Jesus Ministered to Their Needs

Scripture: Matthew 9:35, Mark 5:22-43, Acts 9:36-42
Date: 08/27/2016 
Lesson: 9
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Welcome to our friends for our "Sabbath School Study Hour." We're so glad that you could join us here at the Granite Bay seventh day adventist church, where we're going to be delving into our Bible study in just a few moments, talking about the role of the church in community. And today's lesson in particular is talking about "Jesus ministered to their needs," it's lesson number nine. And we always like to remind our friends that we have a special gift book that we'll make available to anybody that calls in, we'll send it to you, and it's called "12 steps to revival." And if you like our free offer, it's--you ask for offer number 780. Just call the number on the screen... And we'll send you the book "12 steps to revival.

" It's got some great outlines, biblical principles of things that you can follow so that you can experience a revival in your life. And after you get this, read it, share it with your friend. You can even go to the Amazing Facts website that is simply, and I believe you can download this book there, and read it as well. Well, in just a moment, we're going to get into today's Sabbath school study lesson, but we'd like to invite our singers out, and just get our minds clear and our lungs breathing before we enter into the study of God's Word. Female: good morning, we're going to start our song service out today with number 92, "this is my father's world.

" And we'll sing all three verses. [Music] ♪ this is my father's world. ♪ ♪ And to my listening ears, all nature sings, ♪ ♪ and round me rings the music of the spheres. ♪ ♪ This is my father's world. ♪ ♪ I rest me in the thought of rocks and trees, ♪ ♪ of skies and seas, his hand the wonders wrought.

♪ ♪ This is my father's world. ♪ ♪ The birds their carols raise. ♪ ♪ The morning light, the lily white declare ♪ ♪ their maker's praise. ♪ ♪ This is my father's world. ♪ ♪ He shines in all that's fair.

♪ ♪ In the rustling grass, I hear him pass. ♪ ♪ He speaks to me everywhere. ♪ ♪ This is my father's world. ♪ ♪ Oh, let me ne'er forget that though the wrong seems oft ♪ ♪ so strong, God is the ruler yet. ♪ ♪ This is my father's world.

♪ ♪ Why should my heart be sad? ♪ ♪ the Lord is king, let the heavens ring. ♪ ♪ God reigns, let the earth be glad. ♪♪ Female: our next song will be number 478, "sweet hour of prayer." And we'll sing all three verses. [Music] ♪ sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer ♪ ♪ that calls me from a world of care. ♪ ♪ And bids me at my father's throne make all my wants ♪ ♪ and wishes known.

♪ ♪ In seasons of distress and grief, ♪ ♪ my soul has often found relief. ♪ ♪ And oft escaped the tempter's snare by thy return, ♪ ♪ sweet hour of prayer. ♪ ♪ Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer, ♪ ♪ thy wings shall my petition bear to him whose truth ♪ ♪ and faithfulness engage the waiting soul to bless. ♪ ♪ And since he bids me seek his face, ♪ ♪ believe His Word, and trust his grace, ♪ ♪ I'll cast on him my every care, and wait for thee, ♪ ♪ sweet hour of prayer. ♪ ♪ Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer, ♪ ♪ may I thy consolation share.

♪ ♪ Till from mount pisgah's lofty height, ♪ ♪ I view my home and take my flight. ♪ ♪ In my immortal flesh I'll rise to seize the everlasting prize ♪ ♪ and shout, while passing through the air, ♪ ♪ "farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer." ♪♪ Doug: thank you very much to our singers and our musicians. And welcome once again to those who are part of our local Sabbath school class here at Granite Bay. We know that we always have some visitors. We're glad that you're with us today.

I want to welcome the extended class that is watching from all different parts of the globe. Just yesterday, I was in phoenix. And you know, we record these programs a few weeks early from the time when the rest of the world church studies. I was in phoenix for the national asi meeting. And so, that gives us an opportunity to meet people who are part of the class from all over the world.

Quite literally, there were people there from all over the world, and so it's so much fun to have people come up and say, "we do Sabbath school with you every week." And many people do it before they go to church, or some are even watching on Thursday. And it's just--it's fun to know we have this opportunity to study the word with so many people. So, welcome, welcome those of you who are part of the Granite Bay church, some of our online members. We have a mechanism where people who don't have a local church, they can attend, that some are scattered at different parts of the world where there's no local congregation. And we even heard of some folks that are up in Alaska, they watch like a ski resort through the summer, they're all by themselves.

Or they're at a fire-watch station up on a mountain in some remote wilderness. But they got the internet, and so they say, "this is our Sabbath school, this is our church." And I want to welcome those online members as well. Huh? Yeah, we--matter of fact, Karen and I were in southern California, we won't point them out, and we were visiting with some of our online members that they can't make it to church every week, and it was fun, make a pastoral visit now. We're going to go into our lesson. Lesson is dealing--it's lesson number nine, and we're dealing with the subject of "Jesus ministered to their needs.

" And the memory verse is from Matthew 9:35. Now, we've read this before, Matthew 9:35. And it talks about--it's one verse that sort of encompasses the mission of Jesus' ministry. If you'd like to say that with me here in your study guide, it's in the niv version. Are you ready? "Jesus went throughout all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness.

