Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jesus, Faith, and Miracles/Signs vs. Words

Do you believe in miracles? I do.  I mean after all, if I'm at a wedding and someone turns my glass of water (from which I have already had a sip and know it is water) into excellent red wine, I cannot deny that a miracle has taken place, regardless of how it is explained.  I know I couldn't do it.

Or I'm walking along the street and an acquaintance of mine about whom I know something but not very much, is approached by someone I don't know at all.  The latter tells my acquaintance that his child is dying and my acquaintance says "The child will live, just return home."  I just happen to check my watch at the instant that is said and I note the time.  A little while later, this stranger returns and informs my acquaintance that his child was indeed healed at exactly 2 p.m. that afternoon.  I remember that was the exact time my acquaintance made his statement, "The child will live."  As a result, I believe in miracles.

And I believe with the exception of some people who may be named Thomas, just about everyone under those and similar situations, would believe in miracles.  However, I also understand that such belief only allows one to account for what he cannot explain.  It does not get you much more than just that in life.

Neither can one say that "because I believe in miracles, I am a true believer in God, the kind Jesus wanted and talked about."  Philip W. Comfort and Wendell  C. Hawley in their book Opening John's Gospels and Epistles: Pastoral Reflections on Love, Light, and Logos say, "True belief in God means belief in his Word.  Jesus' miracles, according to the Gospel of John, were signs pointing the people who witnessed them to the one who performed the signs -- Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God.  If the miracle produced faith only in a miracle worker and not in the Son of God, then the purpose of the sign was missed."

I wonder how many of us have only been believing in the miracles and maybe even in the fact that whoever performs them, including Jesus, is a wonderful miracle-worker?  I think of all the miracles that people experience everyday as they live (some of them not even realizing it sometimes) and yet know nothing about the Miracle Worker.  Or I think of the thousands that go to someone, some place, at the right time, and pay the right entrance or application fee, in order to get healed, and if by chance they do, they focus strictly on the human miracle-worker who was involved.

And then there are those of us who are perfectly aware of miracles in our own lives all the time.  We believe in miracles.  We are also aware of miracles performed by God in the lives of others, individually and globally.  We are fully cognizant of the true Miracle Worker.  But have taken the next step to go beyond those beliefs?

We must move to point where our belief must be in Jesus' "words", not just His miracles.  We must believe what He has said about Himself, about the world, about eternity.  And most importantly about His part in our salvation and eternal life.  It is that belief that really counts.  It is that belief that marks us as true believers, as true followers, of His.  Anything short of that and we're bound to 'sink in the water' as we attempt to pursue Him.

In the Gospel of John, chapter 4, we note that the Centurion was asking Jesus for a miracle (vs. 47).  He believed in miracles for he had likely heard that this man Jesus performed one at the wedding in Cana.  But as Jesus talked to him and told him to go home for his son would live, the Centurion believed in Jesus' words, and did as told (vs. 51).  And finally, the text says he believed once more (vs. 53), but in what?  This was no longer about believing in miracles, or even in Jesus' words -- this was about believing in Jesus Himself, as the very Son of God.  He became a true Jesus follower and his life changed drastically.  May it be so with us. 

Thanks for dropping by.  Sign up to receive free updates.  We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources.  Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar.  And please share this blog with your friends.   Ken Godevenos, Church and Management Consultant, Accord Consulting.

Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

No comments:

Post a Comment