I’m probably like a lot of you! I like to rank things. I’ve watched TV and scanned the internet. They can make a whole show or long article out of ranking a specific topic. Examples are and not limited to the top actors of all time. How about the best movies, best TV shows, cooks, baseball players, teams, stores, hamburgers, pizzas, restaurants and the list goes on and on. When we rank things it is out of love. We show an interest in the subject and are willing to study the different ones in depth. A person who ranks things likes to dig deeper. They enjoy the topic so much because they actually love all of the listed things. It is not a knock on any of the entrants that are not chosen number one. For some reason in the ranking person’s eyes one of the entrants stands out a little from the rest. Obviously you could ask ten people to rank a topic and get ten different answers. Rankings are subject to individual interpretation because we all see things differently. The quality that puts something at the top of my list may put it on the bottom of yours. Whenever a list is made or one thing is put above all others we are inviting debate. Debating is a good thing because it makes us confront how we feel. It makes us dig deep into the topic. It causes us to think about our opinions and take another persons opinion into consideration. Taking the time to study and break down a topic and form an opinion shows that we love the subject!
With all of this in mind let’s set the ground rules for the debate. There are thirty seven earthly miracles that Jesus performed that are recorded in the Bible. Obviously there were many that were unrecorded. Naturally we can only study the ones that we know about. The miracles in the Bible occurred in his last three and a half years. Also the miracles I’m talking about are ones that he did for or to other people. Usually in these kind of rankings there is a countdown. As in the number 37 miracle is and right down to the number 1. I can’t do that in this case. A miracle is a miracle and to decide if it was harder to cast a demon out of someone or to heal a sickness cannot be done. I don’t know the answer to that, all I can say is that with God all things are possible! For that matter I am not ranking the miracle on the difficulty factor. Any miracle after all is “a miracle” and is totally out of the realm of the natural progression.
From looking at the list of miracles that are recorded in the Bible, one can conclude that Jesus did most of his miracles because of one of the following reasons. Either he was asked to heal and the person had faith to believe he would, or he did it out of love that he had for a group of people that they also had for him. Let’s take that second reason for example. Nobody asked Jesus to feed the multitudes. Yet twice it is recorded that he did so. Both times Jesus was preaching to a group of people and both times the people were more concerned with hearing what he had to say than to meet their physical eating needs. Rewarding them for their faithfulness he took the small amount of food they had on hand and blessed it! As many as 5,000 people were fed and there were in both cases leftovers! Another example of Jesus doing a miracle out of love for the people was when he was at a wedding and they ran out of wine. Running out of wine would have been a catastrophe but Jesus miraculously turned the water into wine and the wine he created was better than the original! You can also put the time that Jesus walked on the water into this category! Why was he walking on the water? He did it to get to his beloved disciples who were out on a boat in the middle of the sea. Also in this category would be when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. It was out of love for his family and the hurt that it caused.
The other category is when Jesus was asked by someone for healing. Sometimes when the person would come forward Jesus would ask them what they needed. They would invariably say “so that I can see” or healing from some other affliction. When they asked in faith believing, Jesus was quick to heal them! Sometimes he would ask for a step in faith. If he told them to go, their faith has made them whole, they may have started walking (faith believing) and received their healing then! I’m reminded of Jesus telling a man with a withered hand to extend his arm forward. When he did in faith Jesus healed it instantly! Jesus also acted on faith of other people on behalf of the afflicted one. I’m reminded of the time that friends lowered a cot with the sickened man on it to Jesus from a hole they cut in the roof. Another time a leader of the day came to Jesus to heal his son. You don’t even have to go to him, he stated. I know that if I command someone under me to do something it gets done. Jesus marveled at his faith and healed his son at that hour. There was also a time that Jesus was on his way to heal the daughter of Jairus who had died when a woman came up and touched his garment. She had suffered from a bleeding issue for twelve years. Instantaneously she was healed! Jesus knowing that he felt the healing power leave him wondered who touched him? Admitting that it was her Jesus told her “your faith has made you whole.” Jesus made his way to Jairus’ daughter who now was dead and because of his faith in asking Jesus raised her back to life again!
All of these miracles that I mentioned and so many more are wonderful miracles that Jesus did that changed lives! Like I mentioned earlier it would be impossible to rank them in importance because each one affected the lives of others so wonderfully! When I first heard a sermon entitled “Jesus’ Greatest Miracle”, I didn’t really believe that the one picked out could possibly be his greatest.
In Luke chapter 22 starting with verse 47 the text begins. “While he was still speaking, there came a crowd and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him; but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the son of man with a kiss?” And when those who were about him saw what would follow they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him.” Now you may ask “How can this be Jesus’ greatest miracle?” Certainly many of his other miracles had to be harder. Certainly healing all of the afflictions that were presented before him had to be greater than just an ear.
Remember though that Jesus’ other miracles involved a formula of hope, faith, and love. The people on the receiving end had at least one if not all of the qualities. This person had none of them. He was there doing his job which was to arrest Jesus. He happened to be in the wrong place as the sword sliced off his ear. He was an enemy of Jesus and desired to have him killed. Yet Jesus in spite of all of these facts showed the attitude of forgiving his enemy by making his ear whole again! It was the same spirit that he displayed on the cross when he said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” It is the same spirit that Jesus displayed when he came down to earth to die for us. Romans 5:10 states that “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” You see we were all God’s enemies until we came to him. We were all like that servant who was wounded and even though we were enemies God touched us! It wasn’t necessarily the difficulty of the healing or the faith the person displayed. In this case no faith was involved at all! It was Jesus healing someone because of who he was! He was living the commandment of “love your enemies.” The sermon concluded with the pastor saying “I have studied all of the miracles Jesus did in his ministry and one greater than this I haven’t found.” After he made his case I have to agree because I haven’t either!