2-2-8-2-Miracles/Science


2-2-8-Miracles-Science

OK!  You may be able to explain away the contradictions in the Bible, but how, can miracles and science interrelate.  Let us take a look at a “scientific law.”  For example, lets take the law of gravity.

The Law of Gravity was stated for the very first time in the year 1665 by the great English scientists, Sir Isaac Newton.  It is said that one day…  Newton saw an apple fall from a tree in his garden.

After watching the apple fall, Newton began to think about the direction in which the apple had fallen.  In what direction did the apple fall?

As Newtonn watched more of the apples fall he thought about what he was watching and asked himself a very simple question: “Why don’t the apples fall some other direction besides down?  As a result of this, Isaac Newton stated the “law” of Gravity which explains why an apple, or any other object always falls toward the center of the earth.  The weight of the earth attracts the weight of the apple.  Having come to this conclusion, Newton was then able to explain a great deal about the moment of the sun, the moon, and the planets.

The “Law” of Gravity does not cause apples to fall.  Instead it describes the fact that apples and all other objects do fall towards the center of the earth.

So it is with all scientific “laws”.  Scientific “laws” do not cause things to happen, they merely the fact that they do actually happen.

Scientific “Laws” do not cause something to happen in nature, there must be some other cause for natural happenings.  Read each of the following Bible references and answer the questions below.

  1. Matthew 5:45.  Why does the sun rise.  Because makes it rise.

  2. Matthew 5:45.  Why does it rain?  Because makes it rain.

The Bible gives many other examples of how God causes the things in nature to operate the way they do.  Read the references below and complete the sentences by filling in the blanks.  In each case, they state a part of the natural world which is kept functioning by God.

  1. Psalm 147:8.  It is God who covers the sky with , supplies the earth with , and makes the to grow.

  2. Psalm 147:16.  God makes the fall and causes the .

  3. Psalm 148:8.  Lightening and , and , as well as the stormy that do his bidding.

  4. Isaiah 40:26.  God brings out the and because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them  is .

Read Hebrews 1:3.

According to the phrase in the middle of this verse, how many things are upheld by the power of the Lord?

The sun, the stars, the grass, and even apples, in fact, everything which exists in the natural world behaves as it does because:

Now we can draw an important conclusion: It is who is the First Cause of ALL “natural happenings.”

Because God is completely faithful and constant, He makes the “natural” world to react in a normal way to the fixed and unchanging principles that He has established.  God governs the different parts of the universe.

  1. Job 28:26.  God has given “law” and “way” to control the rain, lightening, and the thunder.

  2. Jeremiah 5:24.  God keeps established times for the harvest.

  3. Jeremiah 31:35.  God has given “law” to the sun, moon, and stars so they will give their light in an orderly way.

God is faithful to keep the natural world working in this way.

If God would not keep the natural world operating as it does, Isaac Newton’s apples would have flown off in every direction!  In other words, modern science is based upon the fact that God makes the universe and the natural world work in a constant and regular way.

He does this because He is Himself faithful and constant.  He does not change.  Let’s thank God for this!  We can trust Him and His faithfulness in the natural world.

Read Psalm 135:6

Can God do anything that He wants or can He only do some things?

Now read Daniel 4:35

Who can stop the Lord from doing as He pleases?

In normal circumstances God causes the natural world to operate in an orderly way.  Does God have to do this?  Must God always do everything in the way that he has established for a normal world? .

You mean that Scientific “Laws” aren’t really laws which God MUST follow in the Natural World?  That’s right scientific “laws” do not cause natural happenings, they only describe what normally does happen in the natural world.  Scientific “laws” can not stop nature from acting in another way if God wants it to.

So, when an unbeliever says: “Science has proven that miracles like Jesus does in the Bible are impossible,” how would you answer him?  The answer is: “Miracles are possible!  Scientific “Laws” only describe what normally goes on in nature.  They cannot and do not place upon God.

Be careful!  This does not mean that God can do anything!  There are things which are completely outside what God wants to do.  For example:

  1. Read 2 Timothy 2:13.  God cannot

  2. Read Titus 1:2.  God cannot

Therefore:

  • God cannot do something unjust: That would be to deny His own righteous nature.

  • God cannot leave a single promise without fulfillment: That would be lying.

  • God cannot go against his own nature.

Where do scientific “laws” come from?  Man watch nature and then state them.

