I admit it – I am a bit of a sceptic when it comes to miracles and healings. I finding myself wanting them to be real, but at the same time second guessing them. I’m teaching my way through the book of Acts at the moment (great fun for me – I hope also for the class!) and came across a group of sceptics who witness a great miracle and move of God and missed out because of their cynicism.
Acts 2:4-13 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs–we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” 13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
Can you imagine being there to witness such a momentous event, a new thing that God is going, the great start to the Church and missing out because you mind is already made up? I can, knowing me I would have been part of that dismissive crowd. What if my scepticism limits God? What if my scepticism is really lack of faith?
Matthew 17:18-20 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, 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.”
If I believe more would I see more? Although I can easily identify with the people who saw a great miracle and dismissed it as too much wine I don’t want to be part of that group. I want to see God do great things, I want him to do great things through me and in my life. So to counteract my own scepticism I pray along with the Dad of the demon possessed boy:
Mark 9:21-24 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” 23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Lord, I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!