So what is the point of the miracles in the Bible?
Some people don’t believe that ever took place. Some say they are just stories and superstitions. Some say they are simply ways for ignorant people without knowledge of science to explain what they could not explain.
What do you think? Have you ever read of one of the miracles or heard it preached on and thought, “Yeah. Right. I don’t see too many of those happening today.
Well if you feel skeptical don’t feel bad. So where the people in the day when they took places. Lame people didn’t normally get up and walk around – fully restored. The blind did not receive their sight, or the deaf their hearing. Withered hands were not restored to full vitality – and this is the big one – the dead did not get up and walk around.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the people of Jesus day didn’t understand sickness and didn’t know when people were dead. Sickness and death were intimate parts of their lives. They knew them well.
We would be remiss if we do not give these miracles their full due, as manifestations of the power of God in the world.
In the reading from Acts today we find a man born lame having his legs restored – not by anything he did, or even by anything the apostles Peter or John did, nor by any power that they possessed.
What does this tell us then?
It tells us that God’s grace and mercy, his healing whether physical or spiritual comes to us from outside – from Him and Him alone by his charity – apart from our abilities or lack thereof.
Peter is clear about this when he says to the people who witnessed this, “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk.”
Peter and John claim nothing in the matter – and the man has nothing to offer either. Had he been able to affect his change would he not have done so already? Peter goes on to proclaim from whom the power to heal the man came. It was “The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers” who glorified his servant Jesus” who had done this miracle.
He goes on to say that it was faith in the name of Jesus that healed the man, that made “him strong.”
That is the crux of the matter regarding miracles stories. The firstly display the power of God over all things, including the physical world. The secondly show us that all healing, whether physical or spiritual comes by God’s grace. Lastly they serve as a metaphor for the spiritual healing that takes place that causes our lame and withered hearts to become strong and walk, when we put our faith in Jesus Christ.
There you have it.
As God healed the man physically in the name of Jesus, so too He heals spiritually, according to His grace, not relying on any feeble thing we have to offer, and that the spiritual healing of the heart – like the physical healing in the miracles stories – is complete. It is never partial.
God did not heal one leg of the man. There is no evidence in scripture that God healed the lame man for a period of time then allowed him to fall back into lameness. The healing was complete.
You never have to wonder if faith in Christ will heal only part of your sorrow, or take away only a part of your sin. God’s mercy in Christ is complete.