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DO YOU ASK FOR A MIRACLE?

“He [Abraham] said to him [the rich man], ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead’” (Luke 16:31). In the Gospel according to St. Luke, we read the story of Lazarus a beggar and a certain rich man. The rich man after tasting eternal death wished for a miracle. A miracle for the sake of his brothers, so that they would repent and not go to the place of torment where he found himself. However, our father Abraham pointed out to him that it is not a matter of a miracle. What is needed, is faith in the Word of God. The basis of such faith is to be nourished with God's Word continuously, while requesting the guidance of the Holy Spirit in order to be enlightened.

In the Holy Bible, we read many stories that tell of individuals who had hearts of stone. In spite of the miracles that occurred before them they, still, would not believe. Pharaoh being one such example who, with his own eyes, saw a great number of God's miracles, but he remained unbelieving. In Nehemiah 9:10, the way in which God dealt with Pharaoh is recounted, "You sent signs and wonders against Pharaoh, against all his officials and all the people of his land, for You knew how arrogantly the Egyptians treated them. You made a name for Yourself, which remains to this day." Also unwilling to believe, in the power of God, were the Israelites in the wilderness for "They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles You performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But You are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore You did not desert them" (Nehemiah 9:17). As well, King Ahab and his wife Jezebel who, through the challenge set by the prophet Elijah to test the prophets of Baal, witnessed how, "the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench" (1 Kings 18:38) and yet, they chose not to believe.

In comparison, found in Acts chapter 8, we read about the Ethiopian eunuch. As it was, he was reading in the Book of Isaiah the prophet when the Spirit sent Philip the apostle to preach to him the good news regarding the salvation of God. This is recounted in verses 26-39, "Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, 'Go south to the road--the desert road--that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.' So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means "queen of the Ethiopians"). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, 'Go to that chariot and stay near it.' Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. 'Do you understand what you are reading?' Philip asked. 'How can I,' he said, 'unless someone explains it to me?' So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading: "He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so He did not open His mouth. In His humiliation He was deprived of justice. Who can speak of His descendants? For His life was taken from the earth." The eunuch asked Philip, 'Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?' Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, 'Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?' And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing." Through the story of the Ethiopian eunuch's salvation, our Lord shows us the importance of faith and our need for reading and trusting in His Word in order to experience His blessings. Also, in Matthew 17:20, our Lord addresses the unbelief of His disciples and the great blessings that can be enjoyed even with the smallest amount of faith saying to them, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there', and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

And so, be not one who requires a miracle to test the Lord. Rather, come to Jesus Christ acknowledging your sinfulness, repent and choose to be a child of God. A true child of God will walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. In addition, he/she will work hard to maintain the will of the holy Father by saving the souls of many. This, in turn, will take him/her to a different spiritual level when the Lord begins to perform miracles by his/her hand, "Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in Me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father" (John 14:12).


By: Laith Maqadsi

Edited By: Raeda Dear

 


 
 

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