Do You Trust Jesus?

Matthew Chapter Four Reminds Us That Our Faith Will Last When We Trust In Jesus

Dan Franklin
Mar 26, 2023    43m
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This message, taught out of Matthew chapter four, reminds us that our faith will last when we place all of our trust in Jesus. When we understand the message of Jesus, the mission of Jesus, and the might of Jesus, we know that it is safe to fully trust him with every area of our life. Video recorded at Upland, California.

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Allie Sweeney: [00:00:19] Good morning. I'm thankful we serve a God who loves us despite how unworthy we are. I'm Allie Sweeney, my husband and I help lead a life group here at LBF. "Our passage this morning is Matthew chapter 4, verses 12 through 25, "When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: 15“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—16the people living in darkness have seen a great light on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” 17From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Jesus Calls His First Disciples 18As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20At once they left their nets and followed him. 21Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. Jesus Heals the Sick 23Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. 25Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him." This is God's Word.

Dan Franklin: [00:02:18] Amen. You can grab a seat. Thank you, Allie. Thank you, team. This has been a good morning so far, hasn't it? I am thankful we've been able to be here. I want to share with you, as we get ready for this, there are certain things that sort of stay with me in certain questions that sort of haunt me. And one of the things that haunts me is the idea that there are people who, for a season of their life, whether it's childhood or whether it's the teenage years or whether it's just an extended season of adulthood by all accounts that we would look at are strong believers in Jesus, are involved in church, are walking with him, and then something happens, and they're gone. Maybe they're gone for an extended season of time, and maybe they would still call themselves Christians, but they're just nowhere to be found around a church, and their lives don't reflect them at all. And then other times they just completely abandon the faith, they just completely abandoned the faith, repudiate it, and sometimes they try to take others with them. Some of us have experienced this with people that we know in our lives. Some of us have experienced this through people who are maybe Christian celebrities, and it feels like in the recent years there's just been a slew of former Christian band members who suddenly are deconstructing their faith and are walking away, and it's one of those things that just stays with me. And the question that sort of surrounds this for me as a pastor, and I think just for me as a believer in Jesus, is what is it that makes a faith stay? What is it that makes a faith persevere?

Dan Franklin: [00:03:57] Just last Sunday evening, I was with some of our seniors in high school because a lot of you probably don't know this, but our Student Ministries Pastor Jeff, once a month right now with our seniors, is doing something called senior sessions where, as they're getting ready to graduate from high school, he's just meeting with them and talking with them about life beyond and really trying to prepare them in in a really cool way. And I was with them last week and it was this great crop of seniors. And just again, the question we talked a little bit about it in the group meeting, the question was coming again, what is it that's going to make these seniors who are so involved in the youth group and for the most part who have families who are walking with Jesus and raising them in the faith, what's going to make them different than so many college students who grow up in the church and go off to college and abandon their faith. Am I alone, does anybody else think about this stuff? So, and I think about it with myself sometimes, because I think I've known people that by all appearances to me appear to be walking with Jesus in a way that was more holistic and closer than I felt like I was, and then, later on, abandoned the faith and I'm like, what is it that I think is going to make me hold on to this if they didn't hold on to it? What makes a faith last?

Dan Franklin: [00:05:11] And in some ways what we're going to talk about today is going to feel like the most basic message you've ever heard. And in other ways, what we're going to talk about is going to be as central to anything that we could possibly talk about. And I'm going to tell you right up front something that I'm going to tell you upfront and something that I'm going to say all throughout the message, as we look to answer this question, as we look to say, what is it that makes a faith stay? What is it that makes the faith persevere as opposed to falling away? What we're going to see over and over again in this passage is that there's nothing that's more important than knowing Jesus. And I know in some ways, some of you internally, you're like, duh. But I just want to say, sometimes we can be involved in a church, and we can sort of get into sort of the Christian way of life. And we can think primarily what we're getting right here is a system of ethics, and it's the best system of ethics, it's the way that you should live. Sometimes we get excited because we feel like, all right, I'm getting a framework for reality. We talk a lot about biblical worldview here, which is good, the Bible gives us a framework for reality. But if what you're counting on to get you through the trials and the difficulties that you're going to face all throughout your life is either, number one, I have good morals and ethics, or number two, I have a great framework for life, it's not going to hold you. But what is going to hold you is if you know Jesus, if you know Him in the core of who he is and you know that you are known by Him in the core of who you are.

