Mark 4 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
Question: Do you believe that was a miracle? Have you experienced the greatest miracle in your life? It’s a spiritual miracle. It’s being born again. One moment you’re living in sin and death and the next you are a new creation in Christ.
Pray: Holy Spirit – there are some here who need to be born from above before they can believe in miracles. Jesus – let your miraculous power change lives today.
Background: Last week our first message in the series “Miraculous,” was “Miracles Happen.” We focused on the question: “Do Miracles Happen?” We looked at the arguments of prominent skeptics and disputers of miracles and we concluded that – “If you can believe in God, you can believe in miracles.” In this message our focus is on “What is a miracle?” Let me repeat that definition again – “For something to be a miracle, it has to be done by God as an unusual, temporary change in the natural order and it should point to God.”
Let’s take that apart and look at it:
- Done by God
The parting of the Red Sea was one of the most powerful of God’s miracles in the Old Testament. It demonstrated God’s power over nature unlike any other miracle. Few years ago, Carl Drews from the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) created a computer simulation of how the miracle of the Red Sea could be proved by just natural causes. He starts out by bringing up the old issue of the “Red Sea” being the “Reed Sea.” This is because the Hebrew rendering is “yam suph” where yam means sea and suph means reed. Then he argues that what ultimately parted the waters was “wind setdown” where winds over 60 miles an hour pushed the coastal waters away creating dry ground. This is when the people crossed dry ground which was already very shallow because it is where reeds grew. Then when the wind changed, the water came back in heavy surge and drowned pharaoh and his chariots.
Couple of things wrong with this approach: One, where Drews proposes the crossing took place couldn’t have been the place, no geographical evidence. Second, yes, it is “reed” in Hebrew. But did you know that suph could be “reed” or “end.” For those people it represented the “Sea at the end” or “Sea of the end of the earth.” When the Jewish people translated it into Greek, they called it “Red Sea,” which was the accepted name. Third, if it was only ankle deep, why did they wait for a miracle, instead of just running across? How about the wall of water on either side?
Listen to the song of the people in Exodus 15:1 Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the LORD, and spoke, saying: “I will sing to the LORD, For He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea! 2 The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
Here’s my point: A true miracle is a demonstration of God.
“A miracle is an event in which God temporarily makes an exception to the natural order of things, to show that God is acting.” – Richard Purtill
“I use the word Miracle to mean an interference with Nature by supernatural power.” – C.S. Lewis
“In brief, a miracle is a divine intervention into the natural world. It is a supernatural exception to the regular course of the world that would not have occurred otherwise.” – Norman Geisler
Think of the various miracles in Bible. Old Testament: Parting of the Red Sea, Manna in the wilderness, Sun and Moon stand still. New Testament: Feeding the 5000 plus women and children with 5 loaves and 2 fishes, walking on water, raising a dead person to life after 4 days. These things don’t happen everyday.
The problem is that many times we confuse the Providence of God with the miracles of God. Here’s a wonderful definition by Wayne Grudem:
God is continually involved with all created things in such a way that he—
- keeps them existing and maintaining the properties with which he created them;
2.cooperates with created things in every action, directing their distinctive properties to cause them to act as they do; and
- directs them to fulfill his purposes.
For e.g. What’s happening at Clearview is God’s providence, not miracle.
Miracle is independent action but Providence requires your cooperation.
Parting the Red Sea, Feeding the 5000, raising of Lazarus are all temporary. Only permanent miracle is the Resurrection of Christ and our salvation.
- Point to God
True Miracles bring glory to God.
Personal testimony of miracle: My sister being born whole because of prayers for miracle.
Are you born again?