" That's a great verse, it says he went to towns, got a country ministry, city ministry, village ministry, synagogues, in the church, in the streets, preaching the good news, preaching, teaching, healing all kinds of sickness and disease. I think Mark, when he talks about that, also includes "and casting out devils." So, the Lord wants us to minister to the needs of the communities in the churches, in the towns, in the cities. And we're going to look at a spectrum of different examples from the Bible where Jesus does this. Now, the first one is talking about an interruption from ministry. Have you ever been interrupted in your ministry? If you look in Mark chapter 5, this will kind of give you the overview of that, Mark chapter 5, you go to verse 22.

After Jesus has this experience with the demoniac of gadara, and he crosses the sea, when he comes to shore, scarcely does he get out of the boat before there is a ruler from the synagogue, his name is jairus. I've heard people say jairus. It's like the King of persia, some say darius, and some say darius. Potato, potato, tomato--anyway, but I've heard it pronounced both ways. So, jairus, this ruler of the synagogue, approaches him, and he's got a real burden.

He says--he earnestly begged in verse 23, "my daughter lies at the point of death." It's just at this crucial moment. Time is of the greatest importance. And he said, "come, lay your hands on her, that she may be healed." Jesus already had a reputation for healing. They thought it was important that he touched them, or touched the daughter to heal her. We know later that Jesus healed the roman centurion's servant just by speaking the word.

But the ruler said, "you'll need to come and do laying on of hands, and heal her, and she will live." He had faith. So, Jesus went with him. He's getting ready to make a home visit. Sometimes, sick people were brought to Jesus, but Jesus was not beyond going to where they were. And so, Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed him and thronged him.

He's surrounded by a great crowd. There may have been thousands in the crowd, and he's got the 12 apostles around him like presidential bodyguards. You know, they got the glasses and the earpieces, and they're trying to protect Jesus as he's being pressed and crushed from every side. And while this is going on, and he's making his way up the street, and jairus is a little worried because his daughter's at the point of death. She's breathing those hard, labored final breaths.

And he's wanting Jesus to hurry, but Jesus along the way, you know, he'll stop and say an encouraging word to someone, and he'll touch somebody else. And he's saying, "please hurry, Lord." And along the way, it says a certain woman that had a flow of blood for 12 years, of course it's rendered her unclean according to the Bible, and she had seen many physicians, and she'd spent all that she had. And she wasn't better, but rather grew worse. Now, you know, Luke, who was a physician, leaves out the part that this woman had wasted her money on many physicians and got worse. I don't know why dr.

Luke left that out, but Mark includes that. And I think we know sometimes it can get worse if you get the wrong diagnosis. And she heard about Jesus. She came behind him in the crowd, you know, in the wake of the river of people he's flowing through. She figures it's, you know, "better if I come in from behind maybe.

" And she says, "if I can just touch his garment." She reached out and touched his garment, for she told herself, "if I can only touch his clothes, I might be made well." And she does this, and immediately the fountain of her blood, the flow was dried up. She felt in her body she was healed of the affliction. Sometimes, when you're healed, you may not feel anything right away. Some people have been healed and gone to go get some kind of confirmation from an x-ray or a doctor. But she knew immediately.

I think naaman, when he had leprosy, and his fingers and toes popped back into place, he felt something. And some people who've been healed, they felt that they were healed. She knew immediately that she was healed. You know, one of the most dramatic healings I've ever seen, I guess I didn't really see it, I heard it, focus on the family played it on their program. There was a man who had a terrible problem with his voice box, and he had surgery, and he couldn't barely talk in anything above just a very faint, rough whisper.

It was like someone who had been yelling for years, their voice was all strained. And then--and he was--but he used to be a Sunday school teacher. And they were recording him teaching his class because he had been such a good teacher, but his voice had been so damaged for years. And they'd been praying for healing. And while he's teaching the class, he says he's reading from the Bible, and he's reading one of the Psalms.

And I vaguely remember it was a psalm that said something about, "and he lifts us up from the pit." And right when he said the word "pit," you heard his voice change. And all of a sudden, he started--he kept talking it, and then you can hear him get choked up while he's talking, he starts to cry. He says, "you know, I don't know what happened, but my voice is back. I'm almost afraid to talk because this is temporary." And you can hear this clear, resonating voice, it was instantly healed. And he interviewed the man on the radio station, and they told the story of all that they went through.

And just God, when he read that verse, God just healed his voice, and you hear it. You actually hear someone going through a dramatic healing like that. He felt something when that happened. Did any of you ever hear that broadcast? I see, yeah, I see some of you, it was a pretty dramatic--you can probably find it online. So, God does heal.

Sometimes you feel it, sometimes it takes a while for you to realize that you've been healed. This lady felt that she'd been healed. Now, during this whole thing, Jesus then, verse 30--so far, Jesus is just moving along, going with jairus to heal his daughter. But when Jesus feels that virtue, vitality, vital force has gone out of him to heal this woman, there's a touch of faith. Many people were touching him, but it wasn't a touch of faith.