Dan Franklin: [00:06:45] And here's what we get to do this morning in this passage that you heard Ali read just a few moments ago. This is the point in the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus really goes public. What we've seen in the first kind of three and a half chapters so far is we've seen Jesus at different times just being brought to different places by his parents. And then in chapters 3 and 4, we've seen him more acted upon. He was baptized by John. He was led into the wilderness by the Spirit. He was tempted by the devil. And now at the end of chapter 4, we see Jesus go public with His ministry, and in many ways, we get to see what He's all about. Friends, if you are here and you're not a believer in Jesus, and you're either wrestling with questions or you're brought here by a family member, what I want you to know is that the most foundational question that you've got to deal with is not was the Earth created in six days, or what was the date of the exodus, or how exactly did God inspire the Bible, those are secondary questions. The first question that you've got to deal with is do you think you can trust Jesus? And for all of us in here who are believers in Jesus, the first question before each one of us is always, are we going to cling to Jesus? Not the concept, but Jesus the person.

Dan Franklin: [00:08:05] And this morning we get to see Jesus show us what he is all about, and I'll give you some pegs to hang this on because we're going to walk through this passage, Matthew chapter 4, verses 12 through 25. There are three things that we're going to see happen here, and what we're going to see in this passage is we're going to see the message of King Jesus, then we're going to see the mission of King Jesus, and then we're going to see the might of King Jesus. I couldn't resist the three M's, it's going to be easy to remember, the message of King Jesus, the mission of King Jesus, and the might of King Jesus.

Dan Franklin: [00:08:40] So let's get into this right away. Let's get into the message of King Jesus, which is what we find in verses 12 through 17, it comes out in full force in verse 17, but we'll build to it. Because verses 12 through 14 tell us this, it says, "When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee." And so the John here is John the Baptist, to be fair here, this is the beginning in Matthew of Jesus going public, but it's not when he first went public. Jesus was already doing miracles, he was already teaching, the Gospel of John lets us know that, and that's going to make sense of some things that happen later. But after John is put in prison and later on in this series Matthew will explain all the ins and outs of that, but the basic story is that John spoke truth to powerful people, and they didn't like it and they put him in prison. Jesus then withdraws to Galilee and that's where He focuses his ministry.

Dan Franklin: [00:09:30] So it says, "Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah." So he goes to this location and Matthew, as he's been doing all along, lets us know this fulfills prophecy, this fulfills something in the Old Testament. And he quotes from Isaiah chapter 9, verses 1 and 2, which says, "Land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan— 2The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned." And even if you're a big-time Bible reader, these verses might not be terribly familiar to you. As I said, it's Isaiah chapter 9, verses 1 and 2. But I'm going to bet that Isaiah chapter 9, verses 6 and 7 are going to be familiar to you because we quoted every Christmas, those verses say, "Unto us..." All right, you are familiar with it. "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace...And he'll be on the throne of his father, David." It is this great prophecy about Jesus, these are the verses that start off that prophecy, they start off the prophecy by saying, "A light has dawned in a place of deep darkness."

Dan Franklin: [00:10:57] And part of the beauty of this, this will come up again in the last part of Matthew chapter 4, but part of this is he refers to it as Galilee of the Gentiles, even though this is a Jewish territory, this is part of Israel. And it's because it was in a spot that was further away from Jerusalem, which was the center of Jewish worship, and was at a spot where there was more gentile representation, which might be part of why there's this emphasis. Jesus didn't withdraw to Galilee because he was like, I want to go to the place where it's easiest and most receptive to me. He went to a place that was darker and more difficult, and that's where he was serving and ministering in a place of darkness, light has dawned.