Read Luke 4:28-30.  In this episode a crowd surrounds Jesus in order to push Him over the cliff.  Verse 30 simply states that Jesus “went His way.”  It does not explain whether or not Jesus escaped through a miracle or whether it was the force of His own personal and moral authority which allowed Him to do this.  John 18:6 is a similar example.

For the same reason, it is not surprising that God often does things which are clearly miraculous through the use of “natural” means.

Here are some examples.

  1. In Exodus 10:12-19, the plague of locust is said to be a m9iracle.  In verse 13, the Bible tells us that God brought the locust using a “natural” means.  In this case, a that blew all day and night.  Then, verse 19 states again that God took them out of Egypt lay means of a

  2. Israel has looked back at their escape from Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea on dry ground as the greatest miracle of their history.  Nevertheless, according to Exodus 14:21, God made thee waters separate through the use of a “natural” means, again it was a strong which blew all night.

  3. According to 1 Kings 17:6, God provided both bread and meat for Elijah during a drought by the use of another “natural” means.  This time it was by means of some

In each of the cases above, God used a means to perform a .

It is possible that other miracles in the Bible happened in a similar way.  For example, the destruction of the walls of Jericho might have been the result of an earthquake as a “natural” means.  Even if this had been the case, it would still be a miracle.  Not only would this earthquake have happened at just the right time, but it also left the house of Rehab and her family standing alone out of the entire city.

  1. Regardless of the fact that God can make use of “natural” means to perform a miracle, not only miracles but all “natural” happenings are the work of .

  2. No matter how these things occurred, no matter how God chose to do them, who ought to receive the glory?

  3. If a sick person is healed in answer to prayer without the use of any human remedy, who deserves the glory?

  4. If a sick person is healed in answer to prayer, but he has also been under the care of a doctor, who healed? , who deserves the praise?

When apparent “natural” means are used by God to perform a miracle, it is necessary to distinguish between: means that are used to work the miracle and actions or things which are used as signs or symbols.

The references below give examples of miracles Jesus performed using a sign or a symbol.

  1. Matthew 8:3, 15; 9:29-touching the sick person.

  2. Matthew 8:13 – by speaking to them.

  3. Matthew 9:6 – ordering the sick to do something which he could not do before.

  4. Matthew 9:20 – being touched by the sick one.

  5. Luke 17:14 sending the person to do something as a sign of his trust in Christ.

How can you apply what you know about the different ways Jesus healed to your own life and to your ministry?  Write your ideas down.

We must remember that the greatest miracles which Jesus performed were these: His Incarnation, His Resurrection, His Ascension!

Science, when it is rightly understood, is not an obstacle to our faith.  It can actually strengthen faith because it is really a description of the wonderful ways God has made the natural world.  When Science shows how wonderful the world is, it also shows how great our God is!

Discipleship

Goals:

  1. Using Matthew 8 and 9, Identify four different kinds of discipleship, give an example from the Bible of each and discuss the importance of faithful and mature discipleship for the student’s own ministry.

  2. Take part in a discussion of Jesus’ teaching about fasting and its importance for modern believers.

  3. List the names of Jesus’ twelve apostles and tell the significance of the number “12”.

  4. Take part in a discussion of the three stages of the ministry of Peter, Andrew, James and John, and the importance of this for the training of leadership within the local congregation.

  5. Discuss the importance of Jesus’ sending the disciples out to minister Two-By-Two (Matthew 10) in the light of the ministry or the local church and tell how believers can face persecution.

  • Hurried Discipleship – Matthew 8:18-20

  • Indecisive Discipleship – Matthew 8:21-22

  • Faithful Discipleship – Matthew 9:9-13

  • Anxious Discipleship – Matthew 9:14-17

Before we study the calling and teaching of the 12 apostles in Matthew 10, we are going to look at the whole matter of discipleship.  Remember that this was the secondary theme of Matthew 8 & 9.

Read Matthew 8:18-22

  1. How many candidates for discipleship are mentioned here?

  2. Who was the first candidate? Mathew 8:18-20

  3. What verses do we find the story of the other disciple?

We are going to be using all of the techniques of Bible study in the rest of the lesson.

Interpretation

What was a teacher of the law?

  1. Experts in the Old Testament.

  2. Interpreted the law of Moses and many human traditions.

  3. Friends of the Pharisees

Read Matthew 8:19-20

Observation

Each of the two candidates for discipleship in this passage had a serious fault.  One of them was in so much of a hurry that he didn’t think about the cost of discipleship before following Jesus Christ.  The other candidate could not make up his mind.  He was so indecisive that he stayed at home rather than take the risk of following Jesus?

