One of the things that we understand as we read throughout Scripture is that God is a
God of restoration.
It's what redemption is all about.
God has restored our relationship to Him.
And if He has done so much to restore that which is greatest, don't you think that He
could easily take care of the lesser things?
Whatever you've lost in life, maybe you've lost your health, maybe you've lost your sense
of purpose, maybe you've lost your energy, maybe you've lost your job.
I don't know, but I do know this, that God is a God of restoration and He does care for
He can still open doors that no man can shut.
He can close the doors that are supposed to remain shut that others want to open, and
He wants to help you.
He's concerned about you.
So if you've experienced loss in any way in your life, listen, God is a restorer, so get
We're going to be talking about it.
Well, I am here in the holy land.
We're going to be following in the footsteps of Jesus.
We're going to be bringing you the Word from different areas where Jesus walked.
I just believe it's going to be a blessing to you, the whole idea of bringing the Word
from the places where the events actually happened.
I think you're going to find it illuminating.
So hey, stay tuned.
There's a really revealing story told in Matthew 8:1–4.
When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him.
And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can
make me clean.”
Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.”
Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to
the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
That leper is like a lot of people that they believe that Jesus could, they just weren't
sure if He would.
They knew He was able, but they don't know if He's willing.
The leper said, "Lord, if You're willing, You can make me clean."
And I think Jesus answered the question for all time.
"I am willing."
He's willing to make us whole.
He's willing to make us clean.
And listen, real faith takes two things.
It's not just believing that God can, but you also must believe that He is willing.
Now see, you can talk to any rank and file sinner on the street and say, "Hey, do you
think God can heal?
Do you think God can work a miracle?"
And they'd say, "Well, yeah, it's logical.
I mean, if He's God, of course He could."
But that doesn't mean they have faith.
Faith is not just believing that He can, but it's believing that He is willing.
Let's say that I told every person in my neighborhood, "Hey, I really want to buy every one of you
a new car."
They'd say, "Well, that's great Bayless," but they wouldn't get too excited.
And I'd say, "No, honestly, I'm willing to do it.
It's really in my heart.
I'd love to do that."
They'd say, "Well, that's awesome, Bayless."
They would believe that I'm willing, but they know that I can't.
It's not enough basis for faith.
On the other hand, if you had a billionaire that came into the neighborhood say, "Hey
folks, I am able to buy every one of you in the neighborhood a brand new car."
They'd go, "Well that's awesome.
We know you can."
Still not enough basis for faith.
They know about his ability, but they're not convinced concerning his willingness.
But if he came and said, "You know, everyone here, I can buy you a new car and I'm willing.
Get in line."
Man, there would be a mad rush to get in that line because suddenly there's a basis for
And when it comes to us trusting God, it's not just a matter of believing that He can,
but it's believing that He is willing.
And I think God demonstrated His willingness for us to the enth degree by sending His own
The Scripture says, "If He didn't withhold His only Son, how can He also not with Him
freely give us all things?"
Friend, it is His will, not only to answer your prayers, but it's His will to fulfill
everything that He said in His Word.
This is a copy of what He wills.
Let me read you Matthew 8:16–17,
When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed.
And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be
fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
“He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.”
He did what He did to fulfill His Word.
God's Word is a revelation of His will.
So He's not just able, but He's willing.
And if you can find it promised, if you find it stated in the Word of God, friend, it is
a declaration of God's desire.
It's a declaration of His willingness.
So let's not just believe He can.
Let's also believe that He will
I'm actually on the Sea of Galilee where a whole lot of different events from the Scriptures
I want to read about one of them, it's here in Matthew 8.
Jesus has got great multitudes around Him and He gives a command to His disciples to
depart to the other side.
And then it says in Matthew 23–27,
Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him.
And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the
But He was asleep.
Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us!
We are perishing!”
But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?”
Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”
It's an interesting thing.
We read in the Bible about Jonah who was running away from the call of God, was going to go
to Tarshish, modern day Spain.
It's about as far away as you can get from where he was.
And the Lord sent a storm onto the scene.
He got in a storm because he was disobeying God.
But here we've got the disciples, they're doing exactly what Jesus told them to do and
they end up in the middle of the storm.
So what's up with that?
Well, sometimes you can get into a storm for disobeying God, but just the fact that you're
in a storm doesn't mean that you're doing something wrong.
In fact, it may be evidence that you're doing something right.
They had done exactly what Jesus said.
They were in the boat with Him and they were in a storm.
Of course, He calmed the storm.
They're in shock.
"Who is this?"
And that wasn't the last time they would experience a storm on the sea.
I think it's in chapter 14, Jesus is sending the multitudes away and He tells them to go
before Him to the other side of the lake.