This lady reached out in faith, and he knew something had happened. He knew somebody had trusted him, the Holy Spirit revealed it, and he stopped. And everybody kind of stopped, you know, because they had been making the slow progress up the street. And he turns around, he said, "who touched my clothes?" Now, the disciples were worried that Jesus had spent too much time in the sun, it was finally getting to him, the long hours, not enough sleep, irregular eating times. And they said, "Lord, the multitude is thronging you on every side, and you're saying, 'who touched me?'" And Jesus looked around to see who had done this thing, and the woman knew right away.

And he said, "daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed." You notice, you are healed, be healed, stay healed of your affliction. So, he confirmed the healing she knew that she had felt. Verse 35, "while he's still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue's house," someone came from jairus' house, who said, "your daughter is dead." It took too long. The delay was fatal.

The interruption caused her terminal death. "Don't trouble the teacher anymore, it's hopeless." Jesus is hearing this message come to jairus, and he interrupts and he said, "do not be afraid, only believe." Hope is not gone yet is what Jesus is saying. I've often found if we listen to the Holy Spirit, and we accept, embrace these interruptions that come, God still works things out. And he was going to work things out for jairus too. When we take time to do God's will and we think we're too busy, and you give time to people, even though you know you're busy and you're on a mission, God will sometimes bless your mission better than you expected because you put his priorities first.

That's what I've discovered. He said, "don't be afraid, only believe." He permitted no one to follow him except Peter, James and John. There's a big crowd. He says to the crowd, "you've got to stay here. Now, we have to make time.

" And they came to the ruler of the synagogue's house. And by the time they got there, they had already brought in the mourners. She was so close to death, they had hired mourners waiting for a job. And they used to pay mourners, and they'd wail and weep, and they play these doleful tones on the flutes and their instruments. And when he came in, he said, "why do you make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.

" And they ridiculed him. Christians don't die, they go to sleep, waiting for the resurrection. "And they ridiculed him. But when he had put them all outside, he took The Father and the mother of the child, and those who were with him, and he entered where the child was lying. And he took the child by the hand, and he said to her, 'talitha cumi,' which is translated, 'little girl, arise.

'" And the same kind of word in aramaic that a mother and father would say to their little girl if she's late for the school bus, "honey, wake up." It's just a very--it was a very tender way of saying it. "Immediately, the girl rose, and she walked, for she was 12 years of age. And they were overcome with amazement. He commanded them strictly no one should know about it. He said, 'give her something to eat.

'" She had been weakened by the fever, and she needed something. Now, this is a story, and I know I'm going beyond what the lesson was wanting to bring up, but I think this is such an important story. You find this story in the book of--Gospel of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Notice Jesus is on his way, all these people in the crowd are touching him. They're not really getting any better by their touch because it's not a touch of faith.

Jesus is on his way to resurrect a girl, how old is she? Twelve years of age. And on his way, another woman who's been bleeding for how long? Twelve years, touches him. One touches Jesus, Jesus touches the other. What does a woman represent in Bible allegories frequently, not every time? And I hope--maybe I'm being too hyper spiritual with this, but I think there might be an allegory in this story. It's in all three Gospels.

The stories have a meaning. You have one with a continual flow of blood. And Jesus is on his way to raise a girl. Twelve is a number for the church. Is that right? Woman with 12 stars, 12 apostles, 12 tribes.

And so, while he's on his way--the old testament church, how was sin dealt with? Sacrifice of goats, and sheep, and lambs. And does that really wash away our sin? And the Lord said, "away with your sacrifices." They thought--that was all pointing to Jesus. It was pointing to where Jesus was going. And she reaches out in faith, she's none the better. She's got this problem.

It was through touching Jesus she's healed. That represents the old testament sacrificial system, continual flow of blood, no better, only worse. But when she touched Jesus, she's healed. Jesus goes from that experience, and he touches a 12-year-old girl, who he raises, and he says, "give her something to eat." And this is like the new testament church. So, you've almost got two economies that meet in Jesus.

Jesus is the intersection of the old testament sacrificial system, church, and the new testament church, where it's a touch of faith. One is dead, but it is raised to life, and he says, "give her something to eat." This is like the new testament church. So, you see what I'm saying here? So, it's just a great story, but it all happens in the context of that interruption. There are other interruptions. Sometimes, sometimes the Lord interrupts us because he's trying to save us from disaster.

And how many of you remember the story--if you go to the book of Numbers chapter 22, this is a great story, Numbers chapter 22, and I'm going to go to verse 23. "Now the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand. And the donkey turned aside out of the way, and went into the field. So balaam struck the donkey to turn it back on to the road." He says, "this is where I want to go. There's money at the end of the road, a reward, I want to go.

" "And the angel of the Lord then went further up the road and stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that. And when the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pushed herself against the wall and crushed balaam's foot against the wall, so he struck her again. And the angel of the Lord went further and stood in the narrow place." You see what's happening? Balaam is on a mission he's not supposed to be going on. And the angel of the Lord's trying to turn him back, but he is bent on going where he's not supposed to go. "And the angel went further down the road.

