BLOG 16 November 7, 2016 MIRACLES NEVER CEASE
Robert Wise explores the world of Divine intervention from an objective point of view. Can 21st Century people believe that the hand of God touches people in today’s world?
Read and you’ll find new insights.
During the past sixteen weeks, I have been describing and relating miraculous events. How do we understand such occurrences? What can you take away from these stories.
The context for insight is in the scripture. Both the Old and New Testaments are filled with these amazing occasions. More importantly, the Bible gives us a larger picture for our understanding. As I talked with people who I considered legitimate, I’ve found that their “happenings” fit a biblical category that explains why miracles occur.
The Old Testament tells us that a miracle is a sign. The Greek word σήμεoν suggests that events like Moses’s struggle with Pharaoh, crossing the Red Sea (the Sea of Reeds), the Exodus itself, were all signs of the reality of God. This Greek word is used 73 times in the New Testament as well. We find it ten times in Matthew, 23 in Mark, 10 in Luke, 24 times in John, and 13 signs in the Book of Acts. Miracles were a sign.
In the New Testament, the birth of the Messiah came with a total uniqueness. When the shepherds came running to see the baby, their appearance was a sign to Mary. In John’s Gospel, miracles are messianic. Whether it be turning water into wine at Cana, or feeding the multitude, John made it clear that what Jesus accomplished was a sign that he was the Messiah they had been seeking.
In all of these instances, the event told observers that the intervention was not an ordinary act of nature, but a sign of the presence of God. Beyond the influence of man, the events came from God and put a new responsibility on the observer. These signs kept pointing beyond themselves to the One who was the true source of life.
Let us be clear: A sign is not a miracle, but a miracle is a sign. There are many signs throughout scripture that were not always understood by observers. However, when an authentic miracle occurred, it was a sign that pointed beyond the miraculous experience to the transcendent God.
This recognition of the miracle as a sign does not end with the Gospel’s story. The Book of Acts demonstrates that the Apostles’ ministries were filled with the miraculous. Acts 4:16 and 22 relates that the unbelieving Jewish leaders even recognized that the works of the Apostles were “signs.” The Sanhedrin feared that the these signs would establish faith. A miracle is a sign of God’s transcendent presence and power. Miracles confront us with the reality of God the Father working in our midst.
Don’t be afraid to buy in! A good God makes good things happen.
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