Summary: Jesus wants our faith to grow, regardless of whether or not we see miracles.
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HOW IMPORTANT ARE MIRACLES?
“Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30-31).
“‘Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders,’ Jesus told him, ‘you will never believe’” (John 4:48).
The welcome of the Galileans was actually a kind of rejection, for they were interested only in Jesus’ miracles. They were not welcoming the Messiah who could save them, but only a miracle worker who could amaze them. (NIV Study Bible)
Jesus did not come to earth to perform miracles; He came to provide eternal life to those who believe in Him.
THE BIG IDEA: Jesus wants our faith to GROW, regardless of whether or not we see miracles.
A TALE OF TWO MIRACLES
Jesus performed two miracles in Cana of Galilee: (1) turning water into wine (2:1-11) and healing the government official’s son.
1. Similarities between the two miracles:
a. Both involved a REBUKE (2:4; 4:48).
b. Both were performed at a DISTANCE (2:7-8; 4:50).
c. Both were first witnessed by SERVANTS (2:9; 4:51).
d. Both resulted in people BELIEVING (2:11; 4:53).
2. One big difference: The first miracle was performed during a time of JOY; the second was performed during a time of SORROW.
We should call on Jesus in times of joy and sorrow. In happy circumstances, He can increase our joy; in painful circumstances, He can comfort our sorrow.
The emphasis in this story is not on the miracle, but on FAITH.
The government official experienced three stages of faith:
1. He believed that Jesus could HELP his son. “Sir, come down before my child dies” (v. 49).
2. He believed that Jesus would keep His PROMISE. “Jesus replied, ‘You may go. Your son will live.’ The man took Jesus at his word and departed” (v. 50).
3. He believed that Jesus was the CHRIST. “So he and all his household believed” (v. 53).
“Faith is like a muscle which grows stronger and stronger with use, rather than rubber, which weakens when it is stretched.”—J. O. Fraser, missionary to China
“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”—J. R. R. Tolkien
BELIEVING IS SEEING
What about those of us who have never seen a miracle?
The greatest miracle Jesus performed was His resurrection (another “third-day” miracle). I didn’t see the empty tomb. I didn’t hear the angels say, “He is risen.” I didn’t touch the wounds on Jesus’ risen body. Yet I believe.
“Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29). We were not present to witness the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, but we can “see” Jesus through the reliable words of Scripture.
Mark Twain said, “Faith is believing something you know ain’t true.” That’s not a definition of biblical faith. We don’t have all the evidence we might like, but God has given us enough. It’s like being a part of a jury. You can find the defendant guilty even if the prosecution doesn’t present a “smoking gun.”