Picture the scene. We have it in 4:23-25 see how many times it says all or every.
Jesus went throughout Gallilee teaching in the synagogues preaching the good news of the
kingdom and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all
over Syria and people brought to him all you were ill with various diseases those suffering
severe pain, the demon possessed those having seizures and the paralysed and he healed them.
Large crowds from Gallilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan
followed him. Now when he saw the crowds he went up on the mountain side and sat down his
disciples came to him and he began to teach them.
Watching TV this last week, I was confronted by some tragic scenes of parents crying at the death
of children. What an awful time these people were going through. I also know that many here have
also had that same feeling of tragic loss of a loved one.
Today we come to the very familiar passage in
which Jesus deals with the issue of prayer and
specifically he covers prayer from our side and
also from God’s side.
This morning I want to challenge you with the most glorious truth about
the Lord Jesus. Most of you I have never met before, and I know nothing
about you. I don’t know whether you’re a committed follower of Jesus;
or someone who’s interested in finding out more about Him; or you’ve
come because this is what you always do on Sunday mornings; or you’re
here somewhat unwillingly because of pressure or an invitation you
But whatever the reason that brings you here this morning, I’m glad that
you’ve come. For whether you are a keen follower of Jesus or not, there
is a certain truth about the Lord Jesus that I want to turn your attention
The winds obey Him – and now the demons! Mark recounts all the
incidents that built up Peter’s confession in Chapter 8 “You are the
Christ!” Peter was a person who had to struggle towards faith in Jesus
Christ as the Son of God over a period of time. Each incident Peter
witnessed was a hammer blow to his unbelief. Peter found faith hard to
come by! We see what convinced Peter – not just one incident or two, but
a whole flood reaching its crescendo in the feeding of the 4,000 and then
Decapolis: Damascus, Philadelphia (modern Amman), Canatha,
Sythopolis (Beth Shean), Gadara, Pella, Gerasa, Hippos, Dion, Raphana.
Hellenistic cities founded by Alexander the Great’s soldiers. Centres of
Hellenism. A Gentile area.
Faith in Christ rests on credible witnesses.
It all depends on whether you think ordinary people can be credible
witnesses. Without knowing anything much the first century people
involved, we often write them off as credulous country bumpkins. Peter,
the owner of a fishing trawler, is impetuous rather than credulous.
Matthew is well educated and cynical. Paul is well educated and willing
to go to any depths to crush what he considers a dangerous religious sect.
All these men report what changed their minds and hearts convincing
them that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God, our Redeemer – far
more than a religious teacher from the mists of history.
Consider the story: Jesus in the boat, asleep. The storm, the boat filling,
the danger, the fright, the hopelessness – then they wake Jesus – the
sudden calm. Who is this? Who have we come to?
“A picture is worth a thousand words!” A saying of 19th Century
Jesus went on to tell three more Kingdom parables after the Parable of
the Soils with its focus on the mystery of the Kingdom.
People then as now faced many things that pull a person away from faith
in the God of Abraham. These three pictures build a vision of God’s
sovereignty and power that heartens perseverance and hope in our
Tamworth Community Presbyterian Church
PH: 02 6765 2865