Last week I shared in Matthew 14 about the Miraculous event of multiplication of the bread and fish. How gratitude and the readiness of the disciples made that crises moment, to become a miraculous event. When the disciples said, vv.15, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over,” Jesus answered, “Bring them here to me.”
We learned that what makes a miraculous is not only a miracle but the fact that Jesus makes us part of that miracle. Like when Peter walked over the waters, also in chapter 14.
But today, I want to ponder over a fundamental principle to experience God’s miracles. The principle of honor. And this principle is right before the miraculous story of the multiplication of food.
(Matthew 13:53-58) “And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there, and coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.”
Jesus stated clearly that the source of their unbelief: It was a sprit of dishonor. The lack of unbelief prevented the miraculous. However, the principle here is:
“Where there is no honor, there are no miracles.”
A heart of honor releases the miraculous. While dishonor limits your life in all means.
Against the stream of thinking:
We live in a generation that it is popular to show dishonor. The greater is dishonor greater is your fame.
Some were raised “forced” to show honor without never being taught on the power of honor.
Most of us were “obliged” to express honor solely because of the position the other person had. It was not because of the other person’s leadership and charisma, but only because they were the leader, the deputy, the teacher, or an older relative. And that is entirely biblical and right. We do not condone abuse or exploitation of any kind. However, the root of dishonor can grow so subtly that, without a watch, we can lead our entire family into ruin because it got hold of our children’s attitude. They might bring that stand into their adult life, and instead of expecting protection from the authorities in office, they expect brutality. Instead of honor their boss and being thankful for the company they work for, they cultivate the “victim mentality” that never pushes people forward but drag them to misery.
Can I really be honest with you? Some of us take it for granted the freedom of speech and the blessings of opportunities that this country gives everyone who works hard and pursues creativity.
(Comment on the 4 greatest technology companies in the world are in the US. They all opened their statements thanking how they could only achieve what they got because they are in America. Can you say the same regarding your family).
Now, let’s go back to the text of Matthew. What is incredible is that the miraculous power of Jesus was shut down because of the wrong heart of the people of His hometown. This shows us that dishonor closes us off from receiving all the blessings from the person God raised to bring you a miracle into your life.
The Bible does not say that “Jesus did want to make miracle”, it says that “he did not do many mighty works there”.
How did those people “took offense at him”, which means “to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way” between them and Jesus? The answer is implied with their statements such as:
vv.55 “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary?”
A child of a carpenter? A son of “Mary” (the most common name for a woman.)
God will send the miracle you need in the wrapping that you might not like it. Don’t throw it away. Honor what God is giving you and experience the miraculous. That explains why some people leave the service so blessed and encouraged, and others leave the same meeting, with the same preacher, with the same people but as nothing had happened.
Matthew 10:41 “The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.”
I understand that some times, it is tough to honor some people that God placed in the position of authority over your life, but the principle still needs to be practice. How we do that? We honor the “office” of that person. That’s is what David did toward Saul.
David has two opportunities to kill King Saul, and both times he refuses to kill his rival or allow his men to do so. Why?
1 Samuel 24:5-6 “And afterward David’s heart struck him, because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the Lord’s anointed.”
For David, an attack against Saul was equivalent to rebellion against the Lord Himself, Who has anointed Saul. Here is a principle:
If you don’t honor someone you can see, you will not honor the Lord that you can not see.
David was tempted by his very team. Some of them, like David, had a death sentence on their head. But the spirit of honor overpowered the hatred and haste of those men.
1 Samuel 24:7 “So David persuaded his men with these words and did not permit them to attack Saul. And Saul rose up and left the cave and went on his way.”
Here something essential to notice. David knew that justice, with his own hands, has no effect.
On the second chance that David had to kill Saul, he stated a principle that leads many into dishonor.
1 Samuel 26:9-11 “But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?” And David said, “As the Lord lives, the Lord will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish. The Lord forbid that I should put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed. But take now the spear that is at his head and the jar of water, and let us go.”
Haste comes after dishonor, and how many people lose their miracle because of that. They want things in a hurry, now.
They walk in the way of Cain (Jude 1:11): The obstinate and presumptuous thinking of “My way or the highway.” “Take it or leave it.” This might work with people but not with God. He loves His children enough to not spoil them. So, grow up and swallow your pride. That’s the way of the blessing. Let me prove that to you:
James 4:6-7 “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Proverbs 15:33 “The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.”
