Learning to do what Jesus asks us to do
Reading: Luke 7:11-17
Blanks: heart, touched, gave, God
Have you ever wondered:
“Is God mad at me?”
There was a time when I felt like:
“I feel lost.
Will I ever be restored fully?”
Do you remember King Saul?
He might have felt like that, too.
Because of his disobedience, he totally lost it.
Then later he even tried to kill the person whom God decided to use.
You remember Judas Iscariot.
We may say he totally lost it.
I do not want to be like him.
I don’t want to feel like him.
But anyway, one point I felt regretful and fearful thinking:
“Will God ever restore me and use me like before?
Or because of my mistakes, will I never be able to serve God like before?”
So I was thankful when I felt God was restoring me slowly.
I was thankful when I felt that God seems still speaking to me.
In the time of Jesus, some of Jews might have thought like this.
They have lost their nation to the Roman Empire.
So they might have thought that God was mad at them.
So some people tried desperately to obey all the religious laws.
They thought if they kept these laws, God may love them again and give their nation back.
At the same time, some people were waiting for the Messiah to come and restore their fortune and guide them to live a righteous life.
Then the Messiah came.
He preached about repentance.
He guided them and led them to God.
He preached about forgiveness.
Jesus restored them by helping them to understand what God was expecting from them.
But Jesus the Messiah didn't come to punish them or punish their enemies.
Instead, Jesus guides them to come back to God who loves them.
Then Jesus helps them to have a new spiritual hope.
But then people were evaluating Jesus the Messiah.
They were thinking whether this was what they wanted.
Based on their response, Jesus was changing the direction of his ministry.
At the same time Jesus helped his students to do his ministry.
They trusted that Jesus was training them to do his ministry.
Today we are going to think about what they have learned:
Jesus taught many people.
Many people gathered around him.
But again Jesus felt God was leading him to another town and another town.
God was orchestrating everything from heaven.
Jesus was watching and doing what God the Father was doing in heaven.
So Jesus was constantly traveling to find yet another person to help.
His students knew that's what was happening.
So they followed Jesus everywhere he went.
They left one place with him and went to another.
They learned to leave one place and find another persons whom they could help in the name of Jesus.
They wanted to follow him like that, because Jesus was speaking God’s words and because Jesus was traveling in the power of God.
They wanted to follow Jesus as he led them.
They wanted to watch Jesus and do what he wanted them to do.
And the Holy Spirit helped them.
Other people also followed him, because Jesus was so exciting.
But his students followed him in order to learn to live in the power of God.
Today in our reading, Jesus was heading to a town called Nain.
When Jesus came near the gate of the town Nain, many people came out out of the gate.
They were carrying a dead person.
It was a funeral procession.
Then Jesus looked at the dead man’s mother who was crying.
Then, Jesus said:
At this moment, this mother didn’t have any faith to ask Jesus of anything.
The mother thought that his son was gone.
Just like some churches today feel like there is no hope.
She might have felt there's no hope.
But Jesus loved her and felt compassion for her.
In fact, Jesus came here to give her a new life.
So Jesus touched the coffin!
Those who were holding the coffin stood still.
The funeral procession stopped.
Then people were wondering.
But Jesus knew God wanted to turn this funeral procession into a street celebration.
So Jesus said something like this:
“Young man, I say to you, get up!”
The dead man sat up and began to talk.
This is our Jesus:
Jesus raised the dead.
Jesus gives a new life to a person, to a family, to a church, or to a nation.
So when Jesus comes, we have hope.
When Jesus comes, we have new possibilities in life.
But at this moment do you know what Peter was thinking?
I think Peter was thinking:
“How could Jesus do that?
“How did Jesus know that he could raise this young man from the dead?”
Probably, other disciples were asking the same questions.
Why did they ask this question?
Because they were his students.
And Jesus was their teacher.
What's that mean?
They were traveling with Jesus to watch and learn to be like their teacher.
They were studying under him.
That means, they were learning how Jesus solved human problems.
How did Jesus understand their pain and get involved in their life?
They were praying and learning so that one day they might be able to help people like Jesus.
They wanted to learn.
So when Jesus walked on the water, what did Peter want to do?
Peter wanted to walk like Jesus.
Peter thought that he had to, because he was his student.
Peter thought that he was supposed to walk on water when Jesus walked on water.
He was supposed to do what Jesus was doing.
He was supposed to bring people back to life.
He was supposed to turn this kind of funeral procession into a joyful gathering.
He was supposed to turn sorrow into joy like Jesus.
So at this time, the disciples could not simply rejoice like this mother and other people.
