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Miracles and Message


simplyrhetorical

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Under God’s direction, Jesus “drafted” twelve men to be an extension of His ministry.  Jesus realized that He was limited in His outreach.  These handpicked men would be given supernatural power to present God’s message of reconciliation to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 10: 6)   The miracles that they displayed were the bridge to the message.  The goal was not to achieve physical healing for the people, but a spiritual awakening.  The twelve were to preach the Kingdom of Heaven.  The miracles would draw the people to the message.  The miracles that were displayed helped open the door to the message of repentance and reconciliation.

 

Throughout the generations, people have sought the miracles more than the message.  We have elevated miracles to the position of coequal standing with God’s Word.  Careful study of the Bible will show that the main evidence of God’s love is not in miracles, but in His Grace displayed through Jesus.  A changed mind and heart achieves more than a healed body. 

 

Jesus told His “recruits” that they were to take nothing with them as they went on their “first evangelistic journey.”  One of the lessons they would learn was to walk by faith.  Jesus outlined for them the situations that they would face and how they were expected to respond.  It is not known how many days His disciples were gone, but when they returned Jesus led them to a “desert” place to rest.  I imagine there was a time of reflection as to what was accomplished as well as Jesus elaborating on His teachings.  We know as a result of the First Missionary Journey that the Second Outreach Ministry was commissioned.  That group was made up of seventy disciples. They were sent forth with the same instructions that the first group had received. (Luke 10) The purpose of these “missionary” endeavors was to bring God’s chosen people back to Him.

 

After Jesus’ resurrection, He commissioned a Third Missionary group. (Mark 16:15)  This group of disciples was composed of the same men as the first, with the exception of Judas.  They were to go to the “whosoevers” of the world.  Through the Jews continual rejection of God’s plan for their reconciliation, the world became the canvas in which the Truth was to be displayed.   This time, signs and wonders were to be in support of the preaching.  Today, preaching is at the forefront of the Gospel, with miracles being the exclamation point.  Miracles and wonders verify the message.

 

Instead of reaching out, churches are reaching up to seek miracles, signs, and wonders.  Churches seem more interested in bringing miracles from the streets to the pews.  There is more emphasis on healing the Christian’s physical ailments than on maturing the Saints so they can reach out with the Gospel message.  Believers are too busy seeking a blessing, rather than being a blessing. 

 

If Jesus were to return today, where would He look for His Missionary Team?  Would He go to the churches decked out in visual splendor, or would He meet His Evangelistic Teams in the streets of life?

 

(Ref.  Matthew 10, Mark 6, Luke 10, Mark 16)

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