An Amish boy and his mother were visiting a mall. They had never been off the farm before and they were amazed by almost everything they saw, but especially by two shiny, silver walls that could move apart and back together again. The boy asked his mother, "What is this, Mother?" The mother responded, "Son, I have never seen anything like this in my life, I don't know what it is."
While the boy and his mother were watching wide-eyed an elderly man in a wheel chair rolled up to the moving walls and pressed a button. The walls opened and the man rolled between them into a small room. The walls closed and the boy and his mother watched small circles of lights w/numbers above the walls light up. They continued to watch the circles light up in the reverse direction. The walls opened up again and a handsome and buff 24 year old man stepped out.
The mother said to his son, "Go get your Father.”
The Amish mother and boy thought they had witnesses a miracle, didn’t they?
In our New testament reading today we see Jesus performing one of the most famous miracles in the Bible, the feeding of the 5,000. When Jesus heard that John the Baptist had been killed, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place near
The crowds followed Jesus on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matthew, Mark and Luke report that As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it's already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food."
Jesus replied, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat."
"We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered.
"Bring them here to me," he said.
Jesus directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Again in the other Gospels it specifies that Jesus hen he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. Notice too that the exact number fed is not given. They fed 5,000 men not counting the women and children. Some estimate that there must have been at least 10,000 people there. All fed by five loaves and two fish. Have you ever been at the Tulio arena when it is full? Imagine that doubled. All fed by five loaves and two fish.
A lot of people are put off by miracles like this. It is beyond their belief that God can actually interceded in man’s life in this way. Even some Biblical commentators have proposed that Jesus actually had an enormous amount of fish and loaves hidden behind some trees and preformed some sort of magic trick on the crowd.
But I like to believe in miracles. Christianity is after all a supernatural religion, isn’t it? Just look at the Apostle’s Creed. It is nothing but the belief in a supernatural world, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost; the one Holy universal Christian Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.”
If we really believe the Apostle’s Creed then we should have no problem with miracles like the feeding of the 5 thousand. In fact I think we should expect to see miracles. Even today! Why not? Has God changed?
God is still on the throne and Jesus is on His right hand still bearing the scars of our redemption, is He not?
But you know if we do hear of someone who might have experienced a miracle, we tend to doubt it. We have all heard of the person who had grilled a cheese sandwich and they see the face of Jesus on it and called it a miracle. And then we have either experienced or heard of con men who claim to have miraculous gifts only to fleece the flock of all their money.
It’s like the old story of when George Burns was having his weekly lunch with Jack Benny when he suggested a way to get a free lunch.
"You know what Jack, we've been coming here for so many years, this place must have made a fortune from us. Not only do we spend a lot of money, we bring in a lot of business!"
"You're probably right George."
"So how about, when the bill comes, you insist on paying it!"
"How does that get us a free lunch?" Jack asked
"Well, then I will insist on paying it. we get into a big fight and eventually you say "That is it! If you don't let me pay, I will never have lunch with you again." The restaurant will be so scared of losing out business, they'll have to give us the meal for free to shut us up!"
"I love it!"Jack said.
So, at the end of the meal, the waiter comes over with the bill and place it on the table. Jack, will a big grin on his face, takes out his wallet and says;
"I'M paying for the lunch today, George!"
"Thank's Jack, that is very nice of you."
We have seen so many cons or people who see miracles when there is none, we tend to doubt.
But God still is the same as in Biblical times, God still does miracles. God is still working and so are His angels. The magazine Guideposts is full of modern day miracles. I’d like to share one with you that happened this past winter:
The snow often fell hard and heavy during the winters I lived in
. It was coming down
like crazy one afternoon when my boss closed the office and sent us home. I
hurried to my car. I had to stop at the sitter’s house to pick up my two baby
I made it the sitter’s house without too much trouble. “Be careful,” she said, as I strapped Nick, six months old, and Jon, 22 months old, into the backseat of the car.
“You know I will,” I said.
But almost as soon as her house was out of sight, the wind picked up and the snow began to swirl. My wipers fought to keep the windshield clear. I was tempted to pull over, but didn’t dare. With the babies aboard, I couldn’t afford to get stuck.
I kept moving, going slower and slower, trying to peer through the blinding snow. Without any help from me, the car came to a stop. “Don’t worry,” I told the children. “Mommy’s just going out to take a look, to see where we are.”
I opened the door. The wind almost knocked me off my feet. I fought my way around to the front of the car. I’ve driven into a snowdrift, I realized.
I climbed back into the car. What to do? I was half a mile from home, on a little-traveled road, without a cell phone. No way could we sit and wait for help. The babies would freeze half to death. No way could I carry them home. I closed my eyes and silently prayed, Lord, please help us.
I heard tapping at my window and opened my eyes. A big man was standing outside, dressed in denim overalls and a green plaid shirt. “Do you need help?” he asked.
“I have to get my babies home,” I said.
“Good thing I have a truck,” he said. He hoofed back to his old, green pickup, tied one end of a yellow tow rope to my car and the other end to his truck. Then he climbed behind the wheel and started his engine.
He pulled us several streets, even turned down my block and parked right in front of our house! So nice of him to go out of his way, I thought. While he untied the rope, I checked on Nick and Jon. Both were fast asleep. I turned back to thank the man … but he was gone. I looked down the street. Not a tire track in the virgin snow.
It was then that it struck me—I never even told the man where I lived.
How could he have known?
God still works miracles today. Not all the time, and sometimes the miracles are subtle and have to be seen through the eyes of faith. But God is still working in the lives of His children. God answers prayer.
So, have faith. Expect a miracle. God is full of suprises.