What Is a Miracle?
Open Your Bible
1 Kings 18:20-40, Psalm 65:5-8, Exodus 12:40-42, Exodus 12:51, Exodus 14:21-31, Exodus 19:16-25, Exodus 7:3-5
Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 18:20-40; Psalm 65:5-8; Exodus 12:40-42,51; Exodus 14:21-31; Exodus 19:16-25; Exodus 7:3-5
Seeing is not believing.
I ask for miracles all the time. I implore God for snow days, chase after lost causes, and jockey for acclaim. I ask God to change people. I ask Him to change me. And most of all, I ask Him to heal.
The possibility of miracles is such lush fruit to my imagination. It means that anything is possible. God could pop down, give a little nudge, and fix any problem. And when He doesn’t, it’s confusing. If He could do a miracle, why doesn’t He do one for me?
In preparing for this study, I noticed that Jesus doesn’t do miracles on command. He isn’t anybody’s trick pony. In fact, He blesses those “who do not see, and yet believe” (John 20:29), and He rebukes a generation that “seeks for a sign” (Matthew 12:39). And, man, I do love a good sign.
It seems if Jesus were just willing to do a bit of skywriting, all would believe and the world would be saved. It’s so much easier to ask for a sign instead of looking to the person of Christ, to hunt after what He can do for us instead of who He is. His miracles aren’t His message, but rather a testament to who He is. And even those who witnessed His miracles did not necessarily believe.
This study focuses on miracles performed by Jesus. But for a big picture, let’s step back and look at all kinds of miracles in the Bible. When reading any scripture, I ask myself, “What is God doing in this passage?” These passages on miracles make it easy to answer that question and learn more about the character of God in the process.
He is supreme and omnipresent: God shows His unearthly power when He scorches the dripping-wet sacrifices for Elijah at Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18).
He is sovereign and omnipotent: He is the Master of nature and quiets the storms (Matthew 8:23-27).
He is merciful and good: He is the source of our salvation (John 3:16; Hebrews 5:7-10).
He is holy and omniscient: He is the thundering presence on Mount Sinai (Exodus 19).
Miracles are one of the ways God expresses His “otherness” to us. They reveal Him in His power, and show us He is not like us. The rules of nature that bind us do not bind Him. The laws of a created world are amendable by the One who created it.
As we read through this study, think about what Jesus’ miracles tell us about His character. Remember that these are nothing less than acts of God performed by Immanuel, “God with us.” Although signs and wonders may not accompany every moment of our lives, the One who makes them possible does.