The danger of Korah’s rebellion.
In Jude 1:11, it is said that those that mistake the grace of God as an excuse for sin and debauchery can fall into Korah’s rebellion. What is this rebellion? There was a group in Levites that stood against Moses and Aaron.
They fell in two terrible sins: despised the principle of the representative and dishonored the leaders that God had established.
-The principle of the representative
Numbers 16:23 “They assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! For all in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?”
They were not wrong in what they were saying here. But it is not enough to say the right thing, you have to be in the right position, as well. God had already established that no man can arrive before him without a representative. That is why Jesus, our perfect substitute, our priest (to use the proper noun), said,
John 14:67 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
God deals with us based on our representative (David’s victory represented the victory for the whole nation). Aaron was a metaphor, a symbol of what would be complete in Christ Jesus. If the priest was accepted, the people were accepted. If the priest was forgiven and blessed, the people were forgiven and blessed. If our representative is loved, holy and victorious; that is also what we are.
The representation principle is so powerful that God decided to treat you the way you treat Jesus. That means, if you accept Jesus, God accepts you. It has nothing to do with us, it is all about the right representative. Jesus, our High-priest.
The story tells us that the sacrifice of those rebellious men was not accepted. They were literally “swallowed” by the ground.
Have you ever heard of leaders and pastors saying, “I am so overwhelmed with ministry.”? Or about leaders that burned out? This happens with people that miss the principle of the representative.
Numbers 16:11 “Therefore it is against the Lord that you and all your company have gathered together. What is Aaron that you grumble against him?”
I love the answer Moses gave: “We are nothing on ourselves.”
It is all about our priest. Moses and Aaron were nothing on themselves. We all know that people have flesh and weaknesses. No matter who you admire in the stages, videos on YouTube or social media, there is always flesh and limitations behind the top. But that should not prevent you from receiving your miracle from that person. A good reason is the fact that you also have flesh and limitations, but God wants to use you too. We just need a culture that promotes honor to see more miracles in the house.
1 Corinthians 1:26 “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.”
I heard of the pastor asking his church if they were glad that the Bible says God chose not many wise. The church said yes. But when he recalled that the Bible also says that God did not choose many “good-looking” people (1 Samuel 16:7), now they were all laughing. The pastor said, “I know I am getting uglier.”
But the culture of dishonor closes our heart for what God can do through those he chose to bless us with their leadership. The leaders will lose nothing, be we can lose everything.
The terrible aspect of the heart of dishonor is that it is very contagious. That is why God asks to not get along with people that spit hatred, comparison, slandering and murmuring against authorities.
Numbers 16:24 “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Say to the congregation, Get away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.”
We want to be a house of honor. That honors the authority, leaders, pastors, elders, parents, spouses, deputies. A house of honor. We will honor the office even when we can’t honor the person. The way for the miraculous is to keep the culture of honor.
Let me get personal here:
Honor in the home
1 Peter 3:1-2 ; 7 “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.
Verse .7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
Subjection (you know you could do it, but you will honor your husband not lecturing him), and understanding (you know you could do it, but you will honor your wife not requiring her another job or extra income).
That can be simply translated: honor that drives to respect. And can promote a miraculous atmosphere in your home. But sadly, the opposite is also true. A dishonoring has no place for miracles to happen. They are just so saturated with bitterness and resentment that there is no place for grace.
Hebrews 12:15 “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;”
Are we failing to obtain the grace just because of the heart of bitterness and self-righteousness?
Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3“that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
Honor in finances
How to start releasing the miraculous financial blessing? Has all to do with honor. Let me prove it.
Proverbs 3:9-10 Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.
1 Timothy 5:17 “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.”
The honor of trust.
My boys can honor me in so many ways. As a father, I have a glimpse of what God feels when we believe. Because when my word is considered, and my children really trust my word, I just want to bless them.
The greater honor we can give to God than to believe in His Son Jesus. Mighty works and miraculous blessings are coming, but honor is the pathway, and faith is how to walk in it.
I will read it to you the verse that stroke me when I was 12 years old, and led me to the moment of honor that save my life:
Matthew 10:32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven,
Let’s all pray together.