Dan Franklin: [00:11:37] I want to pause real quick and just talk about the darkness because some of you right now feel like in your life you are experiencing darkness. And when we're in the dark, I feel like there are three things that make the dark really hard for us. Number one, in the darkness there is uncertainty. Amen? If you've been in a dark place and you're like, I don't know where the coffee table is, I don't know what's in my way, I don't know what danger is out there, there's just the uncertainty. And some of you right now are at a point in your life where you're like, I don't know what God is doing, I don't know what's happening with me, I don't know how I'm going to pay the bills, I don't know what the future holds, and it's scary that you're in the darkness. The darkness is scary because of uncertainty.

Dan Franklin: [00:12:21] And in the darkness, we also experience fear, which sometimes just goes along with the uncertainty, but people will say that they're afraid of the dark because in the dark we don't know what's going on. For some of you right now, fear has a grip on your life, and it just feels like it's dark all around you. You're afraid about your marriage. You're afraid about your kids. You're afraid about where the country is going. Fear is just ruling you and it is a dark time.

Dan Franklin: [00:12:45] The third thing that we experience in the darkness is we experience loneliness. In the dark, it wouldn't matter if there were a whole bunch of people with you, it feels lonely. And some of you right now feel like you're in the darkness of just loneliness. I'm not going to ask for a show of hands, but I know that there are some of you in here that as I'm talking about this, this is where you're at, you're like, this is dark. And you might be tempted to think, well, if I'm in the darkness, this isn't where Jesus is, I got to get out of this darkness and get to the place where Jesus is. Jesus loves going into the darkest places and shining the light. If you're in the darkness right now, don't think that Jesus is saying I'm going to wait till they get into the light. Jesus loves to shine the light into the darkest places. In fact, this whole passage is about Jesus coming to us, not us coming to Him. So if you're in the darkness right now, don't buy the lie of Satan for a moment that Jesus isn't walking towards you, He loves to shine light into dark places.

Dan Franklin: [00:13:49] But in verse 17 of this passage, we get the message that Jesus preaches. And it's not a one-time message, it's an ongoing message and it's a simple one. It says, "From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is the one sentence that really, in all the Gospels sums up what Jesus proclaimed. Two parts, repent, we'll talk more about this in the middle section today because we actually get some examples, but repent means to turn away from something and to turn toward something else. Repent. And why repent? For the kingdom of heaven has come near.

Dan Franklin: [00:14:30] Now we're going to be talking about the kingdom all throughout the gospel of Matthew, but in short, the kingdom of heaven, or as it sometimes is called, the Kingdom of God, it's the same thing, it's the same idea is a description of what it's like when God is ruling. And so it's something, it's this weird concept where, well, the kingdom is present anywhere that God is ruling. And so in our church today, we say, well, this is a manifestation of God's kingdom to the degree to which we are living with God as king, but there's a promise that there's going to be a future time when God will bring his kingdom in its fullness. And so Jesus is sort of living in the in-between of that right now, he doesn't say sort of the kingdom is here in the fullest way it will ever be here, but he says the kingdom of heaven has come near. It's similar to what the prophecy said about the light has dawned on the kingdom. And does anybody want to know why the kingdom had come near? Yeah, the kingdom had come near because the king was there. When Jesus says the kingdom has come near, it's because the king was walking around on the earth at that moment. And here's what I want us to really get as we get into the Gospel of Matthew; the message of Jesus is ultimately a message where he invites us to himself. Jesus's message is not primarily about ethics and morals and ideas and practices and rituals, Jesus' message is welcoming us to himself, the message is a man, the message is him.