And He goes up on the mountain to pray.
And in the middle of the night there in the midst of the storm, the Bible says the wind
There were waves all around them and Jesus came to them, I think about 4:00 AM, walking
on the water.
He had seen them struggling.
And, to their credit, they kept the prow of that boat right into that contrary wind.
Maybe it didn't make sense.
They could have turned around and gone back to their point of origin, but they kept going
because He said to go to the other side.
And listen, you may be in a storm right now.
Just keep doing the last thing that the Lord told you to do.
Keep that the bow of your boat headed into the wind, because my friend, Jesus will come
He is a rescuer.
And I know they could've thought, "What the heck's going on?
Does God even know what's happening?
I mean, does He even care?
I mean, I'm doing what He told me to do."
Well, friend, we live in a contrary world.
We're swimming upstream in a downstream world, and sometimes when you obey God and do exactly
what He told you to do, there will be contrary forces that will try and get you to turn around
and go back the other way.
But I just want to encourage you, if you will stay with it, Jesus will come to you.
And again, the story that I just read out of Matthew 8, I love the fact that they said,
"Who is this?"
And sometimes we just need to realize who's in the boat with us.
You may be going through a storm in your marriage right now, maybe through a financial storm,
maybe a physical storm, maybe stuff's going on with your kids.
Your life has been turned upside down.
Well, who's in your boat?
If Jesus is in your boat, my friend, it's going to be okay.
Now, I've been walking with Him for more than 40 years, and believe me, I have been in my
share of storms.
He has been faithful continually and always.
Now, He doesn't always show up at the moment I'd like Him to, but my friend, He has always
I was thinking early this morning about when we finally were able to build and move into
our new facility.
And it was crazy for years before that.
I had to preach seven times every weekend and we had extension services as well.
We turned people away every weekend and finally we got in and built a building that was big
enough to house everyone.
And the moment we got in, the like week we got in, the economy in California where we
are collapsed, thousands of people lost their jobs.
And so now we have this enormous budget, this enormous loan payment, and a whole bunch of
people in the church have lost their jobs.
It was a really rough time.
But He saw us through the storm, and He will see you through your storm, my friend.
He will be with you.
I just want you to be encouraged.
Now again, I'm sitting here on the Sea of Galilee and it just reminds me of the faithfulness
He's going to be faithful in your life, trust Him and watch and see what He will do.
I'm actually here at the Synagogue at Capernaum.
The one that's built here was built late fourth century, but it sits right on top of the one
more than likely that Jesus actually taught in.
And there's a story in Matthew 8:5–10.
Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord,
my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.”
And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”
The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under
But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.
For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me.
And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes;
and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say
to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!
And as the story goes down, his servant was healed.
It's interesting if you put the different Gospels together, the Centurion actually sent
representatives on his behalf and he didn't come to Jesus personally.
He sent the Jews, he built a synagogue here in Capernaum, more than likely right on this
spot where we are at the moment.
And his servant was at the point of death and this man cares for his servant, which
was maybe a little bit of an odd thing for a Roman in authority in that day.
But he sent people to Jesus not knowing if Jesus was going to come or not.
Jesus, at that time in His ministry, it was probably the height of the time when the crowds
were following Him.
And all of a sudden this little delegation of Jews comes and they said, "Look, there's
this Roman Centurion, he's a good guy.
He's built this synagogue.
And he's asked if you would come and heal his servant."
And maybe the disciples are thinking, "There's no way Jesus is going to go just to heal one
Can you see the crowds around here?"
And one commentary that I read estimated that from where Jesus was at that time, that it
was 20 miles distant to where the Roman Centurion would have lived.
And Jesus said, "Yeah, I'll come."
He walked 20 miles out of his way to show His willingness to heal.
Now, think about the Centurion.
He's at home, all he knows is that Jesus has the ability to heal.
He would've heard the stories.
Maybe one of his servants said, "Yeah, you sent me into town to buy some goods.
While I was there, I saw this blind man get healed."
And somebody else said, "Well yeah, I heard this story.
I heard that."
So the guy has sent Jesus merely on the premise that he knows He is able.
Jesus comes 20 miles, a full day's journey.
This guy, the Centurion's got to be walking back and forth and back and forth.
And then something odd happens.
When he sees Jesus not far from his house, he sends someone out and says, "Look, don't
I'm not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just speak the word only and my servant
will be healed."
And the disciples are probably thinking, "What?
Don't trouble ourselves?
Just speak the word?
Why couldn't we have done that 20 miles back?
We've walked in full day's journey."
But again, Jesus went 20 miles out of His way to show His willingness to heal.
And I love it because Jesus said the Centurion had great faith.
