When was the last time you saw a miracle? Jesus performed many miracles during His time on earth, to make people aware of God’s presence and power. He used miracles as “signs” to validate His own identity and message while pointing people to God. He said,
“Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.” (John 14:11)
He still performs miracles today and it is for the same purpose. But some people are so distracted by the substance of the miracle – whether it is something as amazing as physical healing or something as simple as providing bread – that they miss the sign contained in it. After miraculously feeding a huge gathering, Jesus warned them not to follow Him around to get more bread. Miracles are done to open our eyes to the power of God! Even physical healing, as wonderful as it is and as grateful as we are to receive it, is merely temporary. You get healed of one thing only to die later on of something else! Miracles are signs that point us to the presence and power of God.
Trouble is, many people cannot see miracles. Perhaps miracles make them uneasy. Their first response is to explain away what happened by trying to understand the physical explanation of how it occurred. But the point in a miracle is not how it was done but rather, why it was done! I am convinced that the reason we in the United States don’t see more miracles is because we have blinded ourselves to them. We are so fixated on the how that we miss the why. Jesus reflected on that kind of blindness:
” At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.” (Matthew 11:25)
Jesus didn’t want us to be childish, but childlike. He wasn’t telling people to park their brains at the door but, rather, to open their eyes! To recover their natural capacity for wonder and awe when confronted by the presence and power of God. To look for why instead of smugly dismissing the miraculous with explanations of how. Open your eyes! Pay attention!
This is more important than you may realize. Faced with the stony faced blindness of the “wise and learned,” Jesus warned them:
“And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.” (Matthew 11:23-24)
More bearable for the people of Sodom, because they would have paid attention, they would have gotten the point. They would have turned away from their arrogant, “know-it-all” attitudes, and responded to the power and majesty of God with humility and reverence.