Today, we begin a new message series, Doing What Jesus Did. Lately, we’ve been going through the gospel of Luke, verse by verse. If you want to really understand the Bible, there are five books our of the sixty six, that you really need to study.
Those five books are the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and the book of Acts, which is the second part of Luke’s Gospel. Those five books will provide the foundation for understanding all the rest of the Bible, both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Much error in the church today could be eliminated if there was a better understanding of those five essential books. The four Gospels give a complete understanding of Jesus’ ministry and Acts shows how the early church continued Jesus’ ministry in the power of the Spirit. As we’ve been studying the gospel of Luke, we’ve seen that in Jesus’ ministry, He did three main things.
Luke 4:43 (ESV) but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”
The first purpose of Jesus’ ministry was to preach the Gospel about the kingdom of God. There’s a lot of preaching going on in churches today, but not always about the kingdom.
Luke 4:40-41a (ESV) Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many,
The next two things that Jesus’ ministry focused on was healing the sick and casting out of demons. We don’t see a lot of healing miracles today and hardly anyone talks about demons, let alone casts them out. Why don’t we see more of the things that Jesus in America today? Many people conveniently believe that Jesus doesn’t do those kinds of miracles anymore. They were just for the Jesus and the apostles. Let’s look at what Jesus said.
John 14:12 (ESV) “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.
The works that Jesus was talking about were the miracles He did, such as healings and deliverances which were the most common. What happened when Jesus went to the Father? In the book of Acts, we read that Jesus poured out the baptism in the Holy Spirit to give all of His followers the same power of the Spirit that He had.
Today’s message is entitled “Moving in the Supernatural.” As we’ve seen from what Jesus said, God’s desires for you and me to do what Jesus did. To move in the supernatural is to do what the Bible describes as miracles, signs and wonders. The supernatural are things beyond the natural or normal way of life. The supernatural is when the kingdom of God breaks in our natural world. My prayer is that today’s study would help all of us believe Jesus words, that “whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do.” Jesus desires for you to be …
Luke 9:1-2 (ESV) And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.
In the first eight chapters of Luke, Jesus had been doing all the preaching, healing and deliverance from demons. The apostles had been learning and their faith growing from watching Jesus. Now it was their turn to do what Jesus had been doing. He gave them the power and authority of the Spirit to do supernatural things. Then they were sent out to proclaim the good news of the kingdom. And to show that the kingdom was real, through supernatural healing and deliverance. The ministry of the twelve apostles would be exactly the same as Jesus’ ministry.
Luke 9:3-4 (ESV) And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart.
The apostles were to go in faith, trusting God to supply their needs. The way that their needs would be met was through the hospitality and generosity of those who they had ministered to. In each town they came to, God would show them a home that would receive them and supply their needs.
Luke 9:5-6 (ESV) And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.
Yet, not everyone or every town would listen to the message of the kingdom. Rather than staying in that type of situation, they were to leave and shake the dust off their feet as they went. This shaking the dust off their feet was a sign of God’s judgement on that town for not accepting the gospel of the kingdom. The apostles did exactly what Jesus commanded them to do. They preached the gospel and healed people everywhere they went. Healing also involves setting people free from demonic powers. They and we are sent out to bring healing.
A common argument today is that these were the twelve apostles. Just like we’re not Jesus, so we are not one of the twelve apostles, so we can’t expect to do the same things they did. This argument is destroyed in the next chapter, chapter 10, where Jesus sends out 72 other disciples to do the exact same things.
Not only did Jesus teach all of His followers to do the same things He did by watching Him. He sent them out to do it on their own and then come back and report to Him. And these accounts are not just for historical records, they are meant to teach and train us to do the same things.
Not many of us are called to travel and knock on doors to spread the gospel. Yet every follower of Jesus is called to bring healing to those who are sick around us. Every sick person you are aware of should be the focus of your prayers, either in person or virtually. And you should let the person or someone close to them know that you are praying for them. You should also invite those who are sick but able to travel, to come to church to be prayed for as well. You are sent out to bring healing.
Luke 9:11 (ESV) When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing.
Jesus did not relegate all the healing to His apostles. He continued to preach about the kingdom and bring healing to those who were sick. It is not an accident that the gospel of Luke is just full of Jesus’ healing miracles. These accounts are here to build our faith and to teach us to do the same.
