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Reflections On “A Ransom For Many” — 6

Daniel Tan



Mark 4:35–5:43

Miracles. A word that we use to talk about events that occur beyond the realm of explanation. Jesus throughout the gospels demonstrated various miracles from turning water to wine to calming a storm. Yet despite these immense shows of divine power, humans are frequently capable of blinding themselves to the grandeur and splendor of God.


For example, in the face of the storm, the disciples were panicking while Jesus was simply resting. Instead of having faith, the disciples scurried about trying to salvage the situation despite their obvious inability to do so against the force of nature. Their fear claimed them to the point that they woke up Jesus asking whether or not he cared that they were going to drown. Jesus’ answer was simply to challenge their lack of faith and calm the storm. (Mark 6:45-51)


In our lives we can go through many metaphorical storms. During these times, it can be easy to cry out to God and ask whether or not he even cares. But the lesson here is not that Jesus has reign over all creation. The lesson here is that if Jesus does not do anything, it is simply not the time for him to act. Despite what we think we know, we don't know a lot and our efforts to salvage the situation only demonstrate our lack of faith in the power of God. Jesus demonstrates his regality in this: nature and even demons succumb to his authority.


This might sound harsh, but think about it this way. If you were leading a group of people and in a situation that you could easily handle, they just start panicking and asking why you aren't helping, how would you feel? I'm sure you'd be very annoyed or exasperated at their lack of faith in your ability and their bumbling inability to see through the situation. If we can relate to such a situation, what makes you think that God wouldn't feel the same way? After all, we are created in His image. Who we are was first defined by who He is.


The fact is Jesus’ miracles aren't reserved for a show of power to gather people in. There are times when Jesus chose to perform miracles for the faithless like the disciples in this storm, the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-15) and even the feeding of the 5,000 who had not even asked for or expected the food (Mark 6:30-44). But often, Jesus’ miracles were for those who had incredible faith.


Jesus miraculously healed people out of compassion, some without even them asking for healing. He also performed miracles to vindicate himself and his teachings (John 10:37-38, Matthew 9:4-7). Very often, miracles in the Bible were a reward for believing. This is not to say that if you have enough faith, a miracle will happen. Rather, it simply means that if you don't have faith at all, a miracle is unlikely to occur (unless God in His divine wisdom decides otherwise). What is the point, after all, of revealing divinity to people who will hard-heartedly reject every notion of it but accept all the good that comes from it?


Whether the demoniac who housed Legion, Jairus or even the bleeding woman, no one was refused as long as they believed. The payment? Bear testimony. The greater the miracle, the greater the testimony. Our payment is to bring the other lost sheep back that they might experience God's grace and mercy.


Miracles are a calling to testimony. The greater the faith, the greater the miracle, the greater the testimony. It has nothing to do with influence or status. Simply, the more you have been given, the more you give back.


Meanwhile, storms are an opportunity to test faith. The greater the storm, the greater the test, the greater the refinement at the end. God will rescue us from the storms; not necessarily in the ways we imagine, but in ways that spread the Kingdom. At the end of the day, this world is not our home but simply a platform for God to bring more people homeward.



Daniel Tan

Daniel is currently and forevermore will be a student and a learner, trying to delve into the deep conundrums of life and seeing where the path leads. He enjoys linking different things in life back to God through strange and seemingly random connections.