Miracles – Tue – 22-01-11



Wouldn’t it be nice to talk to actual witnesses of Jesus’ ministry and ask them what convinced them to believe in Jesus? Well, we can do something like that, at least in the case of Simon Peter. If you asked Peter why he believed in Jesus, he would say, “Fish, a lot of fish.” The story is told in Luke chapter 5. Jesus was standing by the Sea of Galilee. He climbed into Peter’s boat to get a little distance from the crowd. Then he taught the crowds on shore from the boat. When Jesus finished, he asked Peter to head out and drop the fishing nets. Peter was reluctant. He’d been out all night and had caught nothing. I’m sure he wanted breakfast and a nap! But Peter did it anyway. And he drew in such huge load of fish they needed two boats! And the boats were so full of fish they began to sink!

Verses 8-11 tell us the rest of the story. “When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!’ For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.’ So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.” (NIV)

I hope that as you hear of Jesus’ miracles, you will also follow him!


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Miracles – Mon – 22-01-10



The bible records over 30 miracles that Jesus performed. John 2:23 indicates that Jesus performed many miraculous signs while attending Passover. But no details are given. The second miracle recorded happened after Jesus returned from Jerusalem to Cana in Galilee. A royal official in Capernaum had a son near death. This man journeyed to Cana to beg Jesus to come and heal his son. Jesus didn’t go. Rather he told the man to go, his son would live. The next day, as the man was traveling home, his servants met him. They told him the boy had been healed. When they compared notes, the official realized that his son had been healed at the exact time when Jesus said the boy would live.

Jesus healed the boy over a distance! He didn’t need to see him or touch him. Capernaum was at least nine miles away as the crow flies, longer if walking on the roads. Yet Jesus healed the boy without even seeing him! The man and all his household believed in Jesus. That’s exactly why the miracles were recorded – believing in Jesus. John 20:30-31 says, “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” 


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Miracles – Sun – 22-01-09



Have you ever thought that Jesus was reluctant? This week the podcast will look at the first miracles Jesus performed during his ministry. As we look at the very first miracle, it seems that Jesus was reluctant to perform it. Do you know the story of his changing water into wine?

 Jesus was attending a wedding with his disciples in Cana of Galilee. Evidently, the hosts ran out of wine – a real embarrassing situation. So, Jesus’ mother Mary, who was also attending, told Jesus, hoping he’d address the situation. Jesus was reluctant, saying his time had not yet come. But, he instructed the servants to fill six large storage jars with water. Each held 20 to 30 gallons. After they were filled, Jesus told the servants to draw some out and give it to the master of the banquet. The water had turned to wine!

The exact reason Jesus seemed reluctant is unclear. But the result of the miracle is not. Not only were people impressed with the high quality of wine produced, but something more important happened. John 2:11 says, “This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.”

As we looked at miracles of Jesus this week and next, may you see his glory! May you also see the evidence that Jesus is God’s Son and place your trust in him!


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Parables – Sat – 22-01-08



Many years ago, I had the opportunity to work a fishing net with a friend in Alaska. He set the net perpendicular to the shore. When the tide went out, we walked across the sand and picked the fish out of the net. That was very different than the nets used in Jesus’ day. Those were thrown or lowered from a boat then hauled in.

A fishing net is the focus of the parable in Matthew 13:47-50, “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (NIV)

Notice the words at the beginning, “once again.” Jesus tells the parable to repeat a point for emphasis. Here, he repeats the point of the parable of the weeds. Evil and righteous people will exist together until Jesus returns. Then the angels will separate the wicked and they will be judged.

So, don’t get discouraged by the rising crime and hatred in the world. Just remember – God will set things right when Jesus returns.


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Parables – Fri – 22-01-07



Pearls are beautiful things. Many women own a strand of pearls. They have been prized for centuries. They actually come in many colors, including pink, green, blue, grey and black. But white is the most popular. Did you know that the biggest pearl ever found was discovered by a Philippine fisherman in 1996? It weighs 37 kilograms – that’s over 81 pounds! It is 67 centimeters in length or just over two feet. Named the Pearl of Puerto, it was never sold.1 So, determining its value is difficult. But the second largest pearl ever found, the Pearl of Lao Tzu is valued at $3.5 million.2 Can you imagine finding either one of these pearls?

Jesus told this parable in Matthew 13:45-46, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” (NIV)

This sounds a lot like the parable of the hidden treasure, right? That man also sold all he had so he could buy the field with the treasure. This parable highlights the great value of being a part of God’s kingdom. It’s worth everything we have.

But are you puzzled? Jesus told these two parables on the same day, one right after the other. Did you notice that word “again”? Why did he tell both parables? I think Jesus told them together to emphasize the point. Nothing is more valuable than knowing Jesus!


