Posts Tagged ‘miracles’

So right now I am reading the brilliant book Miracles by C.S. Lewis, I came upon two passages that I think really bear repeating. I thought I’d share them here today as a little bonus.

The mention of that nation [Israel] turns our attention to one of those features of the Christian story which is repulsive to the modern mind. To be quite frank, we do not at all like the idea of a “chosen people.” Democrats by birth and education, we should prefer to think that all nations and individuals start level in the search for God, or even that all religions are equally true. It must be admitted at once that Christianity makes no concessions to that point of view. It does not tell of a human search for God at all, but of something done by God, for, to, and about Man. And the way in which it is done is selective, undemocratic, to the highest degree. After the knowledge of God is universally lost or obscured, one man from the whole earth (Abraham) is picked out. He is separated (miserably enough, we may suppose) from his natural surroundings, sent into a strange country, and made the ancestor of a nation who are to carry the knowledge of the true God. Within this nation there is further selection: some die in the desert, some remain behind in Babylon. There is further selection still. The process grows narrower and narrower, sharpens a last into one small bright point like the head of a spear. It is a Jewish girl a her prayers. All humanity (so far as concerns is redemption) has narrowed to that.

A little bit later in that same chapter, Lewis refines his point.

For when we look into the selectiveness which the Christians attribute to God, we find in it none of that “favoritism” which we are afraid of. The “chosen people” are chosen not for their own sake (certainly no for their own honour of pleasure) but for the sake of the unchosen. Abraham is told that “in his seed” (the chosen nation) “all nations shall ve blest.” That nation as been chosen to bear a heavy burden. Their sufferings are great: but as Isaiah recognized, their sufferings heal others. On the finally selected Woman, falls he utmost depth of maternal anguish. Her Son, the incarnate God, is a “Man of Sorrows;” the one man into whom Deity descended, the one Man who can be lawfully adored, is pre-eminent for suffering.

Leave it to Lewis to break down the point of what He calls (and this writer agrees is) God’s greatest miracle; the incarnation. God always knows what He’s doing and He is always working for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Trust Him!

For weeks now I have been preaching on the life of Jesus and hopefully you have gotten the point of it all which is we need to be like Jesus, that’s the goal, that’s the plan. That we would grow into His image and be more and more like Him until it is hard to tell where we end and He begins. Matthew chapter 8 as well as the rest of the Gospels record the one area in which it will be most difficult for us to be like Him—His miracles. Jesus is a miracle worker. While we have definitely been seeing Jesus as Lord and Savior in this series, for most of the time we have been looking at Jesus as fully human, as our great example. Today we will see the other side of Him, the side that shows us He is fully God. But what about us? Can we be like Him in His miracles as well? Will we ever be used to do a miracle? Let’s find out.

The art:

Matthew 8:1 When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Look at the way the man approaches Jesus. He comes humbly but with faith. He says basically I’ve got this disease, it’s a death sentence, but if you want to, I know you can heal me. This is his greatest physical need, but he lets it up to Jesus as to whether or not He will do the healing. Now understand, this is leprosy. In the time of Jesus, it’s a death sentence, a nearly completely fatal disease in which your body pretty much literally falls apart. It’s a horrible disfiguring disease. Worse than that though because it was so contagious, no one could touch you if you had it for fear of it transmitting to someone else. The law of Moses said if you had it you had to be exiled from the community and if anyone got near you, you had to cry out unclean, unclean so they would stay away. You were ritually unclean as well so you couldn’t go to the temple and worship and if anyone so much as touched you, they were considered unclean and had to go through a pretty rigorous cleansing ritual to be able to return to the house of the Lord.
How does Jesus react to this man? Verse 3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Jesus touched him. He touched the untouchable. Jesus was willing to sacrifice Himself to heal this man. There was no one beneath the touch of God and there still isn’t. Jesus could touch the unclean because nothing can make the perfect unclean. Jesus is still willing to touch the untouchable. He’s still the God of the outcast and the untouchable. He loves everyone and there is no one He cannot heal. This is a lesson for us as well. There’s still no one God can’t reach and no one we should write off. What happened as soon as He touched the man? Immediately he was cured of his leprosy. 4 Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

Bible Reading Guide
An important part of following God is knowing what He wants and a great way to know what He wants is to read His Word. Follow this plan and you will finish reading the Bible in a year.
Leviticus 17; John 10; Hebrews 6; Psalm 42
You can also download your own chart here.