Wednesday, July 6, 2016
One day the group of prophets came to Elisha and told him, “As you can see, this place where we meet with you is too small. Let’s go down to the Jordan River, where there are plenty of logs. There we can build a new place for us to meet.”
“All right,” he told them, “go ahead.” “Please come with us,” someone suggested. “I will,” he said. So he went with them. When they arrived at the Jordan, they began cutting down trees. But as one of them was cutting a tree, his ax head fell into the river. “Oh, sir!” he cried. “It was a borrowed ax!”
“Where did it fall?” the man of God asked. When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it into the water at that spot. Then the ax head floated to the surface. “Grab it,” Elisha said. And the man reached out and grabbed it. 2 Kings 6:1-7(NLT)
“What sorrow awaits you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have repented of their sins long ago, clothing themselves in burlap and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse. Yes, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you. And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead.” Then he said to the disciples, “Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me.” Luke 10:13-16(NLT)
The prophets were known for miracles; rain ceased, fire was called-down from the heavens, dead children lived again, and an axe-head floated!
Eleven-hundred years later Jesus shook his head and couldn’t believe the unbelief of people of the nation of Israel. They had seen his miracles and called it devil-work.
And herein is the rub for human beings and our spiritual blindness; we fail to see. And even when a miracle is too profoundly real to deny what happens, we misunderstand, and give credit to the devil…or worse – we give credit to a man.
We humans have always been fascinated with the workings of the magic men. David Copperfield is one who has mesmerized people with his illusions of impossibilities. But he is an “illusionist” – someone who appears to command the impossible to happen. It is a show, a trick for the mind.
It was different with the prophets, and with Jesus. Real, borrowed axe heads do not float. And real, dead bodies do not come out of tombs. Unexplainable faith stuff!
But I’m not presenting a defense of miracles; this is about the reason for miracles. Elisha didn’t float an iron axe head to please the crowd; he did it to restore borrowed property to its owner, and to restore the faith and courage of his student.
Jesus didn’t heal the sick, change water into wine, and come back from the tomb so we could debate miracles and the underlying psychological reasons why we believe them. He rose from the dead so we would understand that death has been defeated.
In short, the miracles aren’t about miracles. When God does a miracle, He suspends the natural laws of His creation to get our attention focused on Him. But, as Jesus warned Korazin and Bethsaida, taking your eyes off the truth behind the miracle doesn’t make you smart or sophisticated; it gets you darkness and sorrow.
Child of God – with the gift of life you are living, you live, move and have being in the greatest of miracles. When you placed your faith in Jesus’ miracle of resurrection, it was His grace-gift to place eternal life in your soul.
And it isn’t a David Copperfield illusion; it’s an eternal reality!