Luke 9:12 (ESV) Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.”
Throughout the day, Jesus had been teaching and healing people. Evening was coming and there was no food around where the crowd had gathered. The apostles decided to tell Jesus what to do. Telling Jesus what to do is not a bright thing to do. Jesus doesn’t need anyone to tell Him what to do. That’s something we need to remember. As I was studying this passage, Jesus’ reply jumped out to me.
Luke 9:13 (ESV) But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.”
The disciples told Jesus to send the crowd away. Jesus ignored their request and gave them an instruction. He said “You give them something to eat.”
Before we go on with the story, let me ask you a question. Does Jesus ever tell anyone to do something that can’t be done? No, absolutely not. Everything that Jesus commands us and anyone to do, they can do. In fact, since it is Jesus, they must obey.
Unfortunately, the disciples began to argue with Jesus, not a smart thing to do again. They had all the natural elements figured out. They only had a little bit of food, just enough for one person. The only other option they could think of was to go out and buy food, but they didn’t have enough money to do that. The disciples just didn’t get it
This problem of the hungry crowd was an opportunity for God to do a miracle through the disciples. They could have done it, they just didn’t have the faith yet. They were sent out to do miracles.
So, what does it take for a miracle to happen? First of all there must be a need. Secondly, a person needs to hear from God about meeting that need. Finally, they need to obey God and step out in faith.
In our first point, the disciples obeyed Jesus, went out to heal and miracles happened. In this point, the disciples argued with Jesus and did not step out in faith. We’ll see how Jesus dealt with them in the next point.
God wants each of us to begin to see very problem in life, whether in our life and the life of another person, as an opportunity for a miracle. Seek God for direction as to what to do, Then step out in faith and obedience and trust Him to do the supernatural. Every follower of Jesus has been sent out to do miracles. Let’s believe that we can do what Jesus did. Even when we fail, God is there to help us, as we’ll see in our next point.
Luke 9:14-15 (ESV) For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” And they did so, and had them all sit down.
Since the disciples had no idea what to do to feed this vast crowd of people, Jesus told them what to do. This was a huge crowd. If there were just 5000 men, that meant there were 100 groups of 50 men each. If there were additional women and children, the crowd may have been 15,000. This command did not require anything supernatural, so the disciples obeyed.
Luke 9:16 (ESV) And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.
Pay attention carefully to this verse, for it gives us guidelines for a miracle. First of all, Jesus took what they had, only five loaves and two fish. Only enough for one person, not 5000. Next, Jesus prayed and blessed what they had. Finally, Jesus divided the loaves and the fish and gave them to the disciples to pass out to the crowd. Jesus was teaching the disciples how to do miracles and was involving them in this one.
Luke 9:17 (ESV) And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.
What were the results? Everyone, all 5000, had enough to eat and there was far more left over than what they started with. The miracle provided an abundance of food, more than was even needed. The miracle was a blessing to all who partook. We are sent out to bring blessing as we move in the supernatural.
This miracle shows us that moving in the supernatural is more than just healing and casting out demons. There are no limits to what moving in the supernatural can be. If there is a need in your life or someone else you know, that need is an opportunity for a miracle.
Now, God provides for us to meet many of our needs with natural means. We can’t sit at home and not work and expect God to rain down money from heaven. Yet, there are many needs that cannot be met with natural means. You know the needs in your own life and those around you.
If you are not aware of any needs, you need to ask God to show them to you. I guarantee that there are needs all around you, opportunities for miracles and blessings. Seek God if you are to do something about the need and then what you are to do. Believe that as you obey, supernatural things will happen to meet the need. We are sent out to bring supernatural blessing.
As followers of Jesus, you and I are called to do what Jesus did. In fact, we are commanded to do what Jesus did. He sends us out to heal, do miracles, to bring blessing. In order to obey, we must learn to move in the supernatural through faith.
Sure, there are going to be times when we fail or doubt. But Jesus will be there to encourage us and get us back on track. If you’re a believer here today, God’s plan for your life is for you to continue to grow in moving in the supernatural. God desires to bless you with His power, so that you can bless others.