1Nancy Levin, “9 Largest Pearls Ever Found,” Largest.org, March 29, 2020, https://largest.org/nature/pearls/.

2Ruth Daly, “The 10 Most Expensive Pearls In The World,” The Richest, March 15, 2014,  https://www.therichest.com/luxury/the-10-most-expensive-pearls-in-the-world/

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Parables – Thu – 22-01-06



Have you ever lost something valuable? I lost my wedding ring once. I never found it, even though I searched for it. I think someone else spotted it and pocketed it. My experience was very different than a man in Northern Ireland. He lost his wedding ring, too. So, he asked a friend to bring a metal detector to the place the ring was lost. They started searching and the detector started beeping. But they didn’t find the ring. They dug down and found a gold coin. Then they found another, then another. Eventually they uncovered 84 gold coins! Some dated from the 1500’s! Imagine their excitement! Their treasure was later estimated to be worth £100,000.*

Fun, right? Keep that in mind as you hear Matthew 13:44, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” (NIV)

This parable tells us two things. First, finding the kingdom of heaven is exciting. Imagine the excitement of finding buried treasure. Finding forgiveness in Jesus gives great joy. Second, the kingdom of heaven is the highest priority. In the parable, the man sold all he had to buy the field and treasure. Likewise, Jesus’ kingdom is worth all we have in order to be in it.  Take a moment to appreciate the treasure of following Jesus.


*Emma Kumer, “10 Valuable Items People Have Found by Accident,” Reader’s Digest, updated October 29, 2020, https://www.rd.com/list/valuable-items-people-found-by-accident/.

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Parables – Wed – 22-01-05



I love home-made yeast bread. Don’t you? It’s all possible because of the leavening action of yeast. Jesus used the concept of yeast in Matthew 13:33, “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.” (NIV)

What is Jesus telling us about his kingdom? How is this parable different that the one about the mustard seed? Both speak of the spread of the kingdom of God. Here’s the key – this parable speaks of the tremendous influence Jesus’ followers would have on the world. Just as yeast transforms and improves the dough, so his kingdom would work through the entire world and improve it.

How have Jesus’ followers improved the world? Here’s a few examples. Christianity was pivotal in recognizing the rights of women and children, changing their legal status. It was also instrumental in abolishing slavery. In the United States, all but one of the first 123 colleges founded in the country were Christian institutions. Christian charities have fed the poor, started scores of hospitals and responded to numerous natural disasters.* Today, I personally know of missionaries who not only share the message of Jesus, but also provide medical treatment, or start schools, or drill water wells, or teach everything from agriculture to sanitation.

In fact, you are part of that yeast. Today, help make your neighborhood, community and world a better place!


*”The Impact of Christianity,” Faith Facts, https://www.faithfacts.org/christ-and-the-culture/the-impact-of-christianity

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Parables – Tue – 22-01-04



Have you heard the parable of the mustard seed in Matthew 13:31-32? “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”(NIV)

Why did Jesus tell this parable? I think he wanted to encourage his disciples. Remember he told several parables on the same day. The first one, the parable of the sower, indicated that 3 of the 4 responses to his message would ultimately fail. Then he told the parable of the weeds. In it, an enemy sows bad seed in the field.

If you were a disciple of Jesus, you might have been discouraged at this point! First, a lot of effort would produce nothing. On top of that, Jesus’ kingdom would be opposed.  So, the third parable, which he told to the crowd and his disciples, indicates that Jesus’ kingdom will grow far beyond the few who followed him that day. It would grow tremendously, even in the face of opposition.

This is a good parable to keep in mind. When you’re discouraged because others don’t want to follow Jesus, or because many oppose him, remember the mustard seed! Jesus’ kingdom has grown, and will continue to grow!


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Parables – Mon – 22-01-03



The earliest teaching of Jesus about his second coming was a parable. Matthew 13:24-30 reads:

“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ ” (NIV)

Jesus explained the parable in verses 37-39. He is the sower. The seed are his followers. The enemy is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age and the harvesters are angels.

Why did Jesus tell this parable? He reminded us that he is coming again and people will be judged. Those who follow him will “shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” In other words, those who follow Jesus will live forever in heaven.


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Parables – Sun – 22-01-02



This week on the podcast, we’re going to look at seven parables Jesus told, all on the same day. The first is the parable of the sower. Perhaps you’ve heard it. It is recorded in Matthew 13:3-9,“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop–a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear.”

Jesus told this to the crowd that followed him. However, he gave the explanation to his disciples. The different soils represent different responses to the message about God’s kingdom. One response is to never consider it. That’s the path. Two responses accept the message, but don’t last. One falls away because of persecution. The other is choked by worry and wealth.  But the true response accepts the message and reproduces it. 

Which soil are you? I hope you are sharing the message of Jesus widely.


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