And when he put together that Jesus was able, and then suddenly when he saw that Christ
had come, he realized He was willing.
That's the basis for great faith.
But then he went a step further.
He said, "Hey, all You need to do is say the word.
I don't need any other evidence.
I don't need any other thing.
You don't need to come any further.
Now that I know that You're able and I know that You're willing, You just speak the word
and my servant will be healed."
And Jesus said, "Man, I haven't found anyone with faith like this and all of Israel."
So great faith believes that God is able, that He's willing, and it also takes God's
word as the final authority.
That's all the evidence that great faith needs.
Now there's another story of someone that had great faith as well.
And interestingly, it was another Gentile.
The only people that Jesus ever said had great faith, they were not Jews, but they were Gentiles.
So we're going to talk about that in just a moment.
The second instance where we find that Jesus said someone had great faith is found in Matthew 15
There was a Syrophoenician woman whose daughter was severely demon-possessed and she came
to where Jesus and the disciples were trying to find a bit of downtime.
They were actually trying to take a break and she's basically ruining their vacation.
The disciples try and put her off, but she won't be put off.
She keeps saying, "Lord, have mercy on me.
Have mercy on me."
Jesus didn't answer her a word, and then finally she's just persistent, persistent, and He
talks to her and says, "It's not right to take the children's bread and cast it to the
Let the children first be fed."
In other words, it was in order to His ministry.
It was to the Jewish nation first.
Not that the Gentiles were to be excluded, but there was a divine order.
But she just persisted and she said, "Look, even the little dogs under the table, eat
the children's crumbs."
He said, "Daughter, great is your faith."
And her little girl was healed in that very hour.
And I think it shows us another aspect of great faith.
Great faith is tenacious.
He answered her, not a word, but she kept going.
When it seems like heaven is silent and you're not getting an answer at all, and it seems
like there's no breakthrough is forthcoming, friend, great faith stays in there.
Great faith doesn't quit.
So great faith believes God's able, believes God is willing, rests on the evidence of His
word alone, and great faith is tenacious.
It just doesn't let go.
You don't always get the answer right away when you pray, but friend, if you don't quit,
God is faithful.
He will perform His word.
Jeremiah said He watches over His word to perform it.
God bless you.
I hope that you've gotten something from this.
God's word is rich.
And listen, we look at these stories and they're applicable to you right now, right where you
are in your life.
He's able to help you.
He's willing to help you.
Find a promise.
Get His word that covers your situation, pray, and then just be tenacious.
Hang onto the word of God and we believe that you will find an answer as well in Jesus' name
As Jesus continued teaching here in Matthew 6:9–13, He gave us that model prayer.
In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
And then just as if to emphasize one point, He comes back and he says, Matthew 6:14–15,
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
So Jesus emphasized one part in this prayer by reiterating forgiveness.
It is so important.
I think it is probably the single greatest factor to faith failures.
Unforgiveness will cut you off from the blessing of God.
I remember I was teaching along the lines one Sunday evening of the need to forgive
and to release those that have wronged us.
And I didn't know all this occurred until the following week.
A woman came to me that had been in that service and she told me the story afterwards, a week
She said, "I knew that God was speaking to me.
I had to go home and call my father and ask him to forgive me."
I never asked her what her father had done to her or what he failed to do, but she said,
"I haven't talked to my father in more than 15 years because of whatever had happened."
She said, "I went home that night and I said, 'Hi, daddy, it's me.'
I called him.
He said he was so surprised to hear from me and said, 'Daddy, I just called you to tell
you I forgive you.'
And he says, 'Well thank you for doing that.'"
And she said, "I need you to forgive me."
He said, "Well, what for?"
She said, "Because I've held a grudge against you for 15 years."
He said, "Of course I forgive you."
And she looked up in my face and she started to cry.
She said, "Pastor Bayless, what you don't know is that for 15 years I've had a migraine
I've had pain in my head for 15 years without cessation, 24 hours a day.
I take a handful of medication every day.
It barely even knocks the pain down at all.
For 15 years.
I've had this terrible headache."
She said, "Last Sunday night I went home, I called my father, I forgave him, and when
I woke up the next morning, the pain was gone from my head.
I no longer had headache pain."
And she's crying.
Tears are coming down her face and she saying, "You have no idea what it's like to have pain
for 15 years and then to suddenly be free of pain."
My friend, that's the power of forgiveness.
Unforgiveness is like acid.
It does more damage to the vessel in which it’s stored than it does to the object on
which it's poured.
Do yourself a favor and forgive.
And you might say, "Well look, my family, we're just not forgivers, it's not the way
We'll just do it anyway.
If you've got Jesus in your heart, you can forgive.
