A Miracle-Working God
As Jesus and His disciples “went about doing good,” multitudes gathered around Him, and some were impatiently pushing themselves through the crowd to make sure they would not miss the opportunity to benefit from His rare visit to their neighborhood. Even people with special needs traveled or were carried long distances by friends and family to get to where Jesus was because His reputation was that of a miracle-working man.
I can only imagine how a woman reached out to touch Jesus’ garment, how a man was crying for help from a distance as the crowd tried to quiet him down, how friends lowered a sick man through a roof, and how a short fellow climbed a tree to at least get a glimpse of Jesus, all because His reputation was that of a miracle-working man.
It must have felt good to be known, appreciated and popular. But Jesus knew that this was not a popularity contest. It wasn’t only about getting people to live better and longer, or about the dead living again. This was a matter of eternal life or eternal death. As the time of His mission on earth was coming to an end, Jesus began revealing the inevitable future awaiting Him, to which Peter reacted saying, “Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee” ().
The popular miracle-working man was now in the garden of Gethsemane, confronting the reality alone. The One who went about doing good had no one to turn to in the most terrifying moments of His life. Even His closest disciples fell asleep when asked to watch and pray with Him. He was arrested, beaten, and mocked by the very ones He had helped. His popularity decreased the more He suffered until He found Himself hanging on the cross between two thieves. One was mocking Him just like everybody else while the other one said, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom” (). The believing thief was the only one who accepted Jesus—not merely as a miracle-working man, but as a MIRACLE-WORKING GOD!
Who is God for you, my friend?