When Magicians work their tricks, people applaud, are charmed, and wonder aloud how they ever did that.

But with the Lord Jesus it was very different. His saving works evoked fear, the sign of a real miracle in sane men and women:

“A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering…

33 …Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” —-Luke 8:43-47

“He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.”
In fear they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.” Lk.8:24, 25

“Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.” — Luke 8:37 Etc., etc. And in the first half dozen chapters in Luke and elsewhere we see this reaction of fear in response to miracles many times.

The miracles of Jesus evoked Faith in persons of good will and convinced them that Someone far greater than Solomon was present among them whose divinity was manifest (Jn 1:1-14). Even the Temple leaders in the gospels (and important Roman Centurions) did not dispute what they too saw and could not deny, so, in the case of the Temple leaders jealous of their own authority, their only recourse was to attribute these real supernatural events to Beelzebub, as if Satan could cast out Satan and lead souls to righteousness.

But some, Jesus said, will never believe:

“And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead”.—Luke 16:31

Strident empiricists, for example, refuse to believe anything that cannot be observed, measured, quantified. Despite their own inability to know the whole universe exhaustively, and begging the question regarding their own faith and first premise— that “There is no God”— they mock the notions of the supernatural and the miraculous. They, like good Deists, think it preposterous that if a God could create a universe he would then interfere with its “laws”.

In consequence the empiricist insists a Creator would not wish to communicate with His creatures and so makes a wall between Himself and all contingent being.

But, according to the Gospel God is not aloof from His creation but has revealed Himself in history, seeking out the sinful and the broken, to heal and save us. And to that end alone He in His perfect sovereignty has on occasion employed the miraculous to very powerfully get our attention.

Alas, some however refuse to believe and so shut the door in God’s face.

John 3: 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”–SH

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