25 January 2022
I think there are three types of beliefs when it comes to “believing in miracles.” First of all, the way of faith that I do not believe in miracles at all, this is more unbelief than faith. Next, I believe in the miracle written in the Bible, that is, the miracle that happened in the past. The other is the belief that God can still perform miracles, not to mention the miracles described in the Bible.
What we see today is the scene where Jesus performed a “miracle” that turned water into wine.
Jesus Changes Water Into Wine
2 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” 4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” 11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. (John 2: 1-11)
Today I would like to focus on miracles. I think this was especially true in Japan because of Aum Shinrikyo, but I feel that miracles and mysteries tend to be felt suspicious. So churches, unlike new religions, believe in higher things, so more and more churches are excluding miracles from their Christian beliefs. But if we omit miracles from Christianity and the Bible, to be clear, almost nothing remains. All that remains is Christian ethics and morality.
The method of criticism that Christianity should never do when criticizing another religion is to criticize the mystery of that religion itself. That’s fine in this world. But the church is not good. It puts Christianity and the church in a dangerous position. The church is essentially a herd that believes in mystery. We believe in the resurrection of Christ. We believe in the Second Coming of Christ. What is this not mystery? If we make the wrong criticism, the church will later be criticized for its mystery itself.
The Wedding Cana Church (Israel)
By the way, “I believe in miracles” was said by Kathryn Kuhlman, an American female evangelist who was very active in the 1960s and 1970s. I made the words she said into today’s title.
Kathryn Kuhlman has contributed significantly to the promotion of the Holy Spirit movement, miracles and healing work in the United States. She visibly proved that God is the one who still performs miracles today, especially in America. Through her work, an amazing healing work has emerged.
Through the sign, Jesus proved himself to be the Son of God. The disciples actually saw and believed in the sign of Jesus. Through the sign, Kathryn Kuhlman showed the world that God is still alive.
Cana in Galilee is relatively close to Nazareth. I went on a trip to Israel a few years ago, but on the way from Galilee to Jerusalem, I went to Cana and Nazareth. Jesus was placed in a special situation at a wedding and was asked by his mother to perform a miracle of turning water into wine. Of course we believe this miracle actually happened. But saying “we believe in miracles” does not mean that we do not prepare grape juice for the sacrament and keep it in water.
Don’t run too extreme. There is an extreme overshoot. One is to eliminate miracles. In modern times, it is a belief that miracles do not occur and healing does not occur. But that is not the true Christianity. It is different from the faith written in the Bible. Other religions are holding their hands and praying for healing, so let’s stop in the church. But this is clearly not the correct reaction. Jesus clearly commanded the disciples and the church. “Pray for the sick.” There is a tendency to fall into rationalism and eliminate the supernatural nature of Christianity.
On the other hand, overshooting tends to emphasize miracles. For example, it’s like adding water to the sacrament without preparing wine. Jesus never commanded his disciples to turn water into wine. There is no such description in the Bible. So it turns out that God probably doesn’t want us to do that either. Of course, God can still turn water into wine. There is nothing impossible in God. If there are special circumstances and need, the Lord will do it. But I don’t think we need to ask for it.
So is walking on the water. Jesus walked on the water. Peter also walked a little. But the Lord has not commanded us to do that, so we will not have to walk on the water. We won’t be able to walk on the water. When the revival happened in South Korea, it seems that there was a shocking thing that a very enthusiastic girl tried to walk on the water and drowned and died. If we are too interested in miracles, we will fall into mysticism. I don’t necessarily think mysticism is bad, but at the extreme there is a danger that it will deviate from the teachings of the entire Bible.
We believe in miracles. Never remove the miracles that are written in the Bible, the miracles that God still commands us to do, the signs and wonders, and the healing. But we need to separate the miracles that only the Lord has done from the miracles that the Lord still expects from us, as the Bible says.
What kind of miracle is it when Kathryn Kuhlman says, “I believe in miracles”? She does not envision the miracle of turning water into wine. It envisions a miracle that Jesus commanded his disciples, performed by the Early Christianity, and written by the apostle Paul.
Roughly speaking, healing of illness and exorcism in Christianity are at the top. And the gifts of the Spirit, such as speaking in tongues, prophecies, and words of knowledge, follow. At that time, various signs and phenomena may occur. When the heavens and the earth are connected, the Holy Spirit will be poured and Jesus said that he will see something bigger in Nathanael, but strange things can happen. In some cases, water may turn into wine. We cannot control what God does because the God we believe in is a great God. Let us also believe in “miracles”. Believe in the miracles that the Lord will do. Expect the miracles that the Lord will do through us.