Dan Franklin: [00:16:08] We're going to get into the Sermon on the Mount later on, next month, right after Easter. And we're going to hear Jesus do something audacious, he's going to refer back to the Old Testament and he's going to say, you have heard it said, but I say to you. Who in the world does this guy think he is? He's saying to the Jews, you've heard it said in the Old Testament scriptures, but here's what I'm saying to you. Don't believe anybody who says Jesus was just a good teacher. that's not what a good teacher does. He says, you've heard this, but I want you to listen to everything that I'm telling you to do. In fact, he ends the Sermon on the Mount by saying the difference between wisdom and foolishness is whether or not people listen to my words and do what I say. Later on in Matthew 10, Jesus is going to say, anybody who confesses me before other people, I'll confess them before my Father in heaven. He says, anyone who denies me before other people, I'll deny him before my Father in heaven. Who in the world does he think he is? Could you imagine if I said this to all of you, if I got up and I said, you know the difference between heaven and hell, the difference between your standing with God is what you think of Dan Franklin? So you better be good to me because otherwise, you're not going anywhere. You could have never heard of Dan Franklin. You could think Dan Franklin is a jerk. I hope you don't. But it doesn't matter what you think of me, that has no bearing on your standing with God. But Jesus says that what we think of him has the ultimate bearing on our standing with God. Who in the world does he think he is? You know who he thinks he is? He thinks he's the king. The kingdom has drawn near because the king is near, and Jesus is inviting us. And I really hope you hear this. nothing is more important than knowing Jesus, because in Jesus we have the ultimate word of God, in Jesus, we have the invitation not just to believe in a system of ethics and not just to believe in a framework for reality. In Jesus, we have the invitation to believe in a living, breathing person who came to reveal God to us, who came to die for our sins, and who came to be raised to new life. In Jesus, a kingdom has come.

Dan Franklin: [00:18:25] But by the way, here's the last thing I want to say before moving on to the middle section here. the mission of Jesus. When you're facing trials, if you're off at college and your faith is being assaulted, if you're facing these things and where you're looking to fall back on is to say, no, I'm going to hold on to the fact that my parents taught me this. It's not going to hold up. If what you're going to hold on to is no, I want to do the right thing, for some of you that will hold up for a while. Have some of you noticed you can get a real hit by just believing that you're better than other people? So that might hold you on for a while. If you say no, I'm going to hold on because this gives me a framework for reality, you're on sinking sand. But if your response is to say, no, I know Jesus, nothing's going to move you. Second Timothy chapter 1, the last letter that Paul wrote. He's talking about his suffering. He's talking about his imprisonment. And he gets right to the point where you think what he's going to say is, but it's okay because I know what I believe, but he doesn't say that. He says it's going to be okay because I know whom I believe, there's nothing that's more important than knowing Jesus.

Dan Franklin: [00:19:37] And in this very message, Jesus invites us not just to an idea, He invites us to Himself. That's His message, and now in verses 18 through 22, we get His mission, and I'll show it to you in these verses, but I'll summarize it for you first. The mission of Jesus is to make disciples who end up making disciples. The mission of Jesus is to go and get lost people and rescue them and then equip them to go and get more lost people so that they'll be brought to Jesus, and we see Him do this twice in these verses. In verses 18 through 20, we see the first one, it says, "As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” That is disciples making disciples, I'm going to call you to be my disciples. I'm going to send you out to make more disciples.

Dan Franklin: [00:20:44] Verse 20, "At once they left their nets and followed him.". They are in the middle of their workday, in the middle of fishing, and they leave their profession and follow him. Almost the same thing happens in the next verses, 21 and 22, "Going on from there, he saw two other brothers." Jesus liked to do things in pairs here, it's like Andrew and Simon come follow me, and James and John come follow me. "Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him." Two sets of brothers that Jesus goes and gets, he doesn't wait for people to come to Him, He goes and gets them and they follow Him.