And when she saw the angel," the donkey saw the angel, "she laid down under balaam." She's not going right or left now, she's just getting down on her knees. And balaam was so angry, he gets off the donkey, and he's aroused, and he strikes the donkey with his staff, he beats the donkey. And the Lord opens the mouth of the donkey, and she says to balaam, "what have I done to you that you struck me these three times?" And balaam is so out of his mind, he's having a conversation with a donkey, and it hasn't occurred to him the donkey's talking. And he says, "because you've abused me. I wish there was a sword in my hand, I'd kill you.

" I mean, if I heard the donkey talking, I'd stop right there and say, "excuse me?" But he's conversating with the donkey. And the donkey says to balaam, "am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden ever since I became yours to this day?" Presumably years, they live a long time. "Was I ever disposed," is it my custom to do this to you? Donkey's got a good vocabulary. "Was this ever my disposition to do this to you?" He said, "no." Then the Lord opened balaam's eyes, and he sees the angel of the Lord, this tall, imposing angel of the Lord, not looking too happy, standing in the way with a drawn sword, you draw a sword when you're going to use it, in his hand. And now, balaam falls on his face flat, and the angel of the Lord said to him, "why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I came out to stand against you because your way is perverse before me.

" You're going the wrong way. "The donkey saw me and turned aside three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely I would have killed you and let her live." By the way, there is a story in the Bible where a man was riding on a donkey, the lion attacked the man and let the donkey live, which is backwards from what a lion would normally do. But, so sometimes--balaam was getting madder and madder because he's in a hurry, and this interruption keeps happening, and why is he being interrupted? Because the Lord's trying to save him. Now, I won't ask you to raise your hand, but has there been a time in your life when everything seemed to go wrong as you were trying to go the wrong way, and God was trying to save you from yourself? And you were just beating the donkey, trying to keep going where you wanted to go.

And later, your eyes were opened, you said, "oh, that was the Lord trying to interrupt my road to destruction." You need to thank him for those interruptions. There's some other interruptions that come I'll get to. Now, someone's going to read for me 1 Kings 19:19. And--oh, you'll have that, jan? While that's happening, I'm going to read. Sometimes, we're interrupted by the devil.

Acts 16:16, "now it happened as we went to prayer that a certain slave girl, possessed with a spirit of divination, met us, who brought her masters much fortunetelling--much by fortunetelling. This girl followed Paul and us," that's Luke, "cried out, saying, 'these men are servants of the most high God, who proclaim the way of salvation!'" She's creating a disruption. You notice when the devil brought this interruption? On their way to prayer. The devil keeps bringing this distraction on their way to prayer, "as we went to prayer." It goes on to say, "this happened many days." Every time they go into prayer, the devil's got an interruption. You ever have that problem? Something happens, you're going to pray, the phone rings.

Or you think of something, "oh, I forgot about this. There's something I've got to do." The devil always tries to interrupt us on our way to prayer. "Finally, we cast out the devil," and that caused a lot of interesting other experiences. Go ahead and read for us 1 Kings 19:19. Jan: "so he departed from there and found Elisha The Son of shaphat, who was plowing with 12 yoke of oxen before him.

And he was with the 12. Then Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle on him." Doug: Elisha's busy out farming. He's got his hands full of the reins of the oxen, and Elijah comes by and says, "look, I've got a work for you to do. God wants you to work for him." He could have said, "look, don't bother me now, I'm plowing. Talk to me later.

" Do you know how often God called people while they were busy doing things? You might say he interrupted their work. What was gideon doing when the angel came? He was threshing wheat. Amos was gathering sycamore fruit. What was Peter, James, and John doing? They were cleaning their nets, fishing, cleaning their nets. They were busy.

the Lord looks for people busy. But sometimes, God will approach you when you're in the middle of something. And the Lord says, "that's why--" you ever heard the expression, "if you want something done, get a busy person"? You ever heard that, do it for you? That's what the Lord does. If we're busy doing faithfully whatever's at hand, he'll give us more to do. So, you have those interruptions.

All right, next section is under how can I help you? And we're going to go to--here, the lesson takes us to Mark 10, verse 46. If you turn in your Bibles there, Mark 10, verse 46. And this is when Jesus is going out of Jericho, and he's met by blind bartimaeus. There's several great stories in Mark chapter 10. "Now, as they came to Jericho, and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples, a great multitude," another throng is following him, "blind bartimaeus, The Son of timaeus.

" Whenever you see the word "bar" in Hebrew, that means son of. Barabbas means son of abba, means father. Barabbas means son of The Father, which is interesting because Jesus was The Son of God, barabbas was the counterfeit son of The Father that the people chose instead of Jesus. You've heard of barnabas, b-a-r, barnabas means son of consolation. It even says that in the Bible.

So, whenever you see bar, that means son of--son of something. Jesus once called Simon Simon bar-Jonah. That tells you that Simon Peter's father's name was Jonah. "Simon son of Jonah, do you love me?" You remember? So, bartimaeus means The Son of timaeus, is a blind man. He's sitting by the roadside, he's begging.

He's a poor, blind beggar. And he hears the commotion, and he says, "what is this?" "It's Jesus," someone tells him. And he had heard about Jesus. At this point, it's at the end of Christ's ministry. Jesus has already opened the eyes of the blind people.

