(Read Part 1)
There are some crises that could only be solved by a miracle. In such a case, it would not be wrong to ask the Lord for a miracle. He can do any supernatural work that He chooses to do. There are times, in fact—when all of the resources of this world have been found inadequate—that a miracle is all that we could hope for.
However, we have no right to look for a miracle, nor any reason to expect one.
Turning back to our text (John 4:46-54), we see from verse 48 that Jesus was aiming His speech at this “certain nobleman” (v. 46)—although He was not talking about him. Rather, He is talking to the Galileans who were listening (“you people,” John 4:48, NASB).
There are two incorrect assumptions that we could base off of Jesus’ statement in this verse. The first is that we should never ask for a miracle. The second is that your faith is insufficient if it is based upon seeing a miracle. Jesus is not chastising the people for this—only for their unquenchable desire to continually see more miracles. This is especially dangerous if those seeing the miracles continue in unbelief (cf. John 12:37).
This point actually goes to the very purpose of John’s gospel, which famously includes seven miracles that Jesus performed, which prove His identity. In John 20:30-31, John tells us that his purpose in doing so is “that ye might believe.” Although we have not seen these miracles with our eyes, reading about them on the pages of Scripture ought to lead to belief.
In that sense, we all believe based upon miracles, even though we read them in the Scriptures rather than seeing them with our own eyes.
Thus, when we see a sign or a wonder, we ought to seek to understand the point of which the Lord is using this to convince us.
When we expect a miracle today, is it for the purpose of having additional supporting evidence, or simply because of the benefit that the miracle would bring? That is a huge difference! What we seek is the blessing of the miracle, but Jesus came to bring evidence through His miracles. This is one of the reasons that Jesus did not heal everyone who lived in His day, and neither did the Apostle Paul (cf. 2 Tim. 4:20). Each had provided sufficient supporting evidence for his claims—in the case of the former, for the Messiahship of Jesus, and in the case of the latter, for the apostleship of Paul. God is not interested in handing out miracles just for the sake of handing out miracles, or even for the sake of the benefit that they would bring.
Indeed, all Christians get sick, have accidents and ultimately die, and not all receive miracles in their hour of need (cf. Heb. 9:27). These circumstances cannot be said to be the result of the lack of faith.
Let me be clear: I do believe that God performs miracles and can perform a miracle today. But if He does so, it is because there is a need for an evidence of some supernatural work of God that has taken place or is about to take place in the world—not simply for the sake of someone’s health or well-being. He rather provides miracles when it serves His purposes. We see this truth played out all throughout human history.
I might wish that He would provide miracles when it served my purposes. But this is not the case. Thus, the over-arching question that we are left with after considering this topic is simply this: Do we truly believe the Bible?
Editor’s Note: This blog article is taken from the following sermon, which you can watch in its entirety here:
(To be continued)
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