My Mess, His Message

Archive for November, 2014

Miracles

Do you believe in miracles?  I’ve heard it said that miracles don’t exist.  I disagree – I’ve even witnessed some, myself!  Recently I was reading in the gospel of Matthew and chapters 8 & 9 document miracle after miracle that Jesus performed.  As I read it, I started to wonder what it would have been like to witness these miracles by Jesus’ own hand…

When Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him.  And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”  Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.”  And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.  Matthew 8:1-3 NASB

And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him, and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.”  Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”  But the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed….  Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel….”  And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.”  And the servant was healed that very moment.  Matthew 8:5-13 NASB

When Jesus came into Peter’s home, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever.  He touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she got up and waited on Him.  Matthew 8:14-15 NASB

When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill.  Matthew 8:16 NASB

And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep.  And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!”  He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?”  Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.  Matthew 8:24-26 NASB

When He came to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs.  They were so extremely violent that no one could pass by that way.  And they cried out, saying, “What business do we have with each other, Son of God?  Have you come here to torment us before the time?”…  And He said to them, “Go!”  And they came out and went into the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished into the waters.  Matthew 8:28-32 NASB

And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed.  Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.”…  “But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” – then He said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your bed and go home.”  And he got up and went home.  Matthew 9:2-7 NASB

…a synagogue official came and bowed down before Him, and said, “My daughter has just died; but come and lay Your hand on her, and she will live.”  Jesus got up and began to follow him, and so did His disciples.  And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak; for she was saying to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will get well.”  But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.”  At once the woman was made well.  When Jesus came into the official’s house, and saw the flute-players and the crowd in noisy disorder, He said, “Leave; for the girl has not died, but is asleep.”  And they began laughing at Him.  But when the crowd had been sent out, He entered and took her by the hand, and the girl got up.  Matthew 9:18-25 NASB

As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”  When He entered the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”  They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.”  Then He touched their eyes, saying, “It shall be done according to your faith.”  And their eyes were opened.  Matthew 9:27-30 NASB

As they were going out, a mute, demon-possessed man was brought to Him.  After the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke…  Matthew 9:32-33 NASB

What do you notice that each instance has in common?  Each miracle contains an ill or afflicted person and someone with immense faith.  Either the sick person knows that Jesus can heal them or someone very close to them knows that Jesus can heal them.  Even the demons recognize who Jesus is and know that they must submit to His authority.

This is one of my favorite lessons:  Jesus heals through faith.  Before Jesus healed any of these people, there was a profession of faith or an acknowledgement of His authority.  What I love about this is that Jesus is concerned about our spiritual health first – then physical.  We must first believe – then He can take care of our physical needs.

I want to be clear on a couple of things that I’m not saying:

  1. I am not saying that if you have a physical ailment, that there is something wrong with your spiritual health. That might not be the case.  We live in a fallen, sinful world and sickness is one of the results of our world.  Sometimes God allows physical ailments regardless of our spiritual health.  On the other hand, if your spiritual health (i.e. relationship with Jesus) is lacking or non-existent, then it is worth an assessment to identify what areas you might need to do some work on.
  2. I am not saying that when your spiritual health is sound that God will provide for your physical needs the way you want Him to. Our desires for our physical needs are not always aligned with God’s will for our lives.  When they don’t match up, He might not provide the way we think that He should.  He will provide as He sees fit – according to His will.

I would have loved to live during the days when Jesus walked this earth and performed these miracles, just to get a glimpse of Him.  How cool would it have been to witness these things?  Would witnessing these events change how I believe today?  Would it change how I act and the decisions I make?  The truth is that miracles still happen today – and sometimes we just overlook them.

Miracles are evident with each new baby that is born.  How is it that the little baby that has lived 9-10 months in the womb, connected by the umbilical cord and living in amniotic fluid knows instantly to take a breath when he is born?  Who taught him that?  I was so blessed to spend time with some friends this week who just had their first baby boy just days before.  What a sweet, precious little miracle!

Miracles are evident when the cancer patient who has been suffering for months all of a sudden shows up to the doctor and it is gone – without a trace.

Miracles are evident when you get a flat tire just 4 miles from home and 2 miles from a tire shop that just happened to 1 tire in your size because they had a shipment that very morning of the exact tire that you need – when they have never carried that tire make or size before.  And – PS, by the way – it happened on a morning when the people you’re living with just got home from almost 3 weeks out of town, so there was someone available to help you – and the tire shop sold the tire to you at a discount because they don’t even have anyone to sell that tire to.  This happened just this week to a good friend of ours.

I can go on about the miracles that I’ve been fortunate enough to witness, but my point is this:  If we don’t have faith, then how can we expect a miracle?  If we don’t even believe there is the remotest possibility that they can happen, then we won’t ever experience one.

The greatest miracle of all is Jesus Himself.  He entered this world of a virgin birth – that was prophesied hundreds of years earlier.  He ministered on this earth and performed miracles – that was prophesied hundreds of years earlier.  He was betrayed and crucified – that was prophesied hundreds of years earlier (and prophesied before crucifixion had even been invented, I might add!).  He was resurrected 3 days after He gave up His spirit – that was prophesied hundreds of years earlier.  And most noteworthy is that He did all of this according to the will of His (and our) Heavenly Father so that we would have the chance to be saved and live with our Father into eternity – that was prophesied hundreds of years earlier.

We each have the opportunity to witness the greatest miracle of all.  If we believe in Him and who He is, then we can expect the miracle (and promise) of salvation.

Now do you see why this is one of my favorite lessons?  And – PS, by the way – there are a lot more miracles documented in the Gospels.  Go check them out for yourself.

What I’ve Learned:

  • Jesus heals through faith.
  • Jesus is concerned about my spiritual health first, then my physical.
  • If I DON’T believe, then I CAN’T expect to witness a miracle.
  • If I DO believe, then I CAN expect to witness a miracle.
  • The miracle may not happen the way that I think it should or expect it to.

Refining Time:

  • How awesome would it be if we had the same faith as the people in Matthew 8 & 9?
  • What would our world be like if we had this kind of faith?
  • What do you believe Jesus would do in our world if we had this kind of faith?
  • Do you have the same faith as the people in Matthew 8 & 9?
  • What would your life be like if you had this kind of faith?
  • What do you believe Jesus would do in your life if you had this kind of faith?
  • Do you need to make a decision to believe in Jesus and who He is?

If you have made a decision to follow Jesus and who He is, please contact me privately – I would love to pray for you.  If you have questions about any of this, please feel free to contact me privately – I would love to answer any questions for you.  If you simply need prayer, please contact me privately – I will be a prayer warrior for you.

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