And he thinks, "oh, I want my eyes opened." So, he begins to call out, and he says, "son of David, have mercy on me." Now, sometimes when you can't see, your other senses are enhanced, and he had a strong voice. And many warned him to be quiet, but he cried out all the more, "son of David, have mercy on me." Was he asking for justice or mercy? Does the Lord want to give mercy? Now, you know, the crowd, isn't it interesting the crowd around Jesus is telling him to be quiet? They're trying to prevent him from receiving what God wanted him to do. Now, what crowd was around Jesus? Apostles, some of his followers. And they say, "look, Jesus is on his way somewhere. Don't bother him.

" But that's why Jesus had come, to do that very thing. He had come to open the eyes of the blind and set the captives free. And so, it's interesting that the crowd around Jesus, what we would call the church, is really the obstacle to Jesus. "Be quiet," they're saying. Does he get discouraged? Nope.

He raises his voice, and he calls out even louder, "son of David, have mercy on me." And it's making such a commotion that it can't be ignored. So, Jesus stood still, and he commanded him to be called. Any of you ever seen a press conference, where there's been some crisis, national crisis, and some police chief or some president or some fbi agent will have to tell the press what's going on? And they don't want to answer every question because sometimes, it's a sensitive issue. And you'll hear reporters shouting questions. Or maybe there's somebody there on trial for some scandal, and they're walking down the street, and you got all these press following them up the street with microphones, and they're calling out questions.

Sometimes, the loudest person, they'll turn them and they'll answer one question. And you ever heard the expression the squeaky wheel, what's the rest of that? Gets the grease. Karen picked me up at the airport yesterday. And as we were driving back, she came to a stop, and I heard "eee eee eee eee." I said, "oh man, that's my brakes." See, you don't want to hear that sound coming out of your brakes. And it doesn't take you long to take care of it because every time you hit your brakes, you're reminded, "oh, I'm just about metal on metal.

" And it's got that audio reminder whenever you hit on your brakes to do something. Does it help to pray more than once? Did Jesus hear bartimaeus the first time he prayed? Why didn't Jesus stop the first time? Why doesn't the Lord always answer your prayer the first time? Are you praying so that God is informed, or does he know what you need before you ask? Does he sometimes make you ask for a while before he gives you the answer? Why? Why doesn't he give us what we want the first time we ask? Do you appreciate your answer more sometimes when you had to ask for a while? Are we changed by praying? Does prayer change God, or does it change us? And so, every time bartimaeus was praying, his faith was getting stronger, he wouldn't let go. How many times did Elijah have to pray for rain before it came? You remember on Mount Carmel? Seven times. He just kept praying. You remember the parable where Jesus talks about the woman who goes to the unrighteous judge, Luke 18? And Jesus said that there was an unrighteous judge, he neither feared God nor man, and there's this poor widow who needed some vindication.

And the widow came and said, "please, deliver me from my adversary." And he thought, "she's poor, she can't bribe me. I've got other people that have more money, and I'll take care of them." And he wouldn't take care of her, he ignored her pleas for justice. But she was relentless. And she kept coming, and she was there when the door opened, and she was there when he came out of the courthouse, and she was saying, "deliver me." He said, "look, she's wearing me down." And there you've got that squeaky- wheel principle again. And Jesus said, "look what happens, the unjust judge says, 'look, I'm going to help this woman because otherwise, by her continual coming, she will weary me.

'" He said, "look what an unjust judge does. How much more will your Father in Heaven deliver those who cry unto him day and night?" And so, the Lord says sometimes he wants us to be persistent about our prayers because it changes us. We, our faith gets stronger in the process. So bartimaeus, he continues to cry, "son of David, have mercy," even though the crowd is discouraging him, and the church. "Son of David, have mercy on me.

" And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they called the blind man, saying, "be of good cheer, you lucky fellow. Rise, he's calling you." And I always thought this as a great verse, verse 50. I'm in Mark chapter 10, verse 50. "Throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.

" Now, that's something you may want to underline in your Bible. What does clothing represent in the Bible? I heard you say righteousness. Does our clothing represent righteousness? Clothing represents character. So, our clothing, all of our righteousness is like what? Filthy rags. So, if you're a blind man--you ever been in a dark room, eat in a dark restaurant, and think everything's fine? You walk out in the light, realize that you spilled some of your salad on your suit when you're in the light? What do you think a blind man's clothes look like? Does he ever see the spots? And what if you're not just blind, you're a blind beggar? So, it's not a fancy garment.

So, when this blind beggar throws aside his garment as he comes to Jesus, when Jesus calls us to be saved and we have our eyes open, we throw aside our filthy rags, and we come to him. And so, I always thought this was an interesting symbol of that. "Throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus." Jesus calls us to rise. "And he comes, and he says, 'what do you want me to do?'" Well, now he's asking one more time. The blind man said, "well, I thought that'd be obvious.

" Does Jesus know what he wants? Why is he telling him to state out loud what he wants? Why is it sometimes important to make a prayer request public? When you come to a prayer meeting and you announce your prayer request, when your prayer is answered, God gets more glory because others have heard what you're praying about. And so, before this man's prayer is answered, he announces what it is he wants. Sometimes, Jesus wants us to pray out loud. He says, "Lord, that I might receive my sight." And Jesus said, "go your way, your faith has made you well." And immediately, he received his sight." First face he saw, first thing he saw was the face of Jesus. And notice Jesus says, "go, you're free.