They were wondering: how could Jesus do that?
How could we learn this from Jesus?
How can we be like our teacher?
They understood his life would be their lives.
So they were watching as this kind of miracles showed that God approved of Jesus.
But still they were overwhelmed.
But then later they have done what Jesus was doing:
Remember Peter also raised the dead: (Acts 9:36-42)
The book of Acts says that Tabitha has died.
She was a very faithful lady who helped a lot of people.
So some disciples called Peter to come and raise her from the dead.
When Peter got there, he made people all leave the room.
Then he got down on his knees and prayed.
Then he knew what God wanted to do.
So he turned to her body and said:
“Tabitha, get up!”
Then she opened her eyes and looked at Peter and sat up.
In Acts 20:7-12, Paul also raised the dead.
At that time, Paul also knew that God would raise the dead.
They learned from Jesus to do this kind of ministry.
They learned to do what Jesus was doing.
We are learning too, because we are also the students of Jesus.
We are learning how Jesus could do this.
We are watching how Jesus turned this funeral procession into a party.
We are paying attention to what Jesus is saying so that we may also learn to be his disciples.
May this kind of miracles continually happen in our world.
The students of Jesus also learned this lesson:
One time, the students of Jesus wanted to know how to find out why someone was born blind.
But then Jesus was not interested in teaching them why.
Jesus was not interested in pointing the sin of someone else.
Instead, Jesus was interested in showing them how to heal that person.
So Jesus opened his eyes to see.
So his students learned how to think like his students:
Jesus didn't guide them to analyze the problem.
Jesus guided them to solve the problem in God's way.
Jesus didn't guide them to judge or condemn someone.
Jesus didn't guide them to analyze to find out whose fault it is.
Jesus guide them to relax and solve the problem in the name of Jesus.
Jesus was preventing them doing something else instead of healing.
Because of sins, some people may lost health.
Because of sins, some people may die young.
But Jesus is here to save them from their illness.
And he may use us his student to do that.
We may be supposed to do that.
Why are we supposed to do like this?
Because we are his students.
What does it mean?
We are also called to do what Jesus was doing.
We are called to do what his students were doing.
So we read carefully when Jesus raised the young man from the dead.
We read these miracle stories of Jesus.
We read what Jesus had said and done.
We read carefully to know what he is expecting from us.
Then we may know what is possible.
But then one day the disciples saw Jesus suffered and died.
It was scary.
But then his students knew that they would also suffer and die.
Then Jesus raised himself from the dead.
Jesus their teacher rose again and live a new life.
It was a wake-up call.
It was not a joke.
When they saw Jesus being raised from the dead, his student knew that they would be also raised from the dead.
Because they were his students.
They believed that this was their life.
Now Christians are believing that they could be raised from the dead.
Christians expect this miracles from God.
Because Jesus is the resurrection.
Even though we learn to do what Jesus taught us to do, there are things that we cannot do, even though Jesus has done it.
One example is the ministry of salvation.
Only Jesus the Son of God can receive the punishment of our sins and take away our sins.
Only Jesus could do that.
Because only Jesus is sinless and because he is the Son of God.
Only Jesus can die to take away our sins on the cross.
Other than those, we can do what Jesus taught us to do.
We can do what Jesus taught his students to do.
So let's learn from Jesus and see what can happen in our lives and in the world.
Even today, God does impossible things to help us to pay attention to Jesus.
God is interested in healing people emotionally, physically, mentally and socially.
God is interested in healing people so that they may be well.
God is even interested in helping those who are hurting God’s heart, because they need God’s help.
So many miracles are happening in the name of Jesus.
Those miracles are pointing people to God.
Those miracles are helping people to rejoice in God and understand God.
God wants to help people in the name of Jesus.
God wants to help people to have faith in Jesus.
God wants people to learn from Jesus.
So we are praying with God.
Today, we read Jesus came to help a family.
Jesus entered into their life and created a miracle.
Jesus entered into their lives and brought a divine wellness.
God is entering into our life in the name of Jesus.
So we welcome God into our life.
We welcome God into our daily life.
God wants to be in it.
God wants to show up.
So we praise God and thank God and worship God, as God is still working today.
At the same time, as the disciples of Jesus, let’s learn what Jesus is expecting from us today.
Let’s learn who God is.
Let’s learn how God wants to work with us.
Let’s learn how to live in the name of Jesus.
Jesus, you create miracles in our life.
You are good and do good in our life.
Help us to understand you.
Help us to live obediently.
Help us to show who you are.
Help us to show who you truly are.
We pray in Jesus name.