The Amazing Power of Jesus
Responding to Jesus' Power
Matthew 9:33-34
What we’ve been seeing for the last several weeks in Matthew 8 and 9 is a presentation of irrefutable evidence that Christ is the Son of God, the Messiah, and the Savior.   In particular, we’ve been looking at the nine miracles recorded in these verses.
What Jesus did is beyond the capacity of any human being.  And as wonderful and amazing as they are, they are only a small sample of His power.
In fact, John 20:30 says, "And Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples which are not written in this book." Then in 21:25 he says, "If they should be written, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written." So these are just sample miracles, examples if you will, of the uncountable miracles that He did.
He demonstrated His power over disease by healing a leper and a paralytic and a woman with a fever.
He showed His power over the natural world by stilling the storm, calming the waves and the sea.  Then he moved to the supernatural world by casting out a legion of demons. He even healed the paralytic and forgave his sins.
And then He dealt with death, giving back dead speech, dead eyes, and actually raising Jairus' daughter from the dead.
And following each set of miracles was a response section.  In the first section, no one followed Him.  No one was willing to pay the price of discipleship.
In the next response, Matthew leaves everything to follow Jesus, but former disciples of John want to argue about the worship habits of the Lord and His followers.
Tonight we come to the final response section.  It is found in verses 33-34 and there are two responses recorded there.
Verses 33b – 34
Matthew is giving us the response to the miracles that Jesus had done. On the one hand are those who are amazed at what Jesus has done.  And on the other hand are those who are rejecting Jesus in spite of what He has done.
It was and is and, I suppose, it always will be that way when it comes to Jesus.  Some accept; some refuse and that is what Matthew is showing us.
Notice first of all,
1. The Marveling Multitude
verse 33
"This is without question, they said, the greatest display of power ever in the history of Israel, and we've seen some pretty hot stuff." They remember Moses and the miracles of his time. They remember Elijah and Elisha and the miracles of their time.
They remember the tremendous things that God had done. They could go back to just the time of Moses and talk about the drowning of the Egyptian army. They could talk about incredible things like God writing the Law on the stone on Mount Sinai. They could talk things like the fall of Jericho. They had seen wondrous things in their past, but never in all their history had ever anything been seen like this. This was a display of divine power that was unequaled in Jewish history.
And because of that, we are told they marveled.  It is a very full, comprehensive kind of word. It can mean they were amazed. They were astonished. They were, in fact, super-astonished.  They were amazed beyond amazement at what He did. It was breathtaking to see the things He was doing. It was incomprehensible to their human minds.
They were shocked. They were in awe. The word includes terror, fear, and awe, such as the disciples in the boat who were more afraid when Jesus stopped the storm than they were when the storm was threatening to take their life; because they knew they were in a boat with God; and when you know you're in the same boat with God, and He can see everything in your heart, it's a little terrorizing. So the people were literally astounded.
It just literally was more than their minds could conceive, so they marveled. They were fascinated. So much so that, eventually in Matthew chapter 21, they could draw only one conclusion; "And the multitude said, 'Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.'"
They threw palm branches at His feet as He made His way into the city of Jerusalem.  That's the marveling multitude.
But don’t get too excited about this response, because it doesn’t last very long.  In fact, by the time you arrive at Matthew 27 we are told that same multitude is screaming for Him to be crucified.
That's how it is with fickle mobs.  The free food and healings and kindness and love and all that was fine, but many in that crowd were not really interested in what He said or taught.
They liked Him doing His miracles. They were fascinated. There was a certain awe. But if He got too close to where they were living, it couldn’t be tolerated.
Many people have been in awe of Jesus who didn't know Him. Pilate said He was a Man without fault. Pilate's in hell, as far as we know.  They witnessed His miracles and said, "What manner of Man is this?”
We don't have a category for Him. There are no classifications for a Man like this One."
There are a lot of people who kind of like Jesus as long as He's sort of warm and fuzzy and handing out food and miracles.  But don’t talk about likestyle changes or sin or any of that stuff because that Jesus they’re not interested in.
You can talk about Jesus all you want if you just don't confront people with the fact that He damns men who live in immorality, who cheat, who lie, who are homosexuals or adulterers or fornicators, who fail to live by God's Law; and He sends those kinds of people to an eternal hell. If you say that to folks, they're not so thrilled about it all.
Jesus was amazing while He was doing miracles and all that but as soon as the people got close enough to find out where He was really coming from, boy, it changed really fast.
It’s amazing to me that the Pharisees of Jesus' time were always honoring the prophets; but the people who lived when the prophets were alive killed them; and the only prophet that was alive in Jesus' time was John the Baptist; and they killed him; and then there was Jesus; and they killed Him.
So first of all we find the marveling multitude. The second response comes from
2.  The Rejecting Religionists
verse 34
They saw that He had cast the demon out of this man who couldn't hear or speak and they couldn’t deny it.  After all, He did it.  But they said,  "He does it by the prince of the demons."  Now is that not a stupid thing to say?
In fact, the accusation comes back up over in chapter 12 and Jesus says to them, "Is it not illogical to think Satan goes around casting out Satan?
That just shows you where they were spiritually speaking.  Because they refused to accept Who Jesus was, they came up with the most stupid response imaginable.
They were so committed to getting rid of Jesus that, even when they saw the miracles, they said, "They're done by Satan's power."
Now here’s what I want you to see from this section:  both of these responses are wrong. Both end up in hell forever. Both those who go along for the ride and those who willfully reject the truth both miss Jesus because they are the wrong response.
The proper response is to believe and to receive Christ, not just to be fascinated by Him. That's inadequate.
So Matthew has given us a good picture of responses to Christ. For one, there are people who say, "I want to be Your disciple. I'm going to follow, but I've got some personal issues to deal with and I don't think I better come now."
And then there are those like Matthew who come immediately. And then there are those tax collectors and publicans who, overburdened with their sins, come rushing to Christ.
And then there are those angry, irritated religionists who start out being irritated and then become blasphemers and, ultimately, become murderers.
Then there are the confused like the disciples of John the Baptist who just can't figure out how come they didn't know about this and why is this different than what they've known. Maybe they've been raised in another religion, and they're trying to figure it out.
And then there's that great mass of humanity who don't fit into any of those categories. They're just what I call the marveling multitude. They say, "Oh, yes, Jesus is so nice. Christmas and Easter, wonderful. Jesus Pop music, hey, whatever."
And they're just happy to stand at arm's length and watch the supernatural Jesus do His thing. And, ultimately, they stand with those who just aout and out reject that Jesus is the Savior.
e crucifiers, screaming for His blood. So mark carefully, beloved, where you make your choice, for Jesus is set for the rise and the fall of many.
Let's pray.


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