Category Archives: Miracles

Jesus and the IRS

Text: Matthew 17:24-27; 22:17-22

TaxesProp: A penny

Summary: Jesus paid his taxes and gives us an example of obeying laws. We can trust Jesus to provide for our needs.

Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. – Matthew 22:21

(Read Matthew 17:24-27)

Peter was approached by the tax collectors and asked whether Jesus was going to pay his taxes or not. This must have really worried Peter. Jesus and the disciples were always helping so many other people I imagine that Peter probably didn’t have much money. Now his taxes were due. He must have wondered how he was going to come up with the money needed to pay the tax.

When he got back to the house where they were staying, Jesus already knew what Peter was going to ask. So Jesus asked Peter whether the kings made their own children pay taxes or if they took the tax from others. Peter Fishknew the answer: from others. Jesus did not tell Peter to cheat on his taxes or to not pay them at all. Instead, he told him that God would provide the tax. He told Peter they would pay the tax so they didn’t offend those who expected that they pay it.

What Jesus told Peter next must have surprised him. Peter was so worried, Jesus told him to take the day off and go fishing! Remember, Peter had given up his love of fishing to follow Jesus. Now Jesus was telling him to go do what he loved to do, to relax and take it easy. Go fishing! It was truly an act of faith when Peter did as Jesus told him and when he caught the first fish, he looked in the mouth, and there was a coin! It was just the right amount to pay the tax for Peter and Jesus. God performed a mighty miracle!

As told by Rev. Lewis Shaffer, Son Shine Ministries International Inc. Used by permission.

Peter Walks On Water

God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform; He plants his footsteps in the sea And rides upon the storm. – William Cowper, from Light Shining Out of Darkness

Text: Matthew 14:22-33

Prop: a glass of water and a marble

Summary: God calls us to do impossible things by faith so He can receive glory when they are done. We should keep our eyes on Jesus in every aspect of life.

Look at this marble and a glass of water. What do you think will happen if I place the marble on the surface of the water? [it will sink] The marble is heavier than the water and it will sink. What happens when you go swimming? If you don’t paddle, will you sink? [yes] I want to tell you about a story in the Bible when two people walked on water!

Read Matthew 14:22-33

Walk on WaterThe disciples had a long tiring day and Jesus sent them out in the boat to go over to another town. It was a dark stormy night (couldn’t resist that line ) and the wind was tossing the waves around. In the middle of the night, they thought they were seeing a ghost when Jesus came to them walking on the sea! Jesus saw they were scared and told them not to be afraid. When they were the most afraid, he told them to cheer up, he was with them! God has to take the storm out of us before He can take us out of the storms of life.

Peter must have wondered if it really was Jesus or just their imagination. He asked Jesus to tell him to come out on the water with him if this was really happening. Jesus didn’t say, “I’m sorry, Peter, but water-walking is for Messiahs only.” No, he said one simple word: Come. God calls us to do impossible things by faith. It must have taken a lot of faith by Peter to take that first step out of the boat in the middle of the wind and waves. When he did, Peter walked on water! The Bible says,

And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. – Matthew 14:29,30

Peter was doing fine until he took his eyes off Jesus. As long as he had faith, he did impossible things to do without God’s help. He kept his eyes on Jesus and walked on water. When he looked around at the world, he started believing that the storm was going to defeat him. He lost faith. He took his eyes off Jesus, and he began to sink. If we forget that Jesus is right there to help us, we can let the storms of life cause us to sink. If we keep our eyes on Jesus, we can do mighty things for God by faith.

Then Peter uttered what is probably the shortest prayer in the Bible: Lord, save me. Everyone needs to say that prayer. We ALL need Jesus to save us. He is our only hope. Jesus told Peter he should not have doubted. When they got back in the ship, everyone on board came and worshipped Jesus, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God. Whenever we do something with God’s help we need to remember to give Him the glory for it.

Adapted from “Keep Your Eyes On Jesus” as told by Rev. Lewis Shaffer, Son Shine Ministries International Inc. Used by permission.

Jesus Ascends

Text: Acts 1:9-11; John 16:7, 20:17; Psalm 68:18

Prop: a poster of Christ in Clouds by Danny Hahlbohm or a wand

Summary: Jesus ascends to heaven in view of his followers.

I want to show you a trick. Look at this jelly bean and watch closely because I’m going to make it disappear. (wave the wand and simply close your hand) Where did it go? (of course it is still in your hand, but when they say so, move your hand over your mouth slowly, placing the jelly bean in your mouth so they don’t notice it and continue to slide your hand to your chin and begin rubbing your chin) Hmm. Where could it be? (show that your hand is empty now) This is an illusion. I didn’t really make the jelly bean disappear. I ate it! A good illusionist can make you think you are seeing one thing but it is really a trick. Some illusionists can pretend to levitate, or cause their body (or someone else) to float up in the air. Today I want to tell you about the day that Jesus ascended, or floated up in the air all the way to heaven (and it was no trick!).

After Jesus rose from the dead he stayed on earth for forty days. During this time he showed himself to many people to prove that he had risen. Some of the people that saw him included Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9), the two men on the road to Emmaus, over five hundred followers at one time (1Cor. 15:6), and the disciples. One time the disciples saw Jesus was the day he ascended to heaven.

Jesus told his disciples why he had to go to heaven. It was so he could send the Holy Spirit to dwell with his believers. (Read John 16:7) It was foretold in the Bible long ago that Jesus would ascend to heaven in Psalm 68:18 Thou has ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive. Even Jesus told that he would ascend shortly after he rose from the tomb (John 20:17). So as Jesus stood on Mt. Olivet a little way from Jerusalem he told his disciples to wait on the promise of the Father (Acts 1:4), or wait in Jerusalem until he had sent his Spirit to give them power to spread the gospel.

Then Jesus began to float up in the air! He slowly rose higher and higher until he disappeared from their sight into a cloud. Wow! Then two angels appeared beside the disciples and told them that one day Jesus would return in the same manner that he had left. Next week we will learn what happened ten days later at Pentecost.

©2000 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.