Dan Franklin: [00:21:33] And I want to highlight a couple of things that you probably noticed, the first is this, I want to highlight the immediacy of the response. He goes to Simon and to Andrew in the middle of their work week, in the middle of what they're doing to bring in income, and it says, at once they left their nets and followed him. In verse 22, he goes to James and John, seemingly when they're right at the beginning of about to start their workday, because they're mending their nets, they're getting all set up. And it says, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.

Dan Franklin: [00:22:11] Last night we were reading these verses as a family just in preparation for today, and we were all talking about what we saw. And my son Jack just pointed out, he's like, can you imagine just leaving if some random guy just shows up and is like, come follow me? Like, this is huge. Now, Jesus would have been known to them, he wouldn't have been completely a random guy, they would have known him. Also, I want you to get this because it ties into the first point, rabbis would call disciples to follow them. You know who normally didn't make the cut of being called to be a rabbi's disciples, fishermen, this was the only offer they were going to get, and it was from the Son of God, and they immediately followed.

Dan Franklin: [00:22:56] And I want to point out something else that you probably see also in these verses, they left things behind, this is why I said earlier, this is a picture of repentance. With repentance, we're leaving something behind to turn to Jesus. And it ratchets up, because at first, it's Simon and it's Andrew, and they're leaving behind their nets. And then it gets even a little bit more intense with James and John because they're leaving behind their boat and their father to follow him. They're willing to leave behind what is most central to their lives in order to follow Jesus, that's a picture of repentance.

Dan Franklin: [00:23:35] Have you ever been in a conversation with somebody who's thinking about if they want to become a Christian, and they ask some version of the question, well, if I become a Christian, can I still? Has anybody experienced that? Some of you are like, well, that was me, that's not somebody else. Some of you are like, I'm a Christian and I still ask that question. If I'm a Christian, can I? If I'm a Christian, can I still keep the same job that I have right now? If I'm a Christian, can I still keep the same girlfriend, the same boyfriend, or do I have to break up with them? If I'm a Christian, am I still going to be allowed to live in the United States, or am I going to be told that I need to be a missionary somewhere? If I'm a Christian, can I still be a gun owner? If I'm a Christian, can I still vote the same way I've always voted? If I'm a Christian, can I? And what I want to say is I think most of us, probably most of us in here, if somebody asks us this, are strong leaning, is to find a way to say yes. Then we're going to want to say, yeah, yeah, there are lots of Christian bankers, you don't have to quit your job. Yeah, there are lots of Christians who are married, you don't have to not get married. Yeah, there are lots of Christians who live in the United States, you don't have to go overseas. We want to say yes. Here's what I want to tell you right now, the answer to the question of if I'm a Christian, can I still is always no.

Dan Franklin: [00:24:50] I want you to take a deep breath and I want you to soak that in, the answer is always no. And here's why it's always no, we come to Jesus, we are leaving everything behind. Now, these fishermen, by the accounts of the gospels, apparently still were fishermen. This didn't signify that they were never again fishermen by profession, but if they had said to Jesus, hey, we'll follow you, but can we still be fishermen? Do you know what he would have said? He would have said no. There's somebody later on in the gospels that says to Jesus, hey, I want to follow you, but first, can I go say goodbye to my family? And you know what Jesus says? Jesus says no. And it's baffling to us, we're like, why would you do that? It's because Jesus is showing us if we are going to follow him, we need to be ready to leave everything behind. He may end up having you in that same job. He may end up having you marry that person that you're dating right now. But if you're coming to Jesus and you're saying, I'm only coming, if I can still hold on to this, then you're not actually coming to Jesus.

