We can follow in Christ’s steps and bring relief to others. We can bear their burdens. We can help shoulder the weight of life. In so doing, we can testify to the kingdom of God that we serve and seek to advance.
I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in (Matthew 25:35, NKJV).
The whole world is reeling under the effects of sin. In our very existence we experience a low-grade suffering. Sometimes that suffering is ratcheted up to the extreme. Suffering in our being can be physical or mental, from arthritis to angst. We experience these things ourselves and we are surrounded by others who suffer their own maladies.
Jesus came into this fallen world, subjecting Himself to the miseries of this life, the same miseries we endure. But He came not merely to enter our distress. He came to vanquish it through His redemptive work.
Jesus opened the eyes of the blind, enabled the lame to walk, and cured disease. He performed these miracles to demonstrate that the kingdom of God had come.
Miracles had a particular function in the ministry of Jesus. They weren’t merely attention grabbers, although Jesus did draw a crowd. Miracles were primarily indicators of the nature of Christ’s mission.
Whereas the hallmarks of the kingdom of this world are dysfunction, decay, and disorder, the kingdom of God is a redemptive kingdom that reversed the effects of the fall. Blindness is a symptom of the fall. Jesus cured blindness. Disease might not be attributable to a particular sin but it is to a sin-ravaged creation. Jesus healed disease.
Miracles had a particular purpose in the apostolic era. Certainly God can and does continue to do miracles to this day, but signs and wonders have ceased as normative. Unlike Peter and Paul, no one today is invested with the gift of performing miracles.
That does not mean, however, that we cannot follow in Christ’s steps and bring relief to others. We can bear their burdens. We can help shoulder the weight of life. In so doing, we can testify to the kingdom of God that we serve and seek to advance.