Summary: God does not do miracles because we ask for them, but for His purpose.
A. INTRODUCTION: WHY PEOPLE WANT TO SEE A MIRACLE
1. They want everything God has for them.
2. They are emotionally based: excitable, enthusiastic.
3. Fanaticism, not rationally based.
4. Running on empty and need reassurance.
5. Untaught in the Word.
6. Wrong relationship to Christ, i.e., we know Him by His Word.
B. BIBLICAL TEACHING ON MIRACLES
1. Jesus came doing miracles, “teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing . . .” (Matt. 4:23, NKJV).
2. Jesus did 37 recorded miracles, many others unrecorded.
3. Most popular miracle in all four gospels, i.e., feeding the 5,000, but did not:
a. Produce faith, one purpose for His miracles.
b. Change their idea about Jesus.
4. The following day, “What sign will You perform . . . that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do?” (John 6:30, NKJV).
a. Unbelief. “Jesus answered . . . verily, verily . . .” Introduction to skeptical listeners.
b. Their issue was sight, not their relationship to the Father.
c. Our senses are fallible, we are never sure what we see.
5. What is a miracle?
a. “An interference with the laws of nature for a divine purpose.”- C. S. Lewis.
b. “Setting aside or suspending the laws of nature.”- Charles Finney
c. “An unusual event, accomplishing some useful work, and revealing the presence or power of God.”- Henry Thiessen. Focus on God, not us.
6. God does not do miracles because we ask for them, but for His purpose.
7. The atheist Ingersoll counted time with a watch, “God, I’ll give you one minute to kill me.” Presbyterian minister, answered no railroad time table to squash a bug.
8. Who never did miracles? Adam, Isaac, Joseph, David, Daniel and John the Baptist, “John (the Baptist) did no miracles but all things that John spoke of (Jesus) were true” (John 10:41, ELT).
9. Why no miracles by them? God uses miracles to introduce a new direction in His plan for people. Credibility of messenger that led to belief in His message.
10. The sign was of the apostles (Acts 2:43; 5:12). “God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will” (Heb. 2:47, NKJV).
C. HOW MIRACLES OCCUR
1. God establishes principles and laws for the universe, i.e., Creation.
2. God supersedes or transcends natural laws, i.e., chariot of fire for Elijah.
3. God suspends natural laws, i.e., walking on water.
4. God intensifies natural laws, i.e., turns water to wine.
5. God redirects natural laws, i.e., parting Red Sea.
6. God neutralizes the consequences of sin, i.e., healing.
a. God doesn’t regrow an organ.
b. God doesn’t reverse aging process to earlier age.
D. WHY I DON’T SEE A MIRACLE TODAY
1. God does miracles, i.e., conversion, healing, answers to prayer, etc.
2. God works through providence, i.e., God works through the laws of nature to accomplish His will. “All things work together for good” (Rom. 8:28, NKJV).
3. God reveals Himself to us through Jesus Christ, “God in past times in various ways (including miracles) has spoken to us by the prophets, but in these last days (now) has spoken to us by His Son” (Heb. 1:1-2, ELT).