Miracles; August 11, 2020

Luke 7:16-17 They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.

It’s interesting that only Luke, who did the most research for his Gospel since he wasn’t a participant, records this particular incident. John, on the other hand, is the only one to record the resurrection of Lazarus, which was directly antecedent to Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion. I think the permanent resurrection of Jesus Himself kind of pushed these temporary resurrections out of people’s minds! We, however, are still blessed that at least one person chose to record these incidents, because they have much to teach us. This particular incident is interesting because Jesus had no prior connection to the young man and his mother, unlike Lazarus and his sisters. His motive appears to have been compassion, pure and simple. In a sense it wasn’t as “difficult” a resurrection as that of Lazarus, because the young man was only on his way to burial, rather than having been in the tomb several days, like Lazarus. Even so, a resurrection is hardly trivial, and the public response was appropriate. The general public might not have been ready to acknowledge Him as Messiah, but they were certainly willing to call Him “a great prophet.” The second part of their response is even more important, crediting God and giving Him praise. There are people who perform pretty remarkable miracles even today, but the question arises of whether they genuinely give God the glory. If they fail to do so, that doesn’t negate the miracle, but it certainly removes any benefit from them. We need to believe that God is great enough and powerful enough to use even us, (John 14:12) but the moment we start taking credit for it, even in our own minds, we are on very dangerous ground.

I have seen a few miracles in my ministry, but not many and with no particular consistency. I’m afraid at this point that I don’t really expect miracles, and that’s unfortunate. God hasn’t changed! I need to be aware that every good thing that comes from me actually comes through me, because it originates with God, and with that awareness I need to give Him the glory. Yesterday He very kindly enabled us to get the photo show set up much more quickly and simply than in most past years, and He provided just the right helper to do so. The show itself starts today, and He will be present in it as well. I am to keep my focus on Him and give Him praise and glory, particularly as people praise me for one thing or another. This year for the first time we will be doing “mini concerts” each day, as a means of presenting the Gospel. I need to sing for and to Him, rather than just the human audience, so that He may use our music to draw people to Himself.

Father, thank You for Your continuing and growing grace toward us. Thank You for using Cathy to get us started on preparing for this show as early as we did, and for guiding in combining her crafts with my pictures. Thank You for giving her the idea of the mini concerts. May all that we say, do, and are in this week open people’s eyes to You and communicate Your love and grace to them, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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