Which of the two, the Teacher of the law or the Other Disciple was in so much of a hurry that he did not take into account the full meaning of following Jesus?

Read Luke 14:27-33

Comparison

In the episode in Luke’s Gospel of Jesus gives two examples of the dangers of Hurried discipleship.  The examples pointed out the foolishness of trying to follow the Lord without first counting the cost.  here is 2 examples from Luke 14:

  1. A person who begins to build a tower without adding up the money needed.

  2. A King who goes to war without recruiting the necessary men for his army.

Application

  1. What kind of comforts can a disciple of Jesus Christ expect, according to Matthew 8:20?

  2. According to Luke 14:33, what does Christ expect from you, His disciple?

  3. Read Luke 14:27.  If you want to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, you must carry your .  In the light of what we have studied so far this can only mean that you must be willing to .

How fully have you considered the cost of following Jesus Christ?  For instance, some everyday examples are given below?

  1. I will help my neighbor even though I know he will take advantage of me.

  2. There is a real need here.  I’m going to give this money to the Lord rather than buying that new shirt.

  3. It’s late and I’m really tired tonight, but I must finish this lesson tonight and get ready for the discussion class tomorrow evening.

  4. I’d really rather watch the football game with you but I think I better finish getting ready to speak to the people at prayer meeting tomorrow night!

  5. I know it is an extra burden on the family, but we will still offer those visitors a place to stay tonight.

Those are just a few of the ordinary kinds of things involved in counting the cost.  What other practical steps can you take in your own life to give yourself more effectively to the Lord:

The Other Disciple

Read Matthew 8:21-22

Observation

The second candidate for discipleship in this passage is just the opposite of the scribe.  He wanted to put off following Christ until after the death of his father, even though there is nothing to say that his father was sick at the time.  This other candidate for discipleship.  He could not make up his mind.

  1. What was the fault of this candidate for discipleship?  He was

  2. What was the cause of this?

Matthew 10:37 gives us an important principle about discipleship.  It shows one of the biggest reasons why people are indecisive about following Jesus.  What is this reason?

In the list below are some things which keep people from following Jesus.  From this list choose those things which have been a problem to you and write them in the box.  Can you think of some other  things which may be an obstacle to your complete surrender to the Lord?  Write them in the box also.

  • Desire for money

  • One’s family

  • Desire for more education

  • Sports

  • The latest fashions

  • Movies or television

  • A girl or boyfriend

  • Other amusements

  • Bad personal habits

  • Political beliefs

  • Peer Pressure

It is very important to spend some time in prayer right now about these matters.  This is a time for a prayer of confession and a prayer of petition, asking the Lord to give you complete victory over these things in your life.

Interpretation

Now we come to the story of the call of Matthew.  Before reading this section, I want you to recall everything you have learned about Matthew.  In the space below write a brief summary of the things we have learned.

Now Read Matthew 9:9-13

  1. Where was Matthew working?

  2. Who called to him: “Follow Me”?

  3. What well-paying job did Matthew leave in order to follow Jesus?

  4. What was Matthew’s other name?

Matthew’s own account of his calling to follow the Lord is quite modest.  In his own gospel he tells only that he sat down at the table with some of his old friends.  However, Luke tells the story from a different point of view.  What does Luke say about it?  That Matthew held a great for Jesus.

Based upon what you know about Matthew, and the story in the Synoptics, who were all of these old friends?  They were and .

The Gospels do not tell us exactly why Matthew gave this banquet.  However, we can assume that He wanted to honor Jesus and that he wanted his old friends to hear the Master speak.  he probably expected them to respond in the same way that he had done.

Do you remember what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount about His disciples penetrating the world like “salt” and “light” (in the Statutes of Responsibility)?

  1. Which of the three disciples we have studied so far were like salt and light?

  2. In what way was he like salt and light?

There were those who misunderstood Matthew’s motive.  They assumed that he and Jesus just wanted to enjoy the company of worldly people.

  1. Who accused Matthew and Jesus of wanting to be with worldly people?

  2. How did Jesus answer His accusers?  “It is not the who need a but the .

  3. And, who were the ones Jesus said were “sick”?  Look at Matthew 9:13.

John’s Disciples

Read Matthew 9:14-17.

It was so surprising to some that Jesus, a respectable teacher, would eat with tax collectors and sinners, that the news of this reached the ears of some of the disciples of .

Let’s review what we know about John the Baptist.