" He opens his eyes, and he follows Jesus on the road. He said, "I am not letting you out of my sight." And he began to follow him. Now, was he following happy or sad? Did he go back for his garment? Doesn't sound like it. He says, "I don't need anyone to--i don't need to beg anymore." He didn't go back and guard his begging booth. You know, beggars actually stake out territory, did you know that? And you can get in trouble.

When I was a panhandler, there were corners. And you don't take someone else's corner. And they kind of staked out, and there was quite a bit of fighting that could go on over good corners and bad corners. And he didn't have to worry about his begging corner anymore because now, he didn't have to beg because Jesus has opened his eyes, so, he followed Jesus. Why does Jesus open our eyes? So we can follow him.

Did he follow Jesus because he was being forced? Jesus said, "go your way." He followed Jesus because he loved him. He was willing. His eyes had been opened. All right, and so Jesus, he says, "how can I help?" Then there's another story that we're going to look at in John chapter 5, verse 5 and 6. Turn in your Bibles, John chapter 5, verse 5 and 6, and you got the story of the man there by the pool of bethesda.

There's these porches of water. And whenever the water bubbles, these bubbles would come up that all these sick people thought it was an angel stirring the water, and they'd clamor over each other and try and climb in, believing whoever got in first would be healed. And evidently, some were healed, or at least appeared to be, so this whole legend had grown up around this pool. And Jesus saw a man there. I'm in John chapter 5, and you can look at verse 5, "a certain man was there who had an infirmity 38 years.

" Now, it doesn't mean he's 38 years old. He could have been 50 years old, but he's been sick 38 years. "And when Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time," does he wait for--does Jesus wait for the man to ask, or does Jesus just offer? Sometimes, the Lord just comes and he interrupts us. And that man was probably gazing off in the water, waiting to see it bubble, hoping he could be the first one in. And Jesus speaks to him, "do you want to be made well?" And the sick man, he's thinking about the water, he says, "sir, my problem has been I have no one to put me in the pool when the water is stirred up.

But while I'm trying to come," he's dragging himself over there, "another steps down before me." And Jesus says, "look, we're going to bypass all of that, get rid of all the bureaucracy. I'm going to tell you right now, rise, take up your bed, and walk." And there was something about the presence of Jesus and the voice of Jesus that this man recognized. Maybe he thought, "maybe this is the Savior others have been talking about. This is the healer from nazareth." And he acted on Jesus' word. Immediately, the man was made well, he took up his bed, and he walked.

And it goes on to say that was the Sabbath day. But this is an interesting story because Jesus did not wait for him to come to him, and say, "would you like to be healed?" Jesus asked him. And so often, people were brought to Christ. They said, "can you please heal my daughter? Can you please heal my son? Can you please heal me?" And this time, Jesus went to him. He was moved by this man's condition.

There was another blind man in John chapter 9 Jesus saw. Said to his disciples he's going to heal this man. The man didn't ask. And so, sometimes, instead of us waiting until people come to us with needs, we need to anticipate what those needs are and go out to them, and offer to help. Have you ever seen a person that was obviously struggling, they didn't ask for help, but you could see they needed help, and you offer? This is part of what it means to be a Christian.

You take the initiative, and you offer, "how can I help you?" All right, we're going to move on then, deeper needs. Sometimes, the Lord will look beyond what people saw on the surface. Go to Mark chapter 2. We were just in Mark chapter 10. We're going to go back now to Mark again, Mark chapter 2.

And this is a story where the man is let down through the roof, one of the first miracles that Jesus performs. He enters capernaum after some days, and it's heard that he's in the house, verse 1, Mark 2. "Immediately, many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, no, not even near the door. And he preached the word to them." Jesus had a crowd because he preached the word. "Then they came to him bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men.

And when they could not come near him because of the crowd, they got discouraged and they went home." That's not what they did. They found a way in. They couldn't get through the door, they couldn't get through the window, so they went to the roof. "They uncovered the roof where he was, and so when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. And Jesus said, 'that's very rude for you to interrupt the sermon this way.

'" Talk about interruptions again, wasn't this an interruption? He's down in the house teaching. It said, "when Jesus saw their faith," he's pleased. He says to the paralytic, "son, your sins are forgiven." Now, if you're in that room that day, and you see these four friends are bringing their paralyzed, crippled friend on a stretcher to Jesus, and they pulled the tiles back from the roof, and they lower him down, what would be your first thought about what that man needed? Well, Jesus is known as a healer. The man is paralyzed. His friends bring him for healing.

But is that what Jesus does? What's the first thing Jesus deals with? His sin, he has a different kind of problem. In the book "Desire of Ages," there's an interesting quote on this story. It's page 267, "Jesus knew the issue here was more than physical. Yet it was not physical restoration he desired so much as relief from the burden of sin. If he could see Jesus and receive the assurance of forgiveness and peace with heaven, he would have been content to live or die according to God's will.

