There are times when I need to re-examine my expectations of Jesus. And recently, as I read Matthew 15:30-31, I felt the need to do so again. It's quite an amazing scene. And I don't think I've ever actually paused long enough at these two brief verses to consider what it would've been like to be there. It says that "the crowd marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking and the blind seeing" (Matthew 15:31).
Imagine the excitement! The exclamations being shouted and the joy and amazement of all the people! Over there is a woman excitedly speaking for the first time in years -- people crowding around her, grinning and laughing at the wonderful sound of her voice. And over there is an old man who'd been maimed for years, surrounded by his awe-struck family, joyfully demonstrating all the ways he can freely move about, and how he can lift his giggling grandchildren high in the air without pain. And there is a man who'd previously been paralyzed, running around a bunch of laughing people, chasing children, everyone overjoyed to see him on his feet for the first time since a childhood accident. And closer to Jesus, who is smiling happily, is a young woman who is crying with joy as she sees the smiling tear-stained face of her father for the very first time. And there are others celebrating additional miracles before a crowd who is glorifying God at the sight of so many laughing, cheering, crying, hysterical people!
It's a stunning snapshot of Jesus' ministry. Heaven invading earth. So do I believe God calls us to create such scenes? Or am I a cessationist at heart when faced with the idea of seeing miracles on such a grand scale as this? I'm challenged by it, to be sure. But more so, I'm excited by it! Because there's no reason to believe that God wouldn't want to create the same scene today as His children take up their delegated authority to "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons." (Matthew 10:8). Through our obedience to such commands, heaven can continue to invade this world!
© 2010 by Ken Peters