Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Me Or My Lying Eyes



And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief. -- Matthew 13:58


I don’t have much time today, so I’ll talk about this briefly and maybe come back to it.  I think it is an important concept and worthy of thought. 

The purpose of a miracle is not simply to give someone the help that they need.  Obviously giving sight to the blind is of benefit to the blind man, but miraculous works are a part of the revelation.  As such, they call on those who witness them to both glorify God and receive what is being revealed about God through the miracle.  Ridderbos (whom I mentioned last week) says a miracle necessitates a decision. 

It’s just like the witness of Scripture or of nature.  We decide whether or not to accept what we see – not just as a fact, but as a witness of God’s Glory and Person.  We can even, like the people of Nazareth, make that decision up front.  We can close our minds to the possibility of receiving a revelation, and close ourselves off to the possibility of witnessing the miraculous. 

Yes, miracles are more likely to take place among the primitive and the ignorant.  The sophisticated take that as an indication that the more primitive are easily deceived when perhaps it is, instead, an indication that they haven’t closed their minds to God. By refusing to even allow for the possibility of the miraculous, I exalt my own opinions, beliefs, and preferences over the truth I could see if I would.

I think this also tells us something about the unforgivable sin which the Lord said was blaspheming the Holy Spirit.  Jesus was casting out demons, and the religious leadership argued that He was doing so by the power of Beelzebub.  Those who opposed Jesus refused to accept the witness of the miraculous right before their eyes.  Worse, they said that the Lord’s power was itself of demonic origins.  So, it makes sense that this sin would be unforgivable.  If I close my eyes to what the Holy Spirit is showing me or if I say that what is happening is not His work or revelation, how could I possibly be forgiven?  I’m rejecting the Cross and refusing to take the only path to forgiveness that exists.   

7 comments:

julie said...

We can close our minds to the possibility of receiving a revelation, and close ourselves off to the possibility of witnessing the miraculous.

Yes. For many years, my mind was just so closed; I honestly believed that miracles just didn't happen anymore.

Rick said...

Yes, it seems the point of the miracle is not so much "what was done" but if the witness is transformed. I actually find it difficult to define miracle. I mean, what do I mean when I say miracle. And this is because it could be almost anything which can transform a person in the way we mean. In my case it was merely a thought shared.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

People are definitely closed off not only when they deny that miracles exist, but when they also deny the results, which is often just as miraculous if not more so.

But to then attribute good to the power of evil, that's way beyond being closed off. Plus, those who opposed Jesus could never explain how or why evil would do God's work.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Good point, Rick.
I think it's miraculous when a person is transformed into a child of God no matter what form the miracle takes.

Some would rather have faith that science will someday explain miracles rather than accept the truth of the results, even when they witness it firsthand.

mushroom said...

it could be almost anything which can transform a person in the way we mean

That sounds like a good definition right there. That which gives us a Romans 12:2 experience is a miracle:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

I once was blind but now I see.

John Lien said...

Believing is seeing is believing is seeing is believing is seeing is believing is seeing in an upward spiral.

mushroom said...

Amen.