  1. Where was John during this year of Jesus’ ministry?

  2. What did John the Baptist eat in the desert?

  3. Where did John preach?

  4. How did he dress?

Problems answering, check out Matthew 3:1-4.

John’s disciples must have been thinking about the hard life that their own master had lived and compared that to the picture of Jesus sitting at the table with tax collectors and sinners.

Read Matthew 9:14.  What did John’s disciples ask Jesus about

  1. What were the first three words that they spoke to Christ?

  2. The disciples of John were questioning Jesus’ actions, so they brought their questions and their anxieties to

Perhaps you have heard some say that it is NOT spiritual to have doubts or anxieties in life.  Many people believe this, so they try to hide their own doubts or pretend they never have any at all.

Just the opposite happened in the school of Jesus.  He encouraged His disciples to admit their anxieties; to tell them to Him so they would be solved according to the will of God.

Do you do the same with your worries and anxieties?  We all should!  Why not write them down, so you can find the answers that God has in His Word for all the anxieties of life?

  1. What should a believer NOT do with his doubts and anxieties?

  2. What should be done with them?

Whose disciples took their anxieties to Jesus?

As was Jesus’ usual practice, He answered their questions with two simple illustrations.  What are these two illustrations?

  1. The New wile in old containers

  2. New patch of cloth in old clothing.

Jesus reply to John’s disciples anxiety is interesting.  Take note that Jesus does not deny the importance of fasting.  He only said that fasting should never be done simply as a custom or a dry, meaningless ritual.  Fasting should be practiced in times of deep spiritual importance.  Jesus was talking about Himself when He spoke of the “bridegroom” at the wedding.  What did Jesus mean when He said: “the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them?”  He was talking about His own .

So then, there is both a time for feasting and a time for fasting.  But, the time for fasting is NOT a fixed and unchanging time.  It is not to be done for the purpose of impressing others with our “spirituality” like the Pharisees did.

Jesus answered the questions of John’s disciples by telling them that the message of the kingdom is so revolutionary that it cannot be contained in the human traditions and ideas of the Pharisees.  Rather, it can only be shown in a life that is made by being born again of the .  This is what the illustrations of the new and the new meant.

  1. What would happen to the human traditions of the Pharisees when they tried to fit the teachings of Jesus into them?

  2. What life is the only one which can hold the ideas of the kingdom of God?

In your own words, explain the meaning of the new wine skins and the new piece of cloth.

Read Matthew 9:35-38.

In this section Jesus makes an urgent call for more disciples like Matthew, who was faithful in extending the Kingdom.

  1. What do the ‘harassed” and “helpless” sheep need?

  2. What is needed for the harvest?

Application

  1. To go out and visit non-believers instead of staying with Christians all of the time.

  2. To teach believers so that there are more workers.

  3. To pray that the Lord will raise up more workers.

  4. To preach the message of the gospel ourselves with word and deed.

Testimony

BIO:Jerry McAuley 1839-1884

Jerry McAuley was born in 1839 in County Kerry, Ireland. His father
was a counterfeiter who fled home to escape the law. At the age of 13,
Jerry was sent to America to live with a married sister in New York
City. Soon he was running with a gang on Water Street and was
supporting himself by stealing. Later he was arrested and sentenced to
15 years in Sing Sing Prison.

While in prison, McAuley began to read the Bible in search of
forgiveness for his sins. After reading it through twice, he was
converted to Christ through the efforts of a lady missionary who
visited the prison. His attitude and con- duct changed to the effect
that he was let out of prison in 1864, after serving seven years and
two months.

In October, 1872, McAuley, his wife, and a few helpers opened the
Water Street Mission in the heart of the slum section of New York City.
Night after night, many of the seats were filled with drunks and
tramps, looking for a place to rest and relief from the cold. McAuley’s
mission accepted anyone, regardless of how dirty he looked, how foul he
smelled, or how uncertainly he stood to his feet.

The services of the mission were not limited to the physical needs
of the men, as Gospel meetings were conducted nightly. Singing,
testimonies, and preaching competed with the shouts and noises of the
Water Street slums. The Water Street Mission, under McAuley’s
direction, became an example of Christian compassion for the down and
out. Tens of thou- sands of bums, transients, drunks, and harlots heard
the Gos- pel of Jesus Christ, many of them responding to the invitation.

Although McAuley died in 1884, his influence lives on today through
the work of the mission.

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About georgehach

I am a retired Lay Minister, acting as a prophet for God to understand the end times that is comingg and how to prepare for it.
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