This isn’t about the Miracle on Ice from the 1980 Olympics. Sorry if you’re disappointed. But it is about miracles that are worth believing in and an examination of those who first believed.
Don’t you think it would be easier to have faith in a God that we could see, touch, walk with and be in the physical presence of? Come on; if you’re honest we’ve all had times it is tough to relate to God or maybe even believe in his existence. And we may think it’s because we can’t see him.
After Jesus turned the water into wine at the wedding at Cana, in the gospel of John is says in chapter 2 verse 11 says that after the disciples saw this miracle that “his disciples believed in him”. So they see Jesus and see him do a miracle and now they believe in him. Then they travel and are taught by him for about three years. Ultimately they witness Jesus suffer and die on a Roman cross. It seems that those fortunate few that actually saw Jesus alive as a man have a great advantage over us now. They saw him alive and in their midst, while the rest of us have to believe without that physical evidence.
Yet the apostles still struggled with disbelief. Thomas doubted that Jesus actually rose from the dead until he saw him. Peter denied knowing Jesus three times even after Jesus told him he’d do it. After the many times Jesus told them who he was they still retreated in fear after the crucifixion as though the story was over. And of course, there’s Judas. After all he and Jesus were through together, Judas still succumbed to temptation.
So, did those guys really have an advantage over us?
The turning point for all the apostles, and all of human history for that matter, is when they met the resurrected Jesus. They may have believed earlier, but now they were transformed. Shortly after that they were preaching in tongues foreign to them and performing miracles in the streets. So, “belief” isn’t enough. It is said that even the evil one “believes” in our God. So meeting the resurrected Jesus – that’s what changes everything. Can we do that now?
I think we can. Although we may not see him physically in our lifetimes (remember, that doesn’t matter as much as one would think) we can meet him. It is nothing short of a miracle that his Word has been compiled, translated, kept consistent, been protected and passed down over thousands of years. We take that for granted but it should be cherished. We can read it, study it, share it, pray over it, learn from it and worship from it. His Word is living. Often I’ll read a verse and find a new, fresh perspective from it that never occurred to me – as in the case of this blog post.
So…Believing isn’t enough – We must meet the resurrected Jesus – We do this through his Word.