Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Why do you argue in your hearts over what I do and think that it is blasphemy for me to say his sins are forgiven? Let me ask you, which is easier to prove: when I say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or when I say, ‘Stand up, carry your stretcher and walk’?” Jesus turned to the paraplegic man and said, “To prove to you all that I, the Son of Man, have the lawful authority on earth to forgive sins, I say to you now, stand up! Carry your stretcher and go on home, for you are healed.” In an instant, the man rose right before their eyes. He stood, picked up his stretcher and went home, giving God all the glory with every step he took. -- Luke 5:22-25 (TPT)
Have you ever seen a miracle?
If you have, ISN’T GOD SO, SO GOOD?
And if not, sit in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, in the beginning of the New Testament) for a little while.
These books account so many of Jesus’ signs and wonders, it’ll be hard to put your Bible down (also, don’t fret, Jesus is in the business of miracles, especially today, and I’m praying for you to experience Him in this way, because there’s nothing like it).
There’s the story of the bleeding woman and the man with leprosy, and the boy whose father brought him to Jesus to drive out a demon.
And in so many instances (these and more), Jesus made it personal.
It wasn’t a corporate blessing, but rather a one-on-one encounter, where He stepped into their brokenness and pain and sorrow and hurt.
He stepped in and healed them.
Plain and simple, but so powerful.
Our God is one of relationship, and He meets us wherever we are.
Their brokenness didn’t scare Him (on the contrary, I’d argue it drew Him nearer), neither did their sickness (not bleeding or leprous sores or screaming demons) or the repercussions of His actions with the religious leaders or the culture around Him (as we see in the verse from Luke above).
He was and is ready and willing and able, because we are His.
And when reading through a couple of these, looking for a verse to begin this devotional, I was instead drawn to Jesus’ dialogue with the Pharisees toward the end of Luke 5.
Prior to Jesus’ response (seen up above), the religious leaders had witnessed Jesus heal a paraplegic man (“My friend, your sins are forgiven!”), only to cry blasphemy.
“Only God can forgive sins. Does he think he is God?” they ask.
And Jesus’ response was perfect.
He argues that He could’ve said, “You’re healed, get up and walk.”
But instead, Jesus pointed the way to something bigger and better than the physical miracle.
Now, don’t get me wrong, miracles, signs and wonders are really cool (like, really cool).
But the coolness fades.
Because it’s not the miracles, signs, and wonders that we’re looking at, but rather the God with the authority and power to move in them.
What doesn’t fade is the wonder and awe and reverence for this God, who’d meet us in a place of ultimate brokenness and unimaginable suffering.
And a God who’d love nothing more than to make us whole again.
Miracles, signs, and wonders point the way to a God who is so, so good.
Better than anything we could ever think or imagine (or my words could accurately describe).
Here, Jesus is speaking in terms of eternity.
Though He’d healed the man for his time here on earth, He was actually prophesying over His eternal value and place in the Kingdom.
His faith had saved him.
That’s what miracles are for!!
And they still happen today.
All the time, every day.
JESUS IS SO, SO GOOD.
1. Which miracle story from the Bible is your favorite? Why?
2. Do you read (or remember, if you’ve seen one) these miracles, signs, and wonders in a different light? Why or why not?
Jesus, thank You so, so much for miracles. Thank You for always meeting us where we are, even when we’re broken and bruised. Thank You for never giving up on us. And thank You that, because the tomb is empty, the power and authority from Your time on earth is not lost to the world. Instead, it lies in each one of us in Your Holy Spirit. And I pray tonight, Jesus, that You’d use me to bring a miracle to the world. Work in me, then work through me. And as Easter approaches, I see an image of Your face, hanging on the cross. Bruised, beaten, and tortured for us. And this, this is the greatest miracle of them all. A sign of the wonder and goodness of our God. Thank You for everything. I love You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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