Dan Franklin: [00:25:58] And there is, I have the privilege of doing weddings and I love getting to officiate weddings. And typically near the end of the vows, every time I do the wedding, there's a part of the vows that you say to both the groom and the bride, it's getting right towards the end, and you say, forsaking all others to keep myself only for you. And what I want to say is, I've never done a wedding where somebody has said, whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on at that point. Like, I've never had a groom be like, oh, now, now wait, I mean, are you saying I could never go to coffee with a woman again? Are you saying I could never text a woman again? And if he were to say that some of us might be like well, no, it's not all that. What we'd really need to say is, yes, that's what it means, that's what it means. Maybe you can, but if you're holding on to that and you're saying, no, I'm not marrying her unless I can still text all the girls that I know otherwise, you're not getting married to her. I remember when I married Karina, and I remember that whole idea, you know, forsaking all others to keep myself only for you. And I want to tell you, what was on my mind was not all the many women out there that I no longer would have possibilities with, all that was on my mind is I'm getting Karina; I get her, I get to marry her, she's going to be my wife, I'm going to be her husband, we're going to build this life together. Sometimes we get too focused on the question of what we're called to leave behind, and I don't want us to miss what we're getting. James and John and Peter and Andrew are like, I don't care if I never fish again, I don't care because I get Jesus. Do you have Jesus? Are you glad you have Jesus? If you have Jesus, you have eternal life, you have the forgiveness of sins, and you have the good shepherd of the sheep who is walking with you and leading you, who cares what you've left behind? You have Jesus. And if you reach a point in your life where you find yourself wrestling with the cost of your faith, what is going to make you hold on is not that you're like, but my faith explains reality to me. What's going to make you hold on is if you say I have Jesus and if I have Jesus, I don't need anything else. The mission of Jesus is to save sinners and to bring them into the family, and we do that through abandoning everything else, and we only do that if we truly believe that there's nothing more important than knowing Jesus.

Dan Franklin: [00:28:29] Finally, we get to the last section here, we get the might of Jesus. And if some of you are like, did you say the might of Jesus just to make all three words M's? Kind of, but this works and you're going to see it. We get to see the strength and power of the Lord Jesus, his might, in these last three verses. So verse 23 says, "Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom..." So the same message, repent for the kingdom has come near, "...and healing every disease and sickness among the people." Hold on to that because look where he's about to go in verse 24, "News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. 25Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, g Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him."

Dan Franklin: [00:29:30] Now one note before the main thing, it talked earlier about Syria and then talks about the Decapolis in verse 25 this is another preview of the fact that Jesus has gone to Galilee of the Gentiles, His reach is already extending beyond the Jewish people. He is breaking down ethnic and racial barriers, and religious barriers, he is calling all sorts of people to himself. That is part of the might of Jesus, that we don't need a separate savior for separate people, we have one savior for all of us.

Dan Franklin: [00:30:01] But you also probably noticed that in verse 24, after already saying he healed every kind of disease, Matthew goes into painstaking detail to seem to list off the different kinds of healings that Jesus doled out. "They brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed." Do you feel like, did Matthew really need to do that? Couldn't he have just said all kinds of sick people came and he healed them? But he names off all sorts of different categories of people, and I think this is why he's doing this. He wants us to see that in Jesus, Jesus never once encountered a trauma that he couldn't heal. He wasn't just good with paralyzed people, he was good with sick people. And he wasn't just good with sick people, he was good with people in pain. And he wasn't just good with people in pain, he was good with people who were demon-possessed. And he wasn't just good with people who were demon-possessed, he was good with people who were having seizures. He's trying to cover every element, there was never a problem that Jesus came up against that was too big for him to heal.

