“When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. ….. Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw. Acts 8:6, 7, and 13
The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people…People brought the sick to the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed. Acts 5:12, 15, and 16
What do you think of these two texts and the many similar ones scattered throughout the New Testament that speak of signs and miracles? I know many Christians believe that the age of miracles is over and now modern medicine works as God’s new healing agent, but should we be so quick to dismiss supernatural healing?
I personally believe in supernatural healing that comes from God and brings comfort and renewal to the broken. However, I am the first to state I don’t understand how it works. Why does God heal some and not others? Why do so many miracles seem quite ordinary while we seldom hear of people being healed of chronic life threatening illnesses? And of course many of us have been turned off to healing because of the proliferation of charlatan phony “faith healers” that litter the airwaves with their healing crusades and the financial rip offs that accompany them.
But, regardless of all the static there seems to me to still be room for God to work supernaturally in our lives when it comes to healing. Let me give you five reasons miracles took place in the New Testament and take place today.
1. Miracles draw the attention of people and draw them to the Gospel. Notice, Acts 8:6-8 again because Luke makes it clear that when the people saw “the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. People tend to sit up and take notice when miracles take place, and they tend to listen to the message. Over and over throughout the New Testament crowds drew around Jesus in response to the miracles He manifested.
2. Miracles are signs that the Kingdom of God has come and begun to expand its beneficial results into people’s lives. The Old Testament made it clear that miracles (signs and wonders) would accompany the coming of the Messiah. And of course the greatest miracle that accompanies the work of Jesus is the breaking down of the wall of sin that separates us from the Father who brings us reconciliation. (See Matthew 12:28; Luke 9:12; Matthew 10:7, 8; Matthew 4:23)
3. One of the most obvious reasons for miracles is that they help people in need. “When Jesus heard what had happened, He withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed Him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matthew 14:13-14 (See also Luke 7:13; Matthew 20:30, 34)
God loves us unconditionally and takes no pleasure in our suffering and pain. He longs to bring us relief and encouragement through His healing hand, but our society scoffs at such assertions and unfortunately we Christians often get swept up in the same skepticism. Most of us reading this post believe in the supernatural transaction of our being declared righteous when we accept Jesus atoning sacrifice on our behalf, but somehow we are uneasy with the supernatural transformation of our bodies and minds through the miraculous healing of God’s touch.
4. Miracles remove hindrances to ministry. “When Jesus came into Peter’s house, He saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on them. When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to Him, and He drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.” Matthew 8:14-16 (See also Philippians 2:25-30)
Jesus took compassion on Peter’s mother-in-law and brought her healing while she in return prepared food for Jesus so that He would be strong for the miracles that would take place later that evening when He cast out the demons and healed the sick.
5. Miracles bring glory to God. In John 9 we have the story of Jesus healing a man who was born blind from birth. The disciples wanted to know why the man was blind. Jewish tradition equated afflictions like blindness on sin in the person’s life, but Jesus would have none of it. “ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.’ ” John 9:3
Don’t take this text wrong as if Jesus is saying that the man was born blind so that Jesus could heal him. He is simply stating that the man was born blind and because the man is blind Jesus now can bring glory to the Father by manifesting the Father’s love for the man through healing him of his blindness. (See Matthew 9:8)
Many years ago in the North Oshawa Church that I pastored we had a prayer room that people would come to after the service for prayer, anointing and laying on of hands. My friends Glenn and Brian led the prayer team and over and over throughout the years we saw the mighty hand of God restore and deliver people from affliction and pain. Looking back at that time in my life I realize I honestly believed in the power of healing, signs and wonders and as a result experienced God working miracles in the people around me.
Over the years I let that aspect of my relationship with God slip away, but recently God has been pulling on my heart to trust in Him again that He can do the impossible. This morning I came across these five reasons for miracles that I had written in the back of my Bible many years ago. Reading over them I felt a stirring in my heart for a deeper and closer walk with God. I pray that God will touch your heart as well and give you encouragement to trust Him with all your cares and hurts.
* As always please remember our Christian brothers and sisters in Christ who are being persecuted for their faith. Some of their stories can be found at http://thebeggardanced.com/nine-oclock-club/