MemberFebruary 19, 2021 at 9:54 am
So far we have considered the first two steps of our investigation sequence.
In the first step we saw that the miracles performed by God in the course of about 4,000 years of human history have been relatively few and many of them have been concentrated in two specific periods of history.
In the second step we saw that, although God worked many miracles especially in favour of a single ethnic group, that is, in favour of the Jews, this does not mean that God wanted to favour only one people because “God does not show favouritism” and therefore in doing many miracles in favour of the Jewish people it is evident that God had a different goal.
Now we are ready for the third question:
What appears to be God’s goal in performing his miracles?
Finding the answer to this question is not an easy task.
In our Biblical reading, the historical account of the miracles that were done by god is very compelling and easy to spot. But to find “why” God performed those miracles requires a deeper reading and study that is attentive to detail.
Let’s try to do this in-depth analysis.
The key figure in our research should be the forefather of the Jewish people, Abraham, because it is to Abraham that God has given some interesting explanations. Although God performed only one miracle for Abraham, namely the miraculous birth of a child when he and his wife were biologically too old to have children, the whole sequence of events that led God to perform miracles starts from the very special relationship that God had with Abraham.
Let us now pay attention to what God said to Abraham as we read Genesis 22:17-18
“I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” (NIV)
In this scripture we have 3 key points.
The first part talks about the blessing of Abraham’s lineage that would multiply. The second part talks about his people settling in a land that was previously inhabited, namely the promised land of <st1:place w:st=”on”>Canaan</st1:place>. But it is the third part that should attract our attention the most.
“Through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed”
Here we have the answer to our question: God’s primary purpose in working miracles for Abraham’s offspring is “the blessing of all the nations of the earth“.
But now a further question naturally arises: how can miracles done in favour of the people of <st1:country-region w:st=”on”><st1:place w:st=”on”>Israel</st1:place></st1:country-region> both in the time of Moses and in the time of Jesus can be beneficial and blessing for all peoples of the earth?
Let’s go even deeper to find the answer to this intriguing question that could affect any of us.
What will be the subject of Tim’s next film gives us the opportunity to better understand God’s work. It was in fact at <st1:place w:st=”on”>Mount Sinai</st1:place> that God explained to the Israelites what kind of privilege he intended to offer them.
Exodus 19:5-6 (NIV) “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
It seems that the ultimate goal of blessing people all over the earth was to be achieved through the establishment of “a kingdom of priests”.
However, even though the people of Israel had an organization of priests, that is, the tribe of the Levites, it was not yet clear how the entire people of Israel could be offered the possibility of becoming “a kingdom of priests”.
This remained a mystery until the arrival of Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 1:9-10 (NIV) “He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfilment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
Therefore, having organized the people of <st1:country-region w:st=”on”><st1:place w:st=”on”>Israel</st1:place></st1:country-region> in a certain way, with a specific law that provided a norm of behaviour that made the Israelites completely different from the surrounding peoples, had to have its full fulfilment in the arrival of the Messiah or otherwise called Christ.
The Christ was to be the key person who could explain how the establishment of “a kingdom of priests” could bring a blessing to the peoples of the whole earth.
Jesus was that key person.
That is why during the ministry of Jesus, God again began to perform extraordinary miracles even more emotionally involving than those performed by Moses, such as the resurrection of several people.
It is sad that most of the Jewish people living at the time of Jesus did not recognize Jesus as a key person for the realization of God’s will.
Matthew 21:42-44 (NIV) “Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “ ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
43 “Therefore I tell you that the <st1:place w:st=”on”><st1:placetype w:st=”on”>kingdom</st1:placetype> of <st1:placename w:st=”on”>God</st1:placename></st1:place> will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.
44 Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.
Then, according to Jesus’ words, the privilege of becoming “a kingdom of priests” for the blessing of people of all nations was taken from the Jews and given to all who would follow Christ by becoming Christians.
This is why the power to perform miracles was also given to the first disciples of Jesus by God.
It had to be clear to everyone that, from that moment on, God’s favour had shifted from the people of <st1:country-region w:st=”on”><st1:place w:st=”on”>Israel</st1:place></st1:country-region> to the diverse people of Christians, who no longer all belonged to a single ethnicity but who came from different ethnic backgrounds.
By reading the book of Acts of the Apostles, we can read about the various miracles that God worked through the early Christians, including some resurrections of dead people.
Do we have any evidence that God’s purpose was accomplished with the establishment of Christian’s organization ?
We are ready now to ask ourselves the last question of the sequence.
Can we know if God’s goal has been achieved ?
Finding the answer to this last question will be the goal of my next post.