View Full Version : Where are all the miracles?

06-24-2006, 02:55 AM
I remember a time when it seemed silly to me that God didn't just prove his existance by performing some miracles, or perhaps by just telling us directly with His big, booming voice from the heavens. That would certainly make things easier, I thought. Even then I should have seen the answer; The Israelites saw seven plagues brought upon Egypt, walked through the Red Sea split in two, ate mana which fell from heaven, and had a pillar of clouds by day and a pillar of fire by night as their guide! Yet they wailed in despair at every opportunity and built a golden idol the minute they were left on their own. In the same way, Jesus performed countless miracles, yet it was one of His very own disciples who handed Him over to be crucified.

<div class="FTQUOTE"><begin quote>"Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came,' and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first."
Matthew 12:43-45</end quote></div>

What good is it if we know God exists, yet our hearts are empty? If we leave a house in perfect condition, and it remains empty for several years, upon returning we will find it full of dust, cobwebs, any number of small animals, and it need of a great many repairs. For a more practical experiment, go into the back of your cupboards and find a pot which has not been used for a few decades. Even if the pot is left upside down, it will likely have a filthy, sticky residue on the inside surface. When we do not have anything to occupy our hearts, something else will occupy it for us. It is better to have a filthy slob living inside a house than for it to be empty, for he will at least scare some of the animals away and prevent some of the larger cobwebs from forming; it is better to be using a pot to hold dirt than to leave it empty, for dirt is easier to clean than sticky residue; and it is better to have even a sinful heart than an empty one, for a sinful heart at least has the ability to repent.

There is a story by Oscar Wilde (I forget the name) about Jesus walking through town and meeting three people. Upon meeting a man staring lustfully at a prostitute, Jesus says, "Why are you looking at her like that?" to which the man replies, "I was blind and you gave me sight. How else should I look at her?" Walking a little further, Jesus sees a rich man, living idly and uncaring. Jesus asks, "Why do you live in such a way?" and the man replies, "I had leprosy and you cured me. How else should I live?" Leaving the city, Jesus finally comes upon a man sitting by the side of the road and crying. Jesus asks, "Why are you crying?" and the man replies, "I was dead and you brought me back to life. What should I do but cry?"

We find many times in the gospels, before Jesus heals someone or forgives them of sin, he first mentions "You have great faith!" The most striking example is the faith of the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:21-28. Faith was required for Jesus to give a miracle, because He knew the consequence of leaving any person with an empty heart.

Why then, did God perform miracles for the Israelites? God would have known that many Israelites would be lost, but if He had done nothing, all would have been lost, and it was God's wish that some (those who had faith) would be saved, so that all nations would be blessed by them, as God promised.

Now, however, we have no need for miracles. While miracles are only capable of saving a few, and only for a short while; we now have the word of God, which is capable of saving anyone with a ready heart for all of eternity. Indeed, if the word of God cannot save a person, then there is nothing which can save him.

<div class="FTQUOTE"><begin quote>"Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate and covered with sores, and longing to be fed with crumbs which were falling from the rich mans table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abrahams bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom.
"And he cried out and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.'
"But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.'
"And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my fathers house for I have five brothers in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'
"But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.'
"But he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!'
"But he said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.' "
Luke 16:19-31</end quote></div>