23 Suddenly, there in the synagogue, a person with an evil spirit screamed, 24 “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are. You are the holy one from God.”
25 “Silence!” Jesus said, speaking harshly to the demon. “Come out of him!” 26 The unclean spirit shook him and screamed, then it came out.
27 Everyone was shaken and questioned among themselves, “What’s this? A new teaching with authority! He even commands unclean spirits and they obey him!” 28 Right away the news about him spread throughout the entire region of Galilee.
As we read this story from the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, people were just discovering who Jesus of Nazareth really was. This also included those who knew evil spirits. By today’s understanding, those with mental illness need healing, too. Can we imagine that as people discovered Jesus, they came to him with all kinds of afflictions? Jesus was the Living Lord, who came with the power to heal. There had to be some sense of shock and awe as God’s power and might surpassed all understanding.
Even when we don’t fully understand how it happens, we all want healing. That’s the nature of our desire for survival. What I am curious about is what was it like for those witnessing the miracles of Jesus? For that matter, if and when we are aware of miracles in our day, how does a relationship with God change our perspective?
It’s likely that we all can think of some particular event when we think about the word, “miracle.”
Maybe you think of that person who got better when no one thought it was possible. Perhaps there was that day when somehow you averted disaster. Or maybe it was the seemingly unimaginable way that you met the love of your life or that circuitous way you found that job that became your calling. But it doesn’t have to be that big life saving moment. Perhaps it is just your thankfulness that throughout moments of hardship, God’s peace was the miracle that prevailed.
Some people may ascribe these miraculous moments to random events or to science. Yet as Christians, we believe differently. Whatever events we have in mind, we thank Our God for these times. Although it is not fair to associate God’s goodness in response to our deeds (done or undone), we know to be grateful for God’s grace, however we sense it. We know to be thankful for the miraculous way that God changes our lives just by us being in relationship with Jesus.
by Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
What is an event that you know of that feels like a miracle to you? When we think of the miraculous today, how does a relationship with God change your perspective?
Great Healer, Thank you for the miracles in my life that connect me to you. Thank you for your grace and peace that surpasses all understanding. May I continue to see the miraculous in everyday events, and through all that is around and before me. Amen.