Dan Franklin: [00:31:15] Eventually, we're going to get to a passage where Jesus is on a boat out in the sea and there's wind and waves around him and he wakes up, which is kind of cool because he was sleeping through it. His disciples wake him up and they're like, do something about it. He's like, all right. He gets up, tells the wind what to do, tells the waves what to do, and they do it. Jesus never encountered a situation that he couldn't handle. Later on, Jesus encounters a little girl who has just died while he was on his way to try to heal her. And he says to the father, don't be afraid, just believe. Because he shows up, and even the fact that death has already come doesn't stop Jesus from producing the healing. Some of you right now, you are facing things in your life that you feel like this is beyond me, this is beyond me to fix this thing that's broken inside of me, I can't stop sinning in this way, I can't stop failing in this way. Some of you are like, our marriage is broken beyond what we can fix, we've tried, and we can't put it back together, it's outside of our power. Some of you, right now, you're dealing with a financial problem or a physical problem, and you're like, I don't know what to do, I can't fix this. You can't fix this, but you know the one who can. Jesus never encountered a situation that he walked away from and said, that's too much for me. Every disease, every illness, every paralytic, everyone, Jesus had the power to heal. And what I want you to know is right now, when you're in the darkness, right now, when you're in a situation, you're like, I just don't see a way out of this, Jesus has never met a situation that he didn't see the way out of.

Dan Franklin: [00:32:55] You know, lately, we've been experiencing a lot of grief in our church family. Just this past weekend, we had two memorial services, and it feels like we've been doing that for a while. Some of you are in here and maybe you're not even part of the grief that I'm thinking of, but you are experiencing grief and you are experiencing deep hurt in some way. What I want you to know is if you have Jesus, you have the Great Healer, you have the one that never met a disease and never met a problem that he couldn't fix. And sometimes we follow up and we ask the question, well, then why doesn't he? Like, why doesn't he just do it? Why am I still sick? Why am I still heartbroken? Why am I still dealing with this? We even have the thorn in the flesh passage with the apostle Paul, where he's crying out to God and saying, please heal me. And Jesus is saying to him basically, no. If there's anything in your life right now that you're saying, why isn't Jesus just healing me or fixing this very obvious problem? The answer is always that if he's not immediately fixing the more obvious problem, it's because he's busy fixing a much more important problem. He didn't heal Paul from the thorn in the flesh because he was dealing with a much deeper problem of his pride, and Jesus is all about healing the deepest parts of ourselves. If there's anything in your life that isn't going the way that you think it's going, it's not because Jesus is incapable, he is the Great Healer, and he has all the might and the power in the world. If there's anything that you're dealing with that's not going how you think it should be going, it's because the Great Healer is doing a healing that's even deeper than the one, you're asking for.

Dan Franklin: [00:34:44] Friends, there's nothing more important than knowing Jesus. There's nothing more important than knowing Him and His message, where He invites us not just to an idea, but to Himself. There's nothing more important than knowing Him and His mission, where He invites sinners to come to him, lost people, to come to Him, and to be healed and forgiven. And there's nothing more important than knowing Jesus in his might and in his strength and in his power and having full confidence that nothing is outside of his control. When you're facing a trial, when you're at the end of yourself, when you're suffering, when you're doubting, when you're plagued with arguments, you're not going to be falling back on the apologetics book that you read five years ago. You're going to be falling back on the question of do I know Jesus, and can I trust Jesus.

Dan Franklin: [00:35:39] Now I want to do something right now to invite not only some thoughtfulness and response later on, as we say, but what do I do about this? But to invite something right now in the moment. And I'll tell you what we're going to do, and then I'll invite us to do it, But in a few moments, I'm going to invite some of you, for some of you, I believe this message, this passage, is timely and you need to respond to Jesus in a timely way. And so in a few minutes, I'm going to invite some of you for a variety of different reasons to stand up, to stand up if you're at a point here, like, yeah, right now I'm hurting, right now I'm in darkness, right now I'm holding on to something that I need to leave behind, and to be brave enough to stand. And then what I'm going to ask us to do is, it's going to be a moment for us church family, I'm going to ask those who are around just to be bold and to gather around them. You don't need to know their story, you don't need to know their name, you're not going to have a conversation before, you're just going to gather around them, put an arm on their shoulder and just pray for them because the Lord is at work.

