The Glory of Christ in His Miracles
As we read the history of Elisha, prophet of Israel, we might be tempted to think that maybe the miracles of our Lord Jesus weren’t all that unique. Jesus cured a leper, but so did Elisha. Jesus raised a woman’s son from the dead, but so did Elisha. Jesus multiplied food to feed a multitude, but so did Elisha. Was there anything special then about the miracles of Jesus?
When Elisha or others performed miracles, the attention and adoration garnered by them should have centered on God. After all, He was the real power behind these wonders. Naaman the leper confessed so much after his cure, “Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel.” But, regardless of the person performing the miracle, there is always another dynamic involved that places the Lord Jesus at the center of the wonder performed. How so? Every divinely wrought miracle points to the Savior in one way or another. Let’s confirm this from Scripture.
After Jesus miraculously fed the five thousand in John 6, multitudes followed Him. Instead of commending them for doing so, our Lord warned the people, saying, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves and were filled.” We might look at those words and wonder what Jesus meant. Wasn’t seeing the miracle and eating of the loaves basically the same thing? What is our Lord telling us?
First of all, the word translated “miracle” could just as well have been translated “sign,” for the same Greek word means both. The point – and it’s a very important one – is that all miracles, when rightly understood, are signs. They were never meant to be stand-alone events.
The curing of a leper was never meant to involve only a remedied health issue. The multiplying of food was never meant to involve only a temporary culinary provision. In every instance, miracles pointed to something beyond the event itself. They pointed to Jesus.
When Jesus engaged the multitude about the miracle of the multiplied bread, He quickly pointed them to the heart of that miracle – that He is the bread of life. Cleansing of a leper is emblematic of the greater cleansing that Jesus gives. He opens natural eyes and ears as a sign of the analogous spiritual gifting He gives.
So when we are tempted to think that Jesus’ earthly ministry to sinners was basically divided into two parts spiritual acts and physical acts – think again. When rightly understood, the two are not as distinct as might first appear.
How does this apply to us today? Every time God provides a meal for our table, let us think of the provision He has freely given of His Son, the Bread and Water of life. Every time a remedy is blessed to our restored health, think of the heavenly Physician who “restoreth my soul.” Every time He provides us with some work to do, think of how His blessed Holy Spirit is ever working in our lives as believers. Perhaps our little “miracles” are not all that spectacular compared with those done in Bible times; but if our spiritual eyesight is sharp enough, the One to whom they point us is ever so beautiful, ever so necessary, and more than sufficient for all our spiritual needs and wants.