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The Greatest Miracle Of Jesus (David Johnson)

by

David Johnson

(Transcribed from the Words of Life Radio Program)

 

Good morning, listeners. It is so good to be together again and to look into the Word of God which is the mind, the heart and will of God revealed to us and that you and I can apply personally the Word of God and share the Word with others.

This morning we are going to be looking at the term miracle.  Miracle is a word that is often misused, over used and even abused.  For example, in sports we hear of the miracle comeback or it will take a miracle to win or a miracle catch or a miracle shot. Do you remember the miracle Mets?  These all refer to super efforts by men or by women, but not miracles of God.

When disaster strikes we hear of the miraculous escape or the miraculous survival. Are these miracles? Or was it just not their time to die?  Only God knows. God can perform miracles according to his sovereign will. But most, at least many so called miracles are not miracles at all. A miracle is an event that appears unexplainable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin, an act of God. Jesus Christ performed many miracles as God in the flesh while on earth.

An intriguing question posed is: What was Jesus’ greatest miracle while he was on the earth? Some answers could be none were his greatest. All of Jesus’ miracles were equal. Well, was casting out demons equal to raising the dead? Was it Jesus’ resurrection from the dead never to die again?  Was that his greatest miracle? Well, did Jesus Christ raise himself from the dead? According to the book of Romans chapter six and verse four, we find these words in part.  Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father.  Therefore, God the Father raised Jesus Christ his Son from the dead, never to die again, which separates Jesus’ resurrection from the dead from every other resurrection of the dead, so far. And God the Father and his raising of Jesus Christ from the dead was not difficult in the least for God.

Well, how about in the book of Colossians, chapter one, verse 15 and following. Is the image where we find these words… He is the image of the invisible God, the first born over all creation.  For by him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities.  All things were created by him and for him.

This passage of Scripture is obviously referring to Jesus Christ as a person of the godhead, as the creator of the cosmos.  And he created everything out of nothing, just spoke everything into existence, whether visible or invisible. Something invisible, for example, would be angelic beings. Is this Christ’s greatest miracle?  Christ’s greatest miracle, his greatest feat possible only as a supernatural act of God is described in the gospel of Mark chapter two beginning in verse three.

Some men came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on.  When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?   But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….”

He said to the paralytic, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

Was it Christ healing a paralytic? Was that his greatest miracle? Well, no. Jesus healed man of all kinds of physical defects and diseases. They were all equally miraculous in his supernatural power.

Well, was it Jesus who knew in his Spirit that this was what the teachers of the law were thinking in their hearts? No, Jesus being God in the flesh retained his divine omniscience, being all knowing in everything except that which he emptied himself of when he became a man. Being omniscient was not difficult for the God man Jesus and was not his greatest miracle or feat.

Let’s focus instead on Jesus’ words, “Son, you sins are forgiven you,” referring to the paralytic.  And especially Jesus’ intriguing words. “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and go walk’?”

So what is the answer to this question from Jesus? It is far easier to say your sins are forgiven. Why? Because who can know or prove that his or anybody’s sins are, in fact, forgiven? To forgive sin is an invisible, intangible transaction known only, ultimately, by God. There can be no positive external proof, whereas to say, “Get up, take you mat and walk,” said to a paralytic requires visible, tangible proof. The miraculous on the spot healing for verification that these were not just idle, empty words. Therefore, physical healing here was much harder not easier, not only to say, but also to carry out visibly and convincingly. But to say, “Your sins are forgiven can be faked. To say to a paralytic, “Get up and walk,” cannot be faked if it is, in fact, a genuine miracle.

But before magnifying Jesus’ most difficult and greatest miracle, let’s note some important applications for all of us today.  Jesus Christ still heals spiritually. He still heals morally and ethically and today only Jesus Christ can forgive human begins of our sin problem, that which separates us from a holy, holy, holy God.  Jesus Christ today can meet our deepest need to be healed on the inside, separated from our sin today as in the case of the teachers of the law, in the first century AD. Many do not believe that Jesus Christ can forgive sin. Jesus Christ was and is not just a great moral teacher or good role model, Jesus Christ is uniquely the divine Son of God, God in the flesh, fully God and fully human simultaneously, at the same time. Therefore Jesus Christ can and does forgive sin. It is strictly and uniquely a supernatural act of God.  But how can Jesus Christ be both God and man at the same time?
Well, the short answer is, because he is God and God can do anything.  There is nothing that God cannot do unless it is against his will or against God’s nature. Nothing is too hard for God. And today, just as Jesus Christ knew what the teachers of the law were thinking in their hearts, likewise, Christ in heaven with full omniscience, being all knowing, knows each and every heart, each and every mind and will on earth immediately, including our attitudes and motivations and aspirations. Time and space are irrelevant to God. God transcends time and space. God has known each and every one of us individually and intimately even before the foundation of the world.  Such is the great power and presence of almighty God. Such is the incomparable, incredible, supernatural, miraculous power of Father, Son and Spirit, the entire godhead. None of all of that is difficult for almighty God.