Dan Franklin: [00:36:42] So here's what I want to do now, I'm going to invite some of you just today, right now, to stand because today is an important day for you. And so here are some reasons why you might stand. You might stand if you're at a point where you're saying, I am just in the darkness. I don't know what's coming next. I don't know what God is doing. I don't know why things are happening the way that they're happening. I'm scared. I'm uncertain. I don't know what's going on. And I need the light of Jesus, I need to believe that I can trust him. Some of you are going to stand because you're in the darkness and you just need to know that you can trust Jesus and you need brothers and sisters to pray for you. Some of you I'm going to invite to stand because you're at the point that you're saying, you know what, I know that there's stuff I need to leave behind, but I think I'm looking more at what I'm leaving behind than what I'm getting in Jesus. And I'm having a hard time, I don't want to leave behind this sin, I don't want to leave behind this relationship. I know that Jesus is calling me, but I don't want to do it. Some of you are going to stand because you need help with the courage and the conviction to walk away from things that you need to walk away from because you know what you're gaining in Jesus. And for some of you, you're going to stand because the way that you're going to respond is by saying, I have something in my life that is not getting fixed unless Jesus fixes it. It might be physical, it might be marital, it might be my own sin, it might be my own doubts, it might be my own problems, it might be my own trauma, but there's something that's not getting fixed unless Jesus is fixing it. And if that's you, I'm going to invite you to stand so that people can gather around you and pray for you. If you fit into one of those three categories of people, I'm going to ask you to be bold enough and courageous enough, right now, I'm not going to ask you to come forward, I'm just going to ask you to stand where you are right now so that we can have a moment of praying for you. So if that's you, go ahead and stand where you are.

Dan Franklin: [00:38:38] Awesome. Thank you. Awesome.

Dan Franklin: [00:38:46] Believe me, this isn't one of those times where I'm thinking every person in here is supposed to stand. But I'm not going to rush through this because I believe that there are some of you right now who are like, I don't want to do it, but I should. I don't want to rush and have us miss somebody that's like, I need to do this right now.

Dan Franklin: [00:39:05] Awesome. Thank you.

Dan Franklin: [00:39:10] All right church family, it's our time. You don't need to know their name, you don't need to know why they stood, you don't need to know anything about it. If you're close to somebody who's standing, move toward them right now. Gather around them and just start praying. I'm going to leave some minutes for this, then I'm going to pray for us and close our service. But if there's anyone close to you standing, gather around them, let's let them know that they're not alone. Let's be the hands of Jesus to people who need this right now.

Dan Franklin: [00:40:54] Father God, I'm always struck by the idea that you can hear every one of these prayers out loud and silent. You hear our heart cries, you hear our weak prayers that we don't think are very good, you hear these. Father, I pray for each one of us here. I pray, especially for those who took the step to stand, and Father, I pray that you flood them with such healing, such assurance of your presence, such conviction of your goodness, and such assurance of your power that they will walk in greater joy and greater assurance of you.

Dan Franklin: [00:41:30] Father, I pray that you protect each one of us, we have enemies, we have the devil, the flesh, and the world looking to pull us away from you; lead us to cling to you, not simply because we believe that your ideas are good, but because we believe in you. Father, lead us to be a church where Jesus is exalted, and lead us to be sheep who trust the voice of our good shepherd. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen.

Dan Franklin: [00:42:02] And I'm going to invite all of us to stand right now. Before I read a word of benediction, I just want to say for some of you who stood or for some of you who didn't stand, the next thing that's going to be good for you to do is to come forward and get prayed for again. Because we're going to have some elders and pastors and prayer team members up here, and if you're sort of like, that was wonderful, I need some help, I need to talk to somebody, I need a next step, we're going to be up here ready for you. But what I want to read, I want to read just the very last sentence, the very last thing that Jesus says in the entire gospel of Matthew, the one-sentence reminder that he gives all of us, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Amen? Amen. God bless you, and Jesus be with you this week.



Recorded in Upland, California.
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Life Bible Fellowship Church
2426 N Euclid Ave
Upland, California 91786
(909) 981-4848