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Assumptions

October 26, 2009

In our morning sermon yesterday, we focused on the second sign recorded in John’s gospel. In John 4:46-54, he heals the child of a royal official without even going to see the child. The official had two assumptions when he came to Jesus asking for healing  – 1. That Jesus would have to be in the same room as the child and 2. That Jesus had to heal the child before he died. Jesus was not limited by those assumptions. We spent some time thinking about assumptions we make that limit our understanding of what God can do:

1.   I could never change. My parents were this way, and so were their parents. This is just the way I am – people will have to accept it.

2.    I’m just not a teacher. I can’t sit down with someone and have a conversation about the Bible. That may be ok for some people, but I am not one of those people.

3.   I can’t give up this addiction. I know I should stop, but I have already tried before and it hasn’t worked. Why should now be any different?

4.   There is no way we could have a full auditorium for a worship service unless it was a special occassion. We just won’t be able to reach that many people.

5.   Trust me, that person will never become a Christian. You are just wasting your time. Believe me, I grew up with that person, and I know who he hangs out with all the time. Not a chance.

We also thought about some 1st Century assumptions that could have been made:

1.   He has always been like that, ever since I can remember. I wouldn’t let any of my family near him. I don’t know why he is that way, but I’m sure he will never change. That crazy guy who lives in the cave by the cemetary will always act like he is demon-possessed.

2.   They aren’t teachers. I mean, they are good people, but they are tentmakers. They don’t have much of an education, and no one with real training would ever take them seriously. Trust me, there is no way Aquilla and Priscilla could ever convince someone like Apollos to change his mind.

3.   You know he will never quit. He is too used to the money. It is part of his lifestyle now. Sure, it is illegal, but that doesn’t mean he will ever stop. If there is one tax-collector who will never change, it is Zacchaeus.

4.   That little group? They aren’t even an officially recognized religion. A lot of people have come along claiming to be the Messiah, and all their followers just kind of fizzled out. I give this group of – what do they call themselves? Christians? – I give them 2 or 3 years, tops.

5.   You don’t know him like I do. There is no way he becomes a Christian. You don’t know the way he was raised, or the people he hangs out with. I mean, you should see some of the things he does to Christians. Saul of Tarsus is the last person in the world who would be converted to Christ.

Well, can you think of any assumptions we have that limit what we think God can do? We know the wisdom of God is greater than ours, and it looks like that applies to our assumptions too.

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