The Lesser Miracles
And what of miracles? Jesus not only made extravagant promises in respect to prayer but he also said this: “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.“ ~John 14:12
We know from the Book of Acts that its very name is embedded and related to this promise. The Apostles did things. They did “acts”. They too healed and raised the dead and had control, at times, over nature. They saw a greater harvest than ever did Jesus. And one of the questions we need to ask, and it is an important one, was this promise of Jesus’ speaking to quantity or quality? I believe the answer is both. And therein lies a key to the relevancy for you and me.
I have witnessed a number of miracles over the years. Many of them were timing miracles. I was scrunched up against some physical need and the prayer I offered and the timing of the supply were so uncanny that I sensed heaven’s deep concern for me in that very moment. I kept a record of these answered prayers and I believe that every answered prayer is, in some respect, a miracle.
I have also been witness to a few physical healings that defied any explanation other than God’s intervention. I wish I could report volumes of these, but I cannot. But nonetheless, I continue to pray for the sick, the brokenhearted and the broke. It’s a sign of Christian charity to do so even in the face of scattered results.
Now, I believe that Jesus was speaking not only to the quality of the works but also to the quantity. And Jesus himself lowered the bar significantly in respect to quantity when he said this: “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” ~Matthew 10:42 While we each would wish for consistent healing powers, the sick are less in number than the thirsty. And the fact that Jesus says these words in reference to judgment day tells us a lot. It is the natural, every day acts of service that capture the attention of heaven. Moreover, there is a sobering warning given a few chapters earlier for those who appeared to be quite gifted: “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’” ~Matthew 7:22,23
Jesus promised that we would do greater works. He didn’t use the word miracle. If you recall, he redefined greatness in the kingdom by the washing of the disciple’s feet. Such humble acts are in reach of all of us. While we pine for the miraculous, the opportunity to do the modest is within our line of vision each and every day. And perhaps the modest will lead to the miraculous.