Do you believe in miracles? What surprises me is how many people dismiss God working in the world of the supernatural simply because they don’t believe such things as miracles can occur. Duh! That’s why we call them miracles.
I recently finished a very interesting and informative book on the Exodus, but I was disappointed on how many times the commentator refused to accredit the miracles of the Exodus to history. So how do we understand the Bible and what it says about all sorts of things including miracles?
Christians are divided with some more liberal believers rejecting all interjections of the supernatural and fundamentalists taking the Bible literally. Just last evening I watched, for a few minutes, an evangelist on television explaining the book of Revelation in literalist terms. According to this gentleman “stinger missiles” are the Scorpions mentioned in Revelation.
If we don’t want to be like Thomas Jefferson and throw all miracles out of the Bible or like the fundamentalist pastor who believes in literalism how do we look at the Word of God?
First of all, no one should expect that people writing the Bible in ancient times should be speaking the language of the 21st Century. The Bible was written in a different time and the world was a much different place. We must also remember the Bible wasn’t written as a scientific textbook. It was written as a book of deliverance, hope, and encouragement to a people that God was leading on a spiritual journey. Today there are more Christians in the world than any other time in history because the Bible keeps leading us on our life journey.
The secret, really no secret, of the Bible is that it is timeless. The message of love, peace, justice, and security are as relevant for our generation as it was two thousand years ago in the time of Jesus.
Let’s go back to my original question, should we believe in miracles? The answer for me is “yes” but for other Christians they may have doubt. Does doubt make the Bible any less real or true?
In the 1960’s John Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas. Ever since the shooting there have been hundreds, if not thousands, of questions arise up over the shooting. Was there more than one gunman? Did someone shoot from the grassy knoll? Can you see smoke from a fired rifle on pictures of the knoll at the time of the shooting? The list goes on and on. What we do know is that the President was shot and killed while driving in a convertible and the man arrested for the shooting was killed by Jack Ruby. We also know the shooting took place in Dallas, Texas.
The point I’m making is that we may never know all the minute details of what happened in the shooting of President Kennedy but we know it happened. It is the same with much of the Bible. We have enough outside of the Bible sources to know that Jesus lived, was crucified, and his followers believed He was the Messiah and continued to believe this even after His death. The Bible teaches Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, appeared to numerous people and then left them so the Holy Spirit could come to the people.
The Bible is a book of faith. It is a book that presents God as a friend and in love with people. At the cross God proved that love. Yes, there are details in the Bible, but far less than you might think, that under the scrutiny of modern science might not hold up, but that is not the point. The question is, did the events in the Bible happen? The answer for me is yes. Did miracles happen? If there is a God and I believe there is, then why couldn’t He (I know God is Spirit) allow miracles?
That brings us to the point about how do we relate to miracles in our own world? When my daughter was a toddler she fell head first down the stairs at the apartment building where we were living. I was standing in the yard when I saw her walk off the top step and fall. As she fell she turned went into a sitting position and ended up sitting on the step. Just last evening a friend, originally from Sri Lanka, told me of a man who was shot in a hunting accident and when hands were laid on him he was healed.
I believe in Bible miracles because I have seen miracles and know people who have had miracles in their lives. Other times we pray for miracles and we don’t see immediate answers to our prayers. Even when we don’t see those immediate answers doesn’t mean God is not working and transforming us.
The greatest miracle in the Bible is the transformation of our hearts, and that is something we can all be involved in. God’s love poured out at Calvary on our behalf changes all of us who believe. This is the greatest miracle.