Matthew 15:31 The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.
Performing so many miracles, Jesus naturally got a lot of attention. However, He managed to do it in a way that caused people to praise the God of Israel, and not think any of the other gods with which they were familiar might have been responsible. People in general try to take credit for whatever good or impressive things they might do. In contrast, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” (John 5:19) In His time on this earth, Jesus didn’t exercise His power as a part of the Trinity, He operated in the power of the Holy Spirit, in strict obedience to the Father. That’s why He could say, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12) To the degree that we are filled with and operating by the Holy Spirit, in perfect obedience to the Father, we have the same power flowing through us that Jesus did. However in such a case, taking credit is the furthest thing from our mind. We will be like Peter was when he said, “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?” (Acts 3:12) Peter knew exactly where the power had come from, and he gave full credit where it was due.
I’ve not had remarkable miracles manifesting in my ministry, but at the same time I am deeply aware that I couldn’t do what I do apart from the grace and power of God. I have had people be amazed at how I have forgiven some people, and even Christians have told me they don’t have my faith in that area. However, I know that I couldn’t do that apart from the grace of God in my own life. When God has forgiven me, how can I not forgive others? God has brought me through some trials of faith that I don’t wish on anybody, but in all of that He has taught me that His grace is indeed sufficient for me. To put it like the TEV translation does, His grace is all I need. However, I wouldn’t have that assurance if it weren’t for His grace, His presence in me. That might seem like somewhat circular reasoning, but it reflects the reality that everything good in me comes from Him. I took credit for my accomplishments far too many times, and I now know the stupidity of that. I want my life to cause people to praise the God of Israel, because He alone is worthy of all praise, honor, and glory.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the trip to the emergency room last night, and for the peace You gave me in that. Thank You that we were treated respectfully and kindly, and that the care we received has been helpful in reducing Cathy’s pain. Father, she endures so much of that! I do pray that You would keep her from any unnecessary pain, and that together we would indeed cause people to acknowledge and praise You, for Your glory alone. Thank You. Praise God!