith on Jesus.” In a practical sense, how can you do that this week?
  • Doubt need not be the end of faith, honest questions ultimately strengthen our faith. What questions should you be asking God at this point in your life?
  • God certainly doesn’t always do what we think He should do. Ask God to help you trust Him, even when what He is doing or allowing makes no sense to you.