When Jesus performed miracles in the New Testament, He always began with the miracle someone needed most. Although Jesus knew what that miracle was, He would often ask them first. In Mark, when He gave the miracle of sight to a blind man, He didn’t assume that was what the man wanted most. He asked him,
“What do you want me to do for you?” To which the blind man replied, “Rabbi, I want to see.” Mark 10:51(NIV)
Put yourself in that man’s sandals for a minute. What if Jesus were to ask you the same question? How would you respond? What is the miracle you need most? You may be able to respond immediately or you may not know. Sometimes, it takes a storm in our lives for us to realize what the miracle we need most really is. In Mark chapter four, we read the story of Jesus getting into the disciples’ boat and going to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. He had just finished a busy day of teaching and was tired. Mark picks up the story in verse 35:
“As evening came, Jesus said to His disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with His head on a cushion. The disciples woke Him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” When Jesus woke up, He rebuked the wind and said to the water, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then He asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey Him!” (Vs. 35-41 NLT)
I call this the storm in the miracle! While you may consider the miracle of calming the storm what you needed most if you were in that small fishing boat, the truth is, the miracle you need most leads you to what you really need most – a deeper relationship with God and others. Jesus would use the storm in the lives of His followers to lead them into a deeper understanding of who He was. Sometimes, we get a wrong perspective of God when the waves begin to rock our boat. Fear displaces faith, and we question God’s love or His power to save us. In verse 38, Jesus’ disciples even questioned His concern for them. Mark tells us,
“Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’”
Have you ever felt that way? Storms can do that. But the story doesn’t end there. Mark adds,
“Jesus stood up and commanded the wind, ‘Be quiet!’ and He said to the waves, ‘Be still!’ The wind died down, and there was a great calm. Then, Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Why are you frightened? Do you still have no faith?’ But they were terribly afraid and began to say to one another, ‘Who is this man? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!’” (Vs. 39-41 GNT)
They went from being afraid of the storm to being terrified of the power this man called Jesus had to speak to the wind and waves and command them to be still! Jesus was using the miracle they thought they needed most to lead them to what they really needed most – a deeper relationship with Him! They needed to understand that Jesus was God! Have you come to that realization in your life? Because Jesus is God, He is the source of the miracle! The disciples would discover this over and over again as they walked with Him, heard Him teach, and saw the mighty works He performed. Their emotions ran from being absolutely terrified to being astonished by Christ.
Matthew records one of the miracles Jesus did that left the disciples amazed.
“In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, He was hungry, and He noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs, but there were only leaves. Then He said to it, ‘May you never bear fruit again!’ And immediately the fig tree withered up. The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, ‘How did the fig tree wither so quickly?’ Then Jesus told them, ‘I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea, and it will happen. You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.’” Matt. 21:18-22 (NLT)
Jesus was telling His disciples that miracles were not so much about how much faith they had as they were about the object of their faith. Jesus, alone, is the real source of miracles. When we put what little bit of faith we have in Him, then we could say to a mountain,
“May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea, and it will happen.”
Jesus was teaching them and us today that God’s miracle in your life will always bring glory to Himself and point people to Christ. This is the fruit of genuine miracles in our lives today! When what God does in your life brings Him glory and points others to Christ, you have experienced a genuine miracle!