March 23 I Friday
“Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” —John 21:25
The opening verse reveals that Scripture contains just a handful of the countless miracles God did through Jesus. From what we read in Scripture, Jesus rarely performed miracles the same way twice. In Mark 8:22-26, He heals a man’s blindness by spitting on his eyes and laying hands on him. In John 9:6-7, He heals another blind man by making mud from His spittle, rubbing it on the man’s eyes and telling him to wash in the nearby Pool of Siloam.
Perhaps the reason Jesus was so unpredictable in His miracles was so we would believe in Him, not believe Him for something. John certainly backs this up. After Jesus turned water into wine, he writes that “...His disciples believed in Him” (John 2:11). Jesus never again turned water into wine because the miracle was never about the wine. The miracle pointed to who Jesus was and once the disciples understood this, there was no need to repeat it.
Some Christians focus more on what their faith will do for them, rather than who their faith is placed in. They look at the miracles of Jesus and give Him a shopping list of needs and wants that will make for a safer, more comfortable life. They expect their faith should net some material or spiritual benefits, but Jesus was unpredictable so we would know faith in Him matters more than what He will do for us.
Hebrews 11 lists incredible heroes of faith and what happened when they chose to trust in God. Many of the results are positive, like God saving His people from Egyptian captivity or saving His servants from fiery furnaces and the lions’ dens. But then the chapter takes a sudden turn, saying there were those who were tortured and imprisoned so they would gain a better resurrection. Some were stoned, sawn in two and killed by the sword. These were men and women of God who refused to denounce their faith. They lived with heaven in mind, and eagerly anticipated the eternal glory awaiting them.
God rarely works the same way twice for the simple reason we cannot put God in a box with preconceived notions of how He should work in our lives. Sometimes God will work the miraculous to reveal His power and grace, but other times He will let us face hardship so we learn to depend on Him as our strength. This takes courage, but results in a far more intimate and life-changing relationship when we believe in Jesus, not for what He will do for us, but because of who He is and what He has already done for us.
Prayer: Precious Lord, I know Your ways are best, even when it means I have to endure tough situations. I put my faith in You today, trusting You to bring about Your purpose. Thank You, Lord.