" This man was so crushed with his guilt and shame that was evidently connected with the sin, for him, the important thing was spiritual healing. Everyone else only saw the physical problem. the Lord looked beyond, and he saw the internal problem. Sunday night, you know, we do a live radio program. People call in.

We don't see their faces. We just hear their voices. I know manjit and some of you here help, screeners for those calls. We pray every program. We kneel down in the studio and we pray, and we say, "Lord, we want you to have the right calls come through.

" And then we pray for the gift of discernment because there are times when people are calling, and they're asking a question. And you know, they might be asking a question about divorce. And I'm always--you know, man, you just always want to give them an answer and solve the problem. And really I ought to be thinking, "why are you asking? Is there a marriage problem?" Sometimes, the person says, "well, a suicide, can they be saved?" And I say, "well, let me show you the verses." And then the Holy Spirit will say, "are they thinking of suicide?" And we have to--you know, you can give a correct answer and totally miss what the inner question is. And we're not Jesus.

Jesus could read hearts. We'll talk more about that in a minute, but he can give us the Spirit. And through the Holy Spirit, you can have discernment into people's lives that will help you see, what is the real question on their heart? And so, we pray for that because you can only do that with God's help to really know what is the real need. Otherwise, we'll look on the outside and say, "oh, they're paralyzed. They need healing.

" And really they need healing from guilt or shame or sin. There's something on the inside. And I'll give you some other examples of that. In a minute, somebody's going to read for me John 2:24. Teri, you'll have that? I'm going to read for you right now John 4:8.

No, John 4:18. Remember the story of the woman at the well? And she's asking Jesus theological questions. And she wants to know, "what mountain do we worship on?" And Jesus says to her, "go call your husband." Now, why did Jesus say that? There's a reason she's come to the well alone. She's an outcast in her community because she's had five husbands, and she's living with someone she's not married to. She was morally considered inferior to the others in the town, and didn't have too many friends going to the well with her.

Usually, the women went early in the morning. They came together for safety. This woman's going at noon and by herself. And Jesus said--he gets right to the heart of it because he knows what the inner problem is, "go call your husband. You've had some problems in your relationships.

And you're struggling with guilt and sin." And so, he gets right to the heart of it. How can God do that? I'll read to you a quote from psalm 139. This applies to all of us, psalm 139, verse 1. "O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up.

You understand my thoughts afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and you're acquainted with all of my ways, for there is not a word on my tongue but behold, o Lord, you know it altogether. You've hedged me behind and before. You've laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me.

" You remember when we studied the book of job, and it talked about God hedging in job for his protection? That's why David also says, "you hedged me behind and before. You've laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. How do you know all about me? It's high, I can't obtain it. Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend into heaven, you're there.

If I make my bed in hell, behold, you're there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand will lead me." I was watching a news interview yesterday about a mother whose son was being recruited by isis, and how her family was devastated by it. And the interviewer, through a translator, was asking her about it. And she said, "I wish I could fly away from all of this violence and all that's happened to us." But where in the world could you fly? You look at what's happening in the politics in our country, and I sometimes think, man, I wonder where I can--what other country I could go to. I just wonder, am I the only one who's thought that? And things are such a mess, but where are you going to go? And sometimes, we wish we could fly away from ourselves.

But you can't because God is there. You take yourself with you wherever you go. I found that I used to run away, thinking that the world was all bad, but I was trying to run away from myself. "It's as if I'd take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea," some remote island. "Even there, your hand shall lead me, your right hand shall hold me.

If I say, 'surely the darkness shall fall on me,' even the night is light about me." God sees even in the dark. "Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from you. Behold, the night shines as the day. The darkness and the light are both alike to you. For you formed my inward parts, you covered me in my mother's womb.

" David is saying, "you know everything about me." Does God know everything in our hearts? Does the devil know what you're thinking? No. And I'll get to that in just a minute. Go ahead, teri, read John 2:24 and 25, please. Teri: "but Jesus did not commit himself to them because he knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for he knew what was in man." Doug: you know, one of the definitions of God, God jehovah, is, of course, God created the heaven and the earth. Did Jesus create the heaven and the earth? All things that were made were made by him.

The Bible says there is one Savior, jehovah. Is Jesus our Savior? I just want you to think about something for a minute. The Bible says that God and God only can forgive sin, Mark chapter 2. Can Jesus forgive sin? And one of the other definitions of God, it says God jehovah only knows the thoughts of men's hearts. And that, by the way, that's 1 Kings 8:38.

Solomon in his dedication prayer says, "you hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive their sin, and act and give to everyone according to his ways, whose heart you know, for you, you alone know the hearts of all The Sons of men." Only God knows your heart. So, does that mean you should only pray in your heart? It's good to pray out loud sometimes because the devil gets scared when you pray. Did Jesus pray out loud? How else would you have John 17 if the disciples didn't hear what he was praying? So, there's nothing wrong with praying out loud, just don't do it for a spectacle. But God only knows the hearts of men.

All right, we're going to talk about dorcas in joppa. Go to acts chapter 9. And it says, "at joppa, there was a certain disciple named tabitha, which is translated dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds. But it happened that in those days, she became sick and she died.

