What are miracles, really? Sure, we read about them in the New Testament–the healing of the blind, the resurrection of Lazarus, the casting out of demons–all performed by Jesus, the Son of God. And yes, the are striking. Astonishing, actually. But they tend, at least for me, to raise more questions than answers.
Such as “Why did Jesus use spit on a couple of occasions?” and “Why did He choose to heal seemingly selectively as opposed to every person during that time who needed healing?” and the biggie–“Why don’t we see such astonishing acts today?”
Jared Wilson, author of The Wonder-Working God: Seeing the Glory of Jesus in His Miracles, does exactly what his title suggests–he shows us the glory of Jesus, the Son of God, through the miracles that He performed. And it is a brilliant glory. Nearly blinding, in and of itself.
I received this review copy of this book from Crossway Publishers. I was unsure of what I was looking for in reading it. I found out that I wasn’t looking for something–I was looking for someone.
Wilson walks us through, chapter by chapter, several miracles. Miracles that, if you are familiar with Sunday School, then you’ve probably heard before. But Wilson also dusts off the accumulated layers of time and repetitiveness to offer a fresh look at not only the actual event, but the underlying current that courses through each event. No, he doesn’t add extra-biblical insight into these wonders. Instead, he points us to see what is truly there: Jesus.
In fact, His last chapter, titled “The Singular Miracle of the Eternally Begotten” is about the greatest miracle of all. Jesus, Himself. And as I read that chapter, I was woefully reminded how often I forget–or rather, do not even comprehend–the fact that Jesus is a miracle. The greatest miracle. And if we can’t grasp that, then none of his other miracles make any sense.
Wilson’s writing didn’t answer my “biggie” question, of why we don’t see such blatant miracles today that we read about in Scripture. But, then again, in reading his book, that question of mine actually shrank just a bit. Scripture is truth. And so I found my “biggie” question slowly overshadowed by the sheer awe of who Jesus was and is today, and who He will continue to be in the future. He is the Miracle of the Eternally Begotten. And as such, I was deeply convicted by this paragraph in Wilson’s Conclusion:
“Our boredom at any time, then, is a sin. Sin is, at its essence, a failure of worship, and failing to worship is failing to be astonished by the presence and activity of God in the world. Sin is a failure to marvel at and be motivated by the miracle of the gospel.”
I do not want to fall prey to boredom, ever, in regards to the miracle of the gospel. Being reminded of who Jesus is, and that God is a Wonder-Working God, prods me to worship and marvel. As it should be.