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I once knew a premed student who didn’t believe in miracles but still prayed for them.
As he read of Jesus multiplying the bread and fish, transforming the water into wine, casting out demons, raising the dead to life — he claimed that he could not come to believe in “that sort of thing.” He was a man of principle, of reason, of science. He would not follow his well-meaning ancestors and be impressed with fire and smoke, gullible to natural phenomena that the prescientific mistook as God invading the natural realm.
Bases - Something - Realm - Understanding - Benefits
And yet he prayed for just that. He liked to cover all his bases, he explained. If something out of the realm of his understanding existed, he wanted in on the benefits. He prayed to Jesus occasionally because he wanted family members healed, he wanted to date a girl out of his league, he wanted his food occasionally blessed and the consequences of his sins occasionally avoided. He wanted the signs and wonders, nothing more. And in this, he missed the meaning of the miracles.
With a wave of her wand, the fairy godmother in Cinderella transforms a pumpkin into a carriage, mice into mares, a horse into a coachman, a dog into a servant, rags into a gown — all at the magical incantation of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo. At the speaking of gibberish, the miracle happened.
Contrast - Miracles - Lord - Gospels - Miracles
This stands in stark contrast to the miracles of our Lord in the Gospels. The miracles exist for the sake of words, not words for the miracles. Jesus performs mighty acts to underline, highlight, and bold the font of his monologues. The inbreaking of the kingdom of God through mighty deeds cast divine light on his sermons. They proclaimed, “Here is the heaven’s King; listen to him.”
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