And when they had washed her," had washed her body. They knew she was dead. They washed her, wrapped her up, they put her in an upper room. And some of the disciples from joppa came to Peter, and I think he was at caesarea at the time, and they said, "please come, hurry." This woman was such a saint. And so, Peter goes.

They lay her in an upper room. It's amazing how often in an upper room God performs these miracles. And they're basically asking Peter, they said, "do something wonderful for this woman." All of them--Peter gets to the house, and all the widows are there, and all the women are there, and they're saying, "you see this shawl? You see this robe? You see this coat? Dorcas made it, for she was so wonderful, and she's always weaving and cooking and doing things for person--this person was full of good works." And basically they said, "you know, anything you can do to bring her back, we really need her." Now, if you should die, would the church pray for a resurrection? Are you such a blessing to the church that they would weep and cry and call an apostle to come and see if he could pump new life into you, or pray new life into you? Or would they say, "well, too bad they're gone"? You know what else that means? Now, does Peter pray? He prays in the upper room. Does dorcas come back to life? She does, she's resurrected. You know what else that tells me? God did answer the prayers, God does raise her up.

If you make yourself useful for God in good works--the Bible says this woman was full of good works. We're not saved by good works, but don't you all like to have members that are full of good works that are a blessing to others? She was always serving and helping others. Do you know what this story tells us? God is more inclined to keep you around if you make yourself useful. I remember hearing a pastor years ago at a camp meeting say, "if you can stay busy for God, you give God an excuse to keep you alive." And you know, that stuck with me because I thought, "well, that makes sense. Actually, it's practical.

" But if you say, "I'm retired now, Lord. I'm expecting to enjoy 30 years of doing nothing and having a good time," God might say, "well, look, if you're not doing anything, then I may as well put you to sleep." It's more economical. So, just the very fact that God raised up dorcas, and she was full of good works, is a lesson for us, amen? Go ahead, somebody's going to read for me John 13, verse 34 and 35, and we'll talk about that. Go ahead. Male: John 13:34 and 35, "a new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." Doug: this is what dorcas did for the church. She loved everybody, and they loved her. John 15:12, "this is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that you lay down your life for your friends." And that also ties into the last section, which we don't have time for, which is the church at work. "Commit your way to the Lord, and your plans will be established.

" We need to be busy working for God. Before we sign off, friends, I do want to remind those who maybe did not hear earlier the free offer we'd like to make available for you today is "12 steps to revival" by yours truly. Went through the Bible and looked at different examples of revival. And it talks about things like prayer, study the word, sharing your faith, things that you can do to experience revival in your life. We'll send this to you free.

Ask for offer number 780, and call the number... We'll send it to you for free. Please read it, and share it with a friend. God bless you, and we'll study His Word together again next week. [Music] doug: have you ever heard a mouse howl like a wolf? Well, what would you expect would happen when a creature changes its destiny from the hapless prey to mighty predator? From the outside, they look very much like just an oversized field mouse.

Cute brown fur, white on the underbelly, nice little beady eyes. But that's where the similarities stop. Grasshopper mice are very unusual, making them the objects of great interest for animal researchers. These furry little creatures are found in the harsh deserts of North America. They're very territorial in nature, and they will monopolize and fend off 25 acres.

They don't build their own homes, but sort of confiscate the burrows and the homes of other creatures. They're not called grasshopper mice because they hop around, but it's because they eat a lot of grasshoppers. In fact, scientists have discovered grasshopper mice are the only mice that are purely carnivorous. They hunt much like cats or weasels, stalking their pray in a predatory fashion. And when they pounce, they are ferocious, sometimes even taking on snakes and scorpions and centipedes.

When a grasshopper mouse gets into a fierce battle with a snake or a scorpion or centipede, they may be bit or stung several times. But what is amazing to researchers is they've noticed when they are bitten, they somehow shake it off because they convert the toxin in the venom to painkiller. I think you can understand why this information would be of special interest to scientists that are trying to discover new ways for people to deal with chronic pain. One of the most intriguing characteristics of these little creatures is when they're defending their territory or celebrating a victory over some adversary, they'll throw back their head and let out this earthshaking howl. That's a mousy howl.

Check it out. [Mouse howling] doug: the grasshopper mouse is not the only member of creation that can survive encounters with venomous predators. In Luke 10:19, it says, "behold, I will give you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy. Nothing will by any means hurt you." We don't have to be the biggest and the strongest to defeat our enemy and let out that victory roar. When God called David to be king, no human would have guessed that he had it in him.

He was young and insignificant. From the outside, he looked like there was no greatness in him. But when God looked at his heart, he saw courage, humility, compassion, and love. David wasn't perfect, and he made mistakes. But through God's power, he was able to conquer giants.

Friend, God does not intend that you live out the rest of your life cowering and trembling like a little field mouse. If God can take the grasshopper mouse and give him courage so that he fights snakes and scorpions and centipedes, if God can put in the heart of David the courage to fight giants like Goliath, then he can give you that same courage. The Scriptures say God has not given you the Spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. And you can have that peace in your heart when you invite the prince of peace in your heart. Why don't you do that right now? [Music] male announcer: for life-changing Christian resources, visit, or call... [Music] ...

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