Children of God are often confused when it comes to miracles. Some think that nothing spectacular happened in their lives, so they have nothing to testify about the Lord. Only a few people have experienced 'miracles' and are thus able to testify that they have been helped by the Lord. This is not right, because the Bible never teaches that.
Our daily life is a big miracle in itself, because our Lord's work is apparent in our life personally. That is incredible. Today we can think, see, read, write, eat and do other things. That is all a miracle of God that works on us everyday.
From our reading today, we can see the actual role of miracles in believers' lives.
Do Christians have to experience miracles in order to look spectacular? Are Christians considered spiritual once they experience miracles? How important are miracles? Let's see that within the context of Mark 2:1-12.
1. MIRACLE IS NOT THE MAIN PURPOSE OF JESUS' MINISTRY
Note that in His ministry, Jesus never prioritized miracles. To Him, miracles are not important; His teachings are more important. Jesus wanted His followers to understand that to be His disciple, it is not important to prioritize miracles. Instead, His followers must realize that they need the Person Jesus Christ, because He is our Savior.
Verse 1 says that many people went after Jesus, but their main goal was not to watch miracles. What did they do? Mark 2:2 says: "So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them." (NIV). So they were there to listen to Jesus' words. I am very afraid that our misconception persists, making us think that miracle is some kind of entertainment. In Capernaum, Jesus did not perform miracles, but He taught His disciples. If in the end He healed someone, that is because of the power of His ministry.
2. MIRACLE IS NOT THE MAIN REASON TO BELIEVE
When Jesus met that cripple, He words were: "Your sins are forgiven." Jesus wanted to teach many people that the most important thing in our life is forgiveness. What use is healing for the cripple if in the end he won't be saved by the Lord?
We know of many healthy, wealthy people who own everything. But if we look closely, they often do not have salvation from Lord Jesus. If so, then what is the meaning of life? Maybe such people are happy; they enjoy their wealth which are only temporary, but they would never get a place in the kingdom of Heaven.
Some churches emphasized the importance of miracles. In newspapers, we often find ads saying: "Come to our retreat tonight, those who are crippled, blind deaf will all be healed." It is not that I do not believe in Jesus' power to heal or perform miracles. But if healing was so important and publicized, pastors should simply go to hospitals and heal everybody.
Mark 1:44 (NIV): "See that you don't tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them." This shows that Jesus does not want people to believe in Him solely because of His miracles.
3. MIRACLE IS NOT THE PRIMARY NEED OF BELIEVERS
Too little is our faith if we need miracles in order to believe. Miracles are needed by those of little faith. Today we are confused in this issue, thinking that receivers of miracles are spectacular, spiritual, holy. But actually, they are people of little faith. When prayers are long not answered, questions are then raised about that person whether the person had sinned that God does not answer the prayer.
I would like to give an example to prove that spectacular miracles are not what we need. Let's say one day a member of our church want to have a picnic at Puncak. Two buses full of people leave from church to head there. Before departure, the priest prayed for safety along the trip so that everybody could get to destination safely. But let's say one of the buses, bus A, had one of its tires popped. Bus A then tripped over and crashed into the highway's bumper. The windows of that bus are shattered. Some of the passengers are injured, from both concussion and shards. Some pass out. Praise God, the bus could still be used to drive up to destination. After everybody received first aid, they all decided to continue their trip and finally they arrived at Puncak safely.
During fellowship at night, the priest then asked who wants to give testimony. Let me ask you then, which bus passengers would be sharing and praise God? Apparently most of the passengers from Bus A praise God. They thank God for protecting their lives despite what happened. On the other hand, Bus B passengers do not say a word, because they did not experience anything spectacular. Look, this is what I mean when I say people are often 'tricked'. We are tricked into thinking that miracles show God's providence. Why is that so? If we really wanted miracles, the priest should have prayed for a great accident during the trip, but one that would not kill anybody. Wouldn't more people then have praised God?
Once again, if one has been saved by Jesus, then salvation is far more important than spectacular miracles. Salvation is eternal but miracles are temporary. If Jesus had to heal that cripple, that was all due to his faith, and also because He wanted to show His power. That miracle was not performed as a way to spread the gospel. Lord Jesus wants us to know Him not as a shaman or doctor who can heal many diseases, but as Lord who rules over everything, including sickness. He can save us like no one can; this is much more meaningful than healing, wealth, position, intelligence and everything else.
1. What is true miracle? Do you believe in that miracle? Have you experienced that miracle? If that miracle did not happen in your life, would you still believe in Jesus?
2. Many people like spectacular miracles. But they who hope for miracles are actually believers of weak faith. If they want to be transformed by God with true faith, then they would still believe in Him in the absence of His miracles. Do you have such true faith?
Rom 8:28 "And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose".
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