“Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father” (John 10:37-38).
Surely, most, if not all of us, at some point, have seen a meme on social media, a message on a billboard, or a pastor on a television commercial calling forth to receive your breakthrough. I’m not a hater of breakthroughs; they happen all the time, both physical and spiritual, but not all calls for breakthroughs are alike.
Indeed, Jesus healed physical infirmities, and met physical needs, but there was always more going on than just someone’s physical being. Let’s not forget that man doesn’t live on bread alone (Matthew 4:4). I have always struggled with the theology that all people, assuming they have the necessary amount of faith, should always expect physical healing in this life; healing as defined by them, of course. What a stumbling block that has been for me in the past, not to mention a vicious concoction of the enemy to ensnare and deceive. I was born legally blind; my vision is 20/200, and God has used that infirmity to breathe more life into my witness than I can begin to describe here. And isn’t that really the point? “’Unless you people see signs and wonders,’ Jesus told him, ‘you will never believe’” (John 4:48). And again in John, “Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father” (10:37-38).
From Why Did Jesus Perform Miracles? by Doug Bookman:
Familiarity has dulled our amazement. We know about the water becoming wine, Christ striding on the waves, the blind soaking in new light, the wind obeying, and even Lazarus living again. Compared to the reaction of those who saw Jesus’s miracles firsthand, our response is much more tepid. Some people back then followed, some snarled, some condemned, but none ignored.
To get at the reason why Jesus performed His miracles, we need to unearth the expectations of those who lived at that time. From our perspective, we know who Jesus claimed to be—the Messiah and God in sandals. But the people of ancient Israel had no New Testament to study. They had the Old Testament, the teachings of the respected rabbis, and hope.
Jesus strode into the midst of their hope—hope to be free of oppression from distant Rome—with a bold claim. The prophecies were fulfilled in Him. The Messiah had come to draw people to the Kingdom of God. While He had no sword that they could see, they could see Him healing their friends and relatives. They could see the power of God moving through the hills. They’d read about the great miracles of Moses and Joshua, Daniel and Elijah, but seeing them was another matter.
The miracles themselves were not ways for Jesus to show off His power, especially since He had given up His former glory to come to earth and do the will of the Father in heaven. Instead, the miracles vindicated His claims about Himself and His teaching. Although He didn’t need to perform any miracles and refused to perform them on demand, they came so that others might believe (John 10:37-38).
With all the healings and weather control, however, it’s easy to forget the greatest miracle Jesus performed. Being dead and in the grave, Jesus took His life back and delivered a confirmation of His Kingship that no one could ignore.
“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3). By no means am I suggesting not to go to God for healing, or for money, even, or about any other need, but I caution people to examine their hearts, before entangling expectations with faith, because the situation we frequently find ourselves isn’t all that different from the one James was referring to back in the first century. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14). Therefore, with the faith of a mustard seed, mountains will, indeed, move (Matthew 17:20), and yes, I can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13), because nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37). But whatever we accomplish, or receive, in his name, only by thy will be done, Lord.
Breakthroughs can take time to manifest. Almost every stronghold God has broken in my life, and there have been many, first broke in the spiritual, and then after time manifested in the physical. Not that I am saying miracles can’t be immediate, or that it’s even a bad thing to expect immediacy, but don’t give the enemy an opening to rattle your faith or rob you of your joy.
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