It's a choice you make.
I come from a family of people that historically we didn't forgive well.
In fact, it was my great, great aunt.
She and her husband lived in the mountains of West Virginia, a bit of hillbilly blood
And I don't know what happened, but they got in a fight over something and she left their
She crossed the old dirt road, went up into the holler to another little cabin they had
She spent the night up there, came down in the morning, cleaned the house, made breakfast
That afternoon she went back up, slept in the little cabin up in the holler again.
She did that every day for the next 20 years.
She never spoke to her husband again for 20 years, and she held that tightly to a grudge.
So I understand a little bit about coming from the stock of unforgivers, but you know
We can forgive.
The Bible says the love of God has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who's
been given to us.
And I just want to encourage you, and take your cue from Jesus, you need to forgive.
If you don't forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive you.
You'll end up in the hands of the tormentor until you pay that debt of forgiveness.
The one debt that we all owe as believers is the debt to forgive.
We need to release those that have wronged us.
We need to forgive those that have trespassed against us.
It'll only bring blessing into our lives, my friends.
So wherever you are, whatever's happened to you, I just want to encourage you, you forgive
the way that you've been forgiven.
You'll be blessed if you do it.
Well, I'm here in Capernaum.
It's the home of James, John, Peter, Andrew, and Matthew, the tax collector was from here
And after Jesus taught in the synagogue here, He went to Peter's house and his mother-in-law
was sick of a fever.
And it says in Matthew 8:14–15,
Now when Jesus had come into Peter’s house, He saw his wife’s mother lying sick with
So He touched her hand, and the fever left her.
And she arose and served them.
I just love that about Peter's mother.
She got healed and immediately she began to serve.
Friend, God wants to give us strength.
He wants to bless us, but it's not so we can go do our own thing.
It's so that we can serve.
God told Pharaoh, "Let my people go that they may serve me."
So listen, if you're seeking God for a miracle, you're wanting to be healed, dedicate your
life to do His will and to serve Him.
That's how we respond to the blessings that He gives us.
Peter's mother-in-law was healed.
She got up, she waited on them.
When God blesses us, when God heals us, we do have a responsibility.
We have a responsibility to serve Him and to serve His people with our strength.
But I think we need to be wise as well, because the Scripture says we have an adversary who
walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.
Jesus said that the thief comes only to steal, kill, and to destroy.
And if we want to keep what God has given us, I think we just need to be wise and do
the right things.
We need to stay in God's Book.
That's food for our spirit.
It feeds our faith and it keeps our faith strong.
I think it's important that we be around a believing community because the truth is if
you hang around people that are filled with doubt and that don't believe what you believe
in, and I'm not talking about reaching people for the cause of evangelism.
We all need to have those kinds of relationships.
But if the people that you hang out with and do life with, if they don't believe in healing,
if they don't believe in the baptism of the Holy spirit, they don't believe that God liberates,
friend, it is going to affect you.
The scripture says, "If you want to be wise, you need to walk with wise man, but a companion
of fools will be destroyed."
And Jesus, in Matthew's Gospel, He was talking about when a spirit goes out of someone, when
it's cast out, He had just cast the spirit out of a boy, says, "Goes through dry places
seeking rest, finds none."
The spirit comes back and says, "Well, I'm going to go back to my house," and he finds
it empty, swept, and decorated, and he brings seven more spirits, more wicked than himself.
And the last state of that man is worse than the first, because he didn't steward what
He was swept clean by the power of God, but then just a bunch of religious decorations.
You need to get full of the word of God.
Do your best to be connected with a believing community so that you can keep what God gives
you, and so that you can turn out and give it away to other people that are in need.
God will use you as a vessel to help and to bless other people.
I am here on Mount Tabor where many claim transfiguration took place.
And from this spot that a lot of people consider very holy, I'd like to pray for you.
I want to encourage you to turn loose of any bitterness and unforgiveness that you have
and let God do something amazing in your life.
If you'll forgive and reach out to God, my friend, amazing things can happen, turn around,
healing, breakthrough in whatever arena that you need.
Let me pray for you right now.
Father, I just pray for every person that's listening to me and that is watching me where
ever they might be in the world.
That You would reach out Your hand and touch them.
If they need healing, I pray that You would heal them.
If they need wisdom, I pray that You'd give them wisdom.
If they need a breakthrough in their family, I pray that You would do that, God.
And I thank You that You are the God who can do exceedingly, abundantly above all that
we can ask or think according to the power that works in us by Christ Jesus.
My friend, you just need to know that God loves you.
And hey, you're not going to want to miss the next program.
We're going to be filming in Jerusalem.
It's going to be fantastic.