Recently I read a book named The Scalpel and the Soul by Allan J. Hamilton. Hamilton, a neurosurgeon but not necessarily a strong believer, saw miracles of healing over the course of his long career. His conclusion was these healed people had a belief and hope in something he couldn’t explain. Reading this book reminded me that miracles still happen even though I don’t directly see the evidence.
The people in Jesus’ day saw incredible miracles which often led many of them to become believers. They didn’t understand the true nature of what was happening because they didn’t have the New Testament to refer to, but they recognized these miracles could only come from God.
A different Messiah
The religious leaders in Jesus’ day saw the same miracles but had a different reaction to them. They saw only the law and cared only that Jesus was breaking it by performing miracles on the Sabbath and claiming to be God. They saw the blind healed, lepers cleansed, and the paralytics walk but unbelievably they were only concerned about the law. The reason is because in their mind when the Messiah came he was to be a conquering Messiah, someone to save them from the Roman occupation.
If you think about it, that’s a very limited view of who God is and what He can do. Even though the religious leaders spent a lifetime studying about the Messiah, they missed Him because of their own expectations of who God was. They missed the miracles happening right in front of their eyes.
The same with the Israelites. They saw God commanding nature to help them escape from slavery but yet they still grumbled in their unbelief.
‘Disobedience and unbelief’
Reading about the Israelites in the book of Exodus, I’ve often wondered about how in the world they could complain about anything when they saw miracles in real time. But then I realized how easy it is to forget about miracles in the midst of challenging times. Because of their disobedience and unbelief, the Israelites missed out on the land promised to them and wandered in the wilderness for 40 years just out of reach of Canaan.
Think about your own life. Have you missed miracles God has done for you because it didn’t look like you expected? Or maybe it was like you expected but the difficulties of life have clouded your memories of those things.
We won’t know until heaven why God does some things and not others, but we must trust it is all for our good.
Think about it, if Jesus had come to earth only to save the Jews from the Romans as they expected, we Gentiles would have missed out on the saving grace of God. Thank God He did what wasn’t expected.