You’re a miracle worker. Yes, you, the one reading this. If you have placed your trust in the power of the Living God, if the Holy Spirit lives in you, then you are indeed a miracle worker. Miracles aren’t just for Jesus. They aren’t just for the Disciples. But being a miracle worker isn’t the same as having a genie in a bottle – miracles aren’t for our glory, and the life of a miracle worker requires certain elements to remain effective.
In Mark 6, we see the Disciples, the first people Jesus anointed to perform miracles in His name, approach Jesus. They’ve come back from doing work in His name and they want to tell Him all the did and all they taught. They’ve been busy. And it has all been good stuff. Except for the beheading of John the Baptist, that was hard – there’s pain in following Jesus. Our walk with the Lord, even when we’re doing great things in His name and for His glory, will have moments that feel like they will break us.
Jesus saw the excitement in the Disciples, but he also saw the exhaustion. He was aware that many times while serving others in Jesus’ name, the disciples had been without time to eat. He saw their need for a break. Miracle workers need rest and need to exhibit compassion, and Jesus knew that the Disciples were low on rest. This can be true for us, too. Jesus tells us to rest in Him daily, to get away with Him to pray, to read, to sing, to journal, to rest in Him, to let Him remind us that He is God and we are not, and to help us remember that the Lord of the work is far more important that the work of the Lord.
Without rest, rest in Jesus, we won’t see this world, and the people in it, the way God does. And when we don’t see this world through His eyes, we won’t exhibit the compassion He calls us to demonstrate.
But rest can be hard to come by, even when we’re walking with Jesus. As Jesus led the Disciples to get in a boat and get away, crowds of people were waiting to connect with them. Some in the crowd recognized the direction Jesus was leading the disciples and found a way to head them off on land. As Jesus led the Disciples to seek rest, the crowd did what they could to thwart that – the crowds weren’t concerned about the need for rest; the members of the crowd were concerned with their own needs they wanted to bring to Jesus.
Jesus let the disciples stay in the boat as He approached the crowd. The Bible doesn’t tell us why He did this, but it does tell us He showed compassion to the crowd, leading many to believe it was an opportunity for Jesus to model for His Disciples what compassionate ministry looks like the importance of rest, and its impact on compassionate ministry.
When the Disciples did come out of the boat it was late – and they clearly still hadn’t had the rest they needed to be compassionate. They told Jesus to send the crowd away for the night, suggesting the crowds should go into town and buy themselves dinner. They told Jesus what to do with the people. Read that again. They looked at a situation and told Jesus what to do. Miracle workers extinguish excuses and pride. The Disciples weren’