Miracles are big business today. If you have any doubt, type the word “miracle” into your favorite online search engine.
My personal favorite is “The Cat Miracle Diet” website. This diet promises the same lean, svelte figure as most cats. By dining on lizard tails, blades of grass and moths, “you’ll find that you not only look and feel better, but you will have a whole new outlook on what constitutes food.”
Do you ever feel like there are some miracles you can live without? We don’t need phony miracles concocted by faith healers with batteries in their pockets to ensure that the unsuspecting receive a jolt when touched.
It is no surprise that seekers of God want to experience the power and presence of God in a miracle. “God performed miracles so He can show people He is God,” says Wesley, age unknown. “God can bring people from death to life. He can do anything.”
Jerusalem’s religious leaders plotted the death of another person in addition to Jesus. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, many Jews believed in Jesus as their messiah. Lazarus became a walking billboard proclaiming Jesus’ power over death.
“God performed miracles because he did not want anyone to be sad,” says Hunter, age 7.
One of my favorite responses to a miracle is the lame man healed by God through the Apostle Peter. After receiving strength in his feet and ankles, he entered the temple “walking, leaping and praising God” (Acts 3:8).
He didn’t try to be cool. The healed man wanted everyone to know what God had done.
“I think God performs miracles because more people might believe in him,” says Valerie, 8.
You might think that the more miracles God performs, the more people would believe. It isn’t necessarily so.
Jesus said, “Woe,” and he wasn’t riding a horse.
He denounced the people in several cities where few believed though he had done many miracles there. Speaking of Capernaum, Jesus said, “For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day” (Matthew 11:23).
Sodom’s infamous reputation and its fiery destruction live until this day, yet God will judge Capernaum’s inhabitants more harshly than Sodom’s. What can we learn from this?
God holds us accountable for the spiritual light available to us. Think of miracles as laser light impulses that momentarily penetrate the spiritual darkness of this world. Certainly, those who saw Jesus perform miracles enjoyed light in a way that the inhabitants of Sodom never had.
We live in a time of unparalleled revelation. The spiritual light available to us in many ways exceeds that of even Jesus’ apostles. We have the complete Bible, which was still being written in their day and a history of almost 2,000 years of the gospel transforming lives and entire nations.
Think about this: Many of us may be waiting for the laser-light-in-the-sky kind of miracle, when the greatest miracle of all is staring us in the face. God’s love for us as revealed in the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the ultimate miracle that defies explanation. We don’t fully understand why he loves us, but he does.
by Carey Kinsolving