Reflections: Friday of the Fifth Week after Trinity

Daily Lectionary: Judges 4:1-24; Acts 14:1-18

He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well. . . (Acts 14:9)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Miracles aren’t the cause of faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ. It wasn’t the signs and wonders that made Jews and Greeks believe. It was what was spoken: the Gospel. Christ is risen from the dead. They did miracles, too, but that really only served to further the divide between those who believed and those who didn’t.

At Lystra Paul met a man who had faith to be made well. That doesn’t mean he believed enough to earn a miracle. It means he believed enough to see it done. Miracles aren’t a prize for believing enough. They’re a down payment on the resurrection. Miracles are the undoing of the damage sin does. The resurrection is a good example. Miracles are from the same God who rose. Miracles are something we who by faith believe in the resurrection finally see where all the world doesn’t. Only in faith will you ever see a miracle. Because a miracle is God working to undo sin. If you don’t believe in sin, the miracle will always have a different explanation. From Pharaoh and his magicians to YouTube atheists of today, apart from faith, everyone finds an excuse.

Some miracles are harder to explain. Some are just so common to us we’re not impressed anymore. If you put this man from Lystra in a modern hospital he’d call that a miracle, too, not because of the means God used to heal what sin broke, but because he received it from the Lord. All of it points to the same. God wants sinners to be forgiven. God wants you to rise from death like His Son. God even gives miracles to the people who refuse to see them that way. He gives rain from heaven to good and evil alike. He provides daily bread for the ones He redeemed, not the ones who supposedly had enough faith to get more than someone else.

The miracle here is that the apostles preached and pointed only to Christ. The people went from trying to kill them to trying to kill others for them. They pointed only to Christ. And by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit, people believed. They rose from death. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Thy strong Word bespeaks us righteous; Bright with Thine own holiness, Glorious now, we press toward glory, And our lives our hopes confess. Alleluia, alleluia! Praise to Thee who light dost send! Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia without end! (“Thy Strong Word” LSB 578, st.3)

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch