Day 80: Two Kinds of Miracle Workers

Luke 7:11-15 :

It happened soon afterwards, that he went to a city called Nain. Many of his disciples, along with a great multitude, went with him. Now when he drew near to the gate of the city, behold, one who was dead was carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. Many people of the city were with her. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said to her, “Don’t cry.” He came near and touched the coffin, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!” He who was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother.

The subject of miracles has been on my mind recently. There seems to be a common misunderstanding that only good people do miracles. The truth is that we have evidence in the Bible that this is not true at all. Here are some interesting passages:

Exodus 7:10-12 :

Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, and they did so, as Yahweh had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also called for the wise men and the sorcerers. They also, the magicians of Egypt, did the same thing with their enchantments. For they each cast down their rods, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.

and again:

Exodus 7:20-22 :

Moses and Aaron did so, as Yahweh commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and struck the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. The fish that were in the river died; and the river became foul, and the Egyptians couldn’t drink water from the river; and the blood was throughout all the land of Egypt. The magicians of Egypt did the same thing with their enchantments; and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he didn’t listen to them; as Yahweh had spoken.

… and then later this:

Exodus 8:6-7 :

Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt. The magicians did the same thing with their enchantments, and brought up frogs on the land of Egypt.

Now it is interesting that in Egypt where this was taking place, Aaron represented God’s word and the Egyptian magicians represented a lie. Both were doing miraculous acts. It is clear that just because a miracle was done didn’t mean that the miracle worker was telling the truth. Instead, we know from the Bible the miracles can come from good or evil people. All power comes from God, but God always represents Himself as the greater one. Look at this passage:

Exodus 8:8 :

Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, “Entreat Yahweh, that he take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to Yahweh.”

Evidently, only Moses and Aaron could make the stuff really go away. Not only that there was an end to the evil power at one point as we read here:

Exodus 8:17-18 :

They did so; and Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and struck the dust of the earth, and there were lice on man, and on animal; all the dust of the earth became lice throughout all the land of Egypt. The magicians tried with their enchantments to produce lice, but they couldn’t. There were lice on man, and on animal.

Now Jesus was a powerful healer and in our passage today we read that He was able to take a completely dead person and raise him back to life. There isn’t a more powerful healing that that. There is little wonder why we have these records of Jesus’ healings passed down through the years when things this amazing were happening. One thing we learn, though, by reading the Bible is that we must always be skeptical of miracle workers. Even if someone does miracles, we really don’t know if the miracle worker is good without putting him to the test with the truth of God’s word.

Notice, also, that it was compassion that drove Jesus to do what He did to help this widow. We should follow Jesus’ example and help those who are poor and needy with the strength and power that God has given us.