Max Lucado looks at the miracles of Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of John. John chose the stories and events from Jesus' life that he believed would give his readers strength, empower them, lift them up, and speak life into their situations. John's record of Jesus' miracles reassure us that we are never stuck or without hope. We are never forgotten. This is the message of the miracles . . . that with God you are never alone.
Have you ever caught yourself apologizing to God for praying for something insignificant? Jesus' first miracle happened as a result of an ordinary problem in an ordinary setting. Jesus didn't do anything spectacular, like a healing or feeding multitudes...yet John recorded the story just like he did all the others. This means we can find comfort that Jesus, who was divine, was also altogether ordinary.
This session looks at two miracles where the recipient was stuck. One had done everything he could to get help for his dying son. The other had been unable to walk for thirty-eight years. No matter where you're stuck, Jesus accepts you. He wants you to come to him with your problems. He wants to help you get unstuck no matter the reason you were stuck in the first place. But, know that he won't leave it there.
Today's miracles involve feeding 5,000 people and delivering the disciples from a raging storm on the Sea of Galilee. From these miracles we learn that Jesus is with us in the storm, and he knows how to get us out of it. We need both truths when enduring hardship. We need to know Jesus can solve our problem, and we also need to know he is with us in the midst of it, even when it's hard to feel him near.
We see in the healing of the blind man that darkness is powerful and comes in many forms: guilt, sin, trauma, anxiety, fear. When you are in Christ, it’s not that you will never experience these things again. Rather, in the midst of them, you will have the light of hope and healing. You will view the darkness in a new way—as something that is temporary, that does not define you, and from which you are safe.
Don’t miss the metaphor in the raising of Lazarus from the dead after four days. Jesus didn’t do this simply to amaze us. Rather, it speaks to his ability to raise each of us. His desire is to move us from a life of darkness and death to one that is vibrant with life. He wants to redeem us and forgive us of even the worst of sins that we have committed. This is why the cross parallels the miracle of Lazarus so beautifully. One proves Christ’s victory over death. The other proves Christ’s victory over our individual sin.
The disciples had their failings when it came to Jesus’ most staggering miracle—his resurrection from the grave. Most of them doubted. One of them refused to believe until he saw the evidence firsthand. Regardless of their actions and reactions, Jesus still loved them. And displayed this love in an incredible way. He didn’t add to their shame or punish them. Instead, he chose to be present with them after his resurrection. He was a safe place for them to confess, repent, and ultimately believe.