Breakthrough - Miracles
1. What is the Purpose of Miracles?
1. It’s about believing in the Sovereignty of God.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians that they had seen in his ministry “the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles” (2 Cor. 12:12). He wrote to the Romans about “what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done—by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God” (Rom. 15:18–19). Clearly for Paul, just as for Jesus, gospel work was accompanied by signs and wonders.
2. What are the Barriers to Miracles?
3. How do we Reconcile Belief and
Jesus’ response, “This kind can come out only by prayer,” implies that they failed because they had not prayed. The disciples were too busy arguing among themselves and with the opponents to pray.
Since Jesus did not offer up a prayer to exorcise the unclean spirit, the prayer that he has in mind is not some magical invocation but a close and enduring relationship with God. Mark hints that Jesus regularly engaged in intense prayer. He went out alone to pray (1:35; 6:45–46), but the disciples interrupted him because they were preoccupied with their own agenda. The one time he specifically asks them to pray with him they sleep
The father of the afflicted boy expressed doubts about Jesus’ ability to help him. Jesus responded that “everything is possible for him who believes” (9:23). The father’s plea captures the dilemma of many hesitant believers: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (9:24). Jesus responded to the man’s feeble faith. Healing of the boy who resembled a corpse sets the stage for further teaching concerning Jesus’ death and resurrection.
The problem is not divine unwillingness (1:40) or divine inability but human unbelief! What is impossible to humans is possible to God (10:27). “ ‘Everything is possible to him who believes.’ ” What Jesus commands of the father is what he earlier commanded of the hemorrhaging woman (5:34) and the synagogue ruler (5:36). The sole bridge between frail humanity and the all-sufficiency of God is faith. The means by which the exousia of Jesus, his divine authority and legitimacy, becomes effective in human life is faith. The statement that “ ‘everything is possible to him who believes’ ” must appear to the father as an elusive hope, however, for the faith he needs to heal his son is a faith he does not have—or so he thinks.
The first test of the father’s faith is to trust the word and promise of Jesus alone, not the immediate empirical consequences of it. Jesus then (lit. in Greek) “raised him, and he was resurrected” (see at 5:41). The disciples have just asked what it means to be raised from the dead (v. 10). In the raising and restoring of the catatonic boy Jesus provides the first object lesson on the meaning of his own death and resurrection