Signs and wonders
There’s a great attraction towards the supernatural within Christianity. It’s anything that is out of the ordinary like magic tricks and strange phenomenons to alien encounters, that easily pulls on the attention of people from their daily and sometimes boring routines. This is always a welcome distraction for us human beings. A distraction, unfortunately, that draws away the focus of many believers from what really matters…
Based on some stories in the Bible, we would like to show God’s view on this topic.
The greatest miracle
A man was lowered down the roof of a house in order that Jesus Christ would heal him (Mat 9:1-8). Instead Jesus did the unthinkable… He simply forgave him his sins. Nothing else would’ve happened, if not for the skeptical scribes.
So as to prove that the invisible miracle happened, Jesus by saying, “But so that you may know…” (v.6) allowed for a visible healing to manifest. Wouldn’t this latter part of the story have taken place, Jesus might have just left the man on his pallet still paralysed.
It may seem cruel for those who fail to grasp the value of eternal salvation in paradise. Most believers don’t realize that the paralytic has already received more than enough, hence Jesus’ remark, “Be encouraged, my child! Your sins are forgiven.” (v.2)
We really need to get it into our thick skulls that God is more concerned about our spiritual healing than our physical wellbeing, because He knows a few years of maladies on earth is quickly forgotten in the scope of eternal bliss.
Jesus sent out several disciples to go out and do all sorts of things for His sake; mostly they were moving in the supernatural and this of course brought them great joy (Luk 10:1-20). As much as this excites us even today, Jesus’ words has to reverberate in our hearts…
“Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” Luk 10:17-20 (NASB)
As citizens of heaven, we have to realize, what is seemingly out of the ordinary in the Bible (e.g. blind regaining their eyesight, people defying the laws of physics by walking on water or teleporting, etc.) is very ordinary in the Kingdom of God. Who would rejoice in heaven, because the streets are made of gold?
Instead, once again, the emphasis lies in the salvation of Jesus’ disciples – the one thing for which as He says, the shepherd would leave 99 of his sheep behind for. The only thing that puts a smile on God’s face is another soul in heaven together with Him forever!
Idolizing the miracles
During the Great Exodus, people were being bitten by snakes and were dying away. Through the careful following of God’s instructions, Moses made a bronze serpent and when those who were bitten would gaze at it, they would surely live (Num 21:4-9). Unfortunately, that very bronze serpent has been used as an idol to which the people of God was burning incense to and had to be destroyed (2Ki 18:4).
The Bible tells us that we are prone to worship what has been created instead of the Creator (Rom 1:25). While on earth, we will always have that tendency and nobody is safe from it, but we do need to constantly remind ourselves that all blessings – especially of the supernatural kind – are there solely to glorify or magnify God (Rom 11:36)!
Watch out what you’re praying for
This is a very profound lesson on answered prayers that goes beyond the effects of God’s miraculous acts. A king named Hezekiah did well in the sight of the Lord and came to a closure of his life here in earth. Some might have thought, it was a perfect departure from this life to the next, but this king had a desire to go on beyond that what God has planned for him.
God’s love and our faith
One of the most misunderstood parts of this topic is its connection towards God’s love and our faith. We are being told that God creates miracles for our benefit in order to display His love for us and at times, we are responsible as well to bring up enough faith to make the impossible happen.
First, God loves us. Regardless whether He heals us or blesses us with many miracles or not. We need to remember, that God’s probably greatest display of love is seen on the Cross with a crucified Son. His love is above anything we can comprehend (Isa. 55:8-9).
His love can be received and felt whether we experience a miracle or not. There are countless testimonies of human lives around the world who are immensely grateful and react unbelievably mature even without a single miracle happening in their lives. These people Jesus calls blessed…
Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed?
Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”
Joh 20:27-29 (NASB)
Second, we can have sufficient faith that God wants us healed and still never be healed in this lifetime. Faith is often mistaken as a superpower we Christians have and with that we undeniably reject and contradict the sovereignty of God in His very own signs and wonders. He can choose what happens to us and made it clear throughout all Scripture.
God is still sovereign
Which leads us to the final point of this topic and it definitely isn’t the least important of all.
Historically speaking, one of the first stories of the Bible, we get a glimpse of how things go about in God’s side of reality (the spiritual realm). Job was allowed to get sick and have all sorts of supernatural attacks happen in his life.
Paul tells us in his letter to the Roman church, that we are just a clay and who are we to question the actions of the Potter.
Peter questioned Jesus as John was given an different kind of grace as he received.
“For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.” Heb 2:1-4 (NASB)