Now to Jesus’ greatest miracle, his greatest and most difficult supernatural feat. Let’s magnify the words of Jesus when he said, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” On this particular day on that occasion when Jesus said these words to the paralytic, you understand it was before Christ went to the cross, before Calvary. Jesus Christ could and did forgive the paralytic’s sins. But, technically at that point in time all sins of the paralytic and for that matter of everybody were still rolled forward to the cross.  The cumulative sin of mankind was not yet covered, was not yet atoned for, was not appeased for by the actual blood of the perfect sinless Lamb of God on the altar of the cross.

So what is the point?  Jesus Christ could simply say with only words he healed physically to a paralytic and it was a done deal. Jesus could simply say with only words, “Come out of him.” And even a legion of demons could come out of the demon possessed immediately.  And it was a done deal. Jesus could simply say, with only words, “Lazarus, come forth.”  And the dead Lazarus could be raised from the dead immediately. And it was a done deal. The Son of God could even simply say, “Let there be light,” as part of the creator Godhead of the cosmos and immediately there was light.

But for Jesus to say to the paralytic on that day, before his atoning sacrifice on the cross, “Son, your sins are forgiven,” oh, it happened all right. His sins were forgiven, but it took much, much more than just simply saying the words on that day or any day before the cross of Christ.  Even for the omniscient, omnipotent Son of God.

Because, you see, Jesus’ words, “Your sins are forgiven,” do not only be rolled forward, but to be completely once and for all atoned for, appeased for, covered also required the body and the blood of Jesus Christ offered as a sin sacrifice, our sinless substitute on Calvary’s cross for the sin of the world when finally Jesus Christ was nailed to a cross, then it was finally that he gave his own body and blood as an atonement for sin.  And he said, finally, on the cross, “It is finished.” And with that he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Then finally it was, in fact, finished, a done deal. But, you understand it took words plus his work on the cross, his crucifixion, his atoning sacrifice for all of us to finally, once and for all, have all of our sins covered, atoned for, appeased and finally forgiven.

So how is this miraculous? Well, it is the core of the gospel.  It includes the central truths of the gospel. For example, God became one of us, human in Jesus Christ. Isn’t his incarnation God made flesh by the Holy Spirit born of a virgin miraculous? Absolutely.  Christ’s perfect sacrifice on the cross also meant that he had to die a sinless, perfect man, morally and ethically. Jesus Christ never, ever sinned personally.   “It is finished.” And with that he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Then finally it was, in fact, finished, a done deal. But, you understand it took words plus his work on the cross, his crucifixion, his atoning sacrifice for all of us to finally, once and for all, have all of our sins covered, atoned for, appeased and finally forgiven.

So how is this miraculous? Well, it is the core of the gospel.  It includes the central truths of the gospel. For example, God became one of us, human in Jesus Christ. Isn’t his incarnation God made flesh by the Holy Spirit born of a virgin miraculous? Absolutely.  Christ’s perfect sacrifice on the cross also meant that he had to die a sinless, perfect man, morally and ethically. Jesus Christ never, ever sinned personally.

Well, that is not natural. Exactly. It is supernatural. However, in his humanity Jesus could have sinned as the second or the last Adam. But Jesus chose not to sin. He never sinned in any word, in any thought, in any deed. Jesus was raised from the dead, never to die again by God the Father proof of God’s acceptance of his Son’s perfect atoning sacrifice for mankind’s forgiveness of sins, effectual individually for each of us who receive Christ by saving faith, obedient faith, making Jesus our Savior, our personal Savior and Lord.

So the central truths of the gospel from the incarnation of Jesus Christ to the glorious ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven were all an act of God. The miraculous is defined as an event or events that appear unexplainable by laws of nature and so held to be supernatural in origin, an act of God. Jesus’ greatest miracle was all that he had to say and do in order to finish the words, “Your sins are forgiven,” words, plus his work on the cross for you and me, unique, unlike any other miracle Jesus performed. And so Jesus Christ is to be ever praised. Amen and amen.

 

David Johnson is minister of the Sellersburg Church of Christ




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I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33