Monday, August 22, 2011

Miracles and Road Signs

Jesus' miracles are like road signs. You know, like the kind you see when you're driving down the road, which tell you how many miles you have to go to reach a city or that signal the entrance to a national park or tell you to take the next exit for Waffle House or Wendy's or Subway . However, no matter the road sign, the sign is not the point. It points to the point.

So a Jesus miracle isn't the point. It points to the point. Somehow I got the idea that Jesus' miracles were primarly intended for identification. I came to think his miracles proved his identity as the Son of God. And I guess that's true, at least, partially.

So what is the main purpose for the miracles of Jesus? Brian McLaren explains it like this:

"If you get a glimpse of soldiers in camouflage uniforms sneaking through the forest, if you notice planes from an enemy country flying high above you, if key political leaders in your country disappear or are mysteriously assasinated, you might suspect an invasion is coming. If bullets start flying and bomb sirens start going off, your suspicions will be fulfilled. Another nation--let's call it a kingdom--is preparing to invade and conquer your kingdom.

"But what if this kingdom that is invading is a kingdom of a very different sort? What if the invasion is one of kindness and compassion rather than force and aggression? What if sick people start getting well suddenly and inexplicably? What if rumors spread of storms being calmed, insane people becoming sane again, hungry people being fed, and dead people rising? Couldn't this be the sign of a different kind of invasion--the coming of a different kind of kingdom?"
(The Secret Message of Jesus)
Give this a try. Over the next few days read one of the Gospels, like John. As you read miracle stories, think how they signal an invasion of a kingdom from another world. Every miracle--past, present, and future--is a sign that God really is answering a prayer:

"Our Father. May your kingdom come,
and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

No comments: