Miracles

by Sylvia Bambola October 27, 2014 14:53 PM

After the Holy Spirit fell upon Jesus’ disciples, and Peter spoke to the crowd bringing three thousand souls into the Kingdom, we next see him and John going to the Temple to pray. Notice that the infilling of the Holy Spirit didn’t inspire the disciples to start a new religion. They were Jews and their Messiah was a Jew. Their intention was not to split with Judaism but to show their brethren how Jesus had fulfilled Scripture.

Before they could enter the Temple, they encountered a lame beggar by the gate called Beautiful (Acts 3:1-26) It was customary for family and friends to carry their handicapped loved one to various places around the city where there was enough foot traffic to give the injured party a chance to collect alms throughout the day. This alms collection was usually their only livelihood.

Though Peter and John had little in the way of money, their compassion was aroused when they saw the beggar. “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk,” Peter boldly says. And after Peter pulled the man to his feet, the beggar began “walking and leaping and praising God.” Now the people knew this beggar well. They had seen him at the Beautiful gate for years. This was no sham miracle. This was real and they knew it.

At once, Peter began speaking of Jesus and how this whole miracle with the lame beggar was brought about through the power of Jesus and through His name. And the people listened. They listened to Peter talk about how and why Jesus died, then rose again. They listened to Peter talk about Moses and the Law and the prophets and how Jesus fulfilled them all. And Scripture tells us that five thousand of them believed that day(Acts 4:4). Five thousand! The healing of the lame beggar made the people want to hear what Peter said. The expounding of Scripture made them believe in the Healer.

Are miracles still for today? Many say no. But I don’t believe that. I’ve heard too many testimonies of supernatural healing, protection, provision. Many years ago it was customary that when an evangelist entered a new community the first thing he did was to seek out the sickest person in town. Then the evangelist would lay hands on that person and pray for healing. You see, the evangelist expected a healing. He believed God’s word that says, if a believer lays hands on the sick “they shall recover.” And when that sick person did, in fact, recover, the townspeople were open to hearing the Gospel. And then many believed.

Miracles aren’t for show. They are not meant as a theatrical ploy. They are meant to demonstrate to the nonbeliever that Jesus is very real and alive and powerful, and that His message is worthy of being heard. So, have any miracles occurred through my prayers or laying on of hands? Not that I know of. But the fault is mine and not in God’s Word. Though I truly believe that God can and does do miracles today, will He do them through me? And there’s the rub. And that’s the thing many Christians wonder: Will God do miracles through them? His word says, yes. And I think it boils down to this: are we willing to go out on a limb and pray for those who need prayer, and believe God’s Word? All the while understanding that it’s not us, but God working through us as His vessel? If we don’t step out and give Him a chance to use us, how will we ever know?

May God give us all the courage to stand on His Word and be truly used of Him.

Until next time,

Sylvia

 

 

 

Category: Spirituality

The Transfiguration Prophecy

by Sylvia Bambola July 1, 2013 16:09 PM

One can only imagine what the transfiguration of Jesus was like (Mark 9:2-10; Luke 9:28-36). That word “transfigured” in Greek is metamorfoo and means transformed. Jesus was literally transformed! To be sure it was a remarkable event that both astonished and terrified Peter, John, and James, the three apostles who were there. The setting is a high mountain. Suddenly, Jesus is changed! He actually glows in His blinding white raiment. The Amplified describes Jesus’ garments as “flashing with the brilliance of lightening.” And if that weren’t enough, Moses and Elijah appear and begin speaking with Jesus. But what exactly did they talk about? Well, nothing less than Jesus’ approaching death in Jerusalem.

Peter, ever impetuous, immediately suggests they build three booths. The Bible says he suggests this because he doesn’t know what else to say. Peter is apparently dumbfounded and seems to blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. But it’s interesting that his words are recorded since I’m sure it’s not the only time Peter has spoken rash words which were never recorded.

The next thing that happens is the appearance of a cloud that overshadows them all and a voice coming from the cloud saying, “this is my beloved Son: hear him.” It’s the same voice and the same pronouncement John the Baptist heard after baptizing Jesus in the Jordan. Then the cloud lifts, Moses and Elijah disappear, and Jesus resumes His former appearance, then commands His three disciples not to tell anyone what they saw until “the Son of man were risen from the dead.” Now the apostles are really confused and keep asking each other what “rising from the dead should mean.” It will be much later before they understand it all.

Oh, there is so much to glean from these passages!  The “high mountain” where this entire scenario takes place is believed by many to be Mount Tabor, but some believe it’s Mount Hermon. I think the latter choice is the most reasonable since it is five times higher than Mt. Tabor and since Mt. Hermon is the place many Bible scholars believe Satan and his fallen angels descended to earth. What better place for the transfiguration to occur since it is a foreshadowing of Jesus’ second coming? It is the place where the three apostles get a glimpse of Jesus as God, Conqueror and King. It is the place where lawgiver (Moses), prophet (Elijah), and Messiah (Jesus) meet to discuss the reclaiming of fallen earth by the approaching death of Jesus, and through the shedding of His blood gain our freedom from Satan’s control! In essence Jesus was proclaiming Satan’s defeat on the very spot where Satan began his conquest of earth! And it is Jesus who both fulfills the law and the prophets. And many Bible scholars believe that it is Moses and Elijah who are the two witnesses of Revelation who will announce the coming of Jesus’ kingdom during the Tribulation.

And I don’t think Peter’s statement was foolish either. Though he may not have understood what he was saying, I believe his words were recorded for a reason. The three booths he wanted to build speak of the Feast of Tabernacles (or Feast of Booths), the feast that symbolizes the time when God will tabernacle with His people forever. This only occurs after the tribulation, when Jesus sets up his earthly kingdom and resides in the Temple of Jerusalem. Considering all of the above, I see the transfiguration as a foreshadowing of Jesus’ return in glory at the end of this present age. And what a wonderful sight it will be!

“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming” (2 Thessalonians 2:8).

Until next time,

Sylvia