Served the people

“Okay, so you did it once. That could be a fluke; do it again!” That’s reasonable. When scientists do a study which makes a significant find, immediately they want to re-do it, to make sure that it wasn’t a fluke. If we find the same thing consistently, then we say, “This isn’t a fluke, it’s a fact.”

Perhaps we’d wonder if Jesus’ first miracle—changing water into wine—was a fluke. So, Jesus did MANY miracles. For example, one time a group of 5,000 men, plus women and children, gathered to hear him. As evening came, Jesus told the disciples that they should feed the crowd. The disciples were stunned; how could they feed so many? They found one boy who had five loaves of bread and two small fish. What they considered a loaf of bread we would now consider a tortilla. It was about the size of a bagel. From that, Jesus fed the whole multitude! Then, a few months later, he fed another crowd of 4,000-plus. And we’re just scratching the surface. Jesus cured blindness, deafness, leprosy. He drove out demons, calmed storms. And perhaps most impressive, Jesus raised several people from the dead. Wow. This is no fluke! But we would fall short if we didn’t explore why Jesus did these things.

One time Jesus was teaching in a house when some men brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus. Because of the crowd, they couldn’t get to Jesus, so they climbed up on the roof, made an opening, and lowered their friend through it. Jesus’ first words were, “Son, your sins are forgiven” (Mark 2:5 NIV).

The religious leaders were angered: “He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:7 NIV). Jesus then asked, “Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?” (Mark 2:9 NIV). For a “normal” human being both would be impossible. But for God? Well, he could do both. So, if Jesus could heal the paralytic, that would prove that he could also forgive his sins. And that’s exactly the point Jesus makes: “‘But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . .’ He said to the paralytic, ‘I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.’ He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all” (Mark 2:10-12 NIV). Jesus healed him; therefore, Jesus could also forgive him.

And there we see the ultimate point of Jesus’ miracles. Each of those miracles said, Look at me! I have the ability and the authority to DO what you NEED! I have the ability and authority to FORGIVE you, to declare you innocent!” And as we look at all those miracles? We’re led to conclude, “This is no fluke! It’s a fact!”

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