Today Pastor Ed Allen continued our sermon series for Lent: "Jesus Answers Our Questions." The question we looked at today was "Why don't we see more miracles?"
There are two possible conditions in our hearts when we ask this question:
1) Our faith is being tested and we need God to move. For this condition, we looked at Luke 7:18-23.
2) Faith is absent. We're being a critic. For this condition, we looked at Luke 11:29-32.
First, we looked at three introductory observations about miracles:
1) The miracles in the Bible are real.
The miracle stories are very different from other miracle stories coming out of that culture, and they were written in the lifetime of eyewitnesses.
2) There are not as many miracles as we might imagine.
3) Some of the miracles are authenticating Jesus and are uniquely associated with him as the Son of God.
Yet Jesus did promise that his followers would do greater things (John 14:12). So why don't we see more miracles?
When we ask with skepticism and doubt, Jesus does not respond. Essentially, he says, "You've seen all you're going to see."
The sign of Jonah: Even the pagan Ninevites knew to listen to someone who'd been in the belly of a whale for three days. So they should believe after Jesus would be in the grave for three days.
Christianity is not a code of conduct. Christianity rises and falls based on a historical fact, and whether it happened or not.
To skeptics, Jesus gives the sign that he overcame the grave.
Jesus will answer those who truly seek, not those coming with mockery or derision (Psalm 1:1).
Seeker or skeptic? It's a matter of the heart.
God has made us for Himself. When we come to the point that we want God, sometimes we experience God's power and amazing things happen. If we just want God's stuff, we don't get either one.
When we come to Jesus with faith, he reminds us that there are miracles happening all around us.
Ed reminded us that the building we were sitting in is one of God's miracles. And then he told his own story of healing from high blood pressure, even with an extreme family history of heart disease.
John the Baptist sent his disciples to ask Jesus if he was the Christ from prison. The real question behind it was, "Why am I in prison?" Jesus' answer was: I will indeed bring the kingdom, but not yet.
It's also true that the kingdom of God is "already/not yet."
Miracles today are temporary. Luke 17:20-21, Luke 19:11-12.
Even though Ed was healed from high blood pressure, it's temporary. He's still going to die one day.
One day, all healing will be permanent.
Jesus' ministry is the presence of the future.
We finished with three answers to the question "Why don't we see more miracles?"
1) We don't have enough faith.
2) We don't ask enough (James 4:2).
3) The kingdom of God is not yet fully here.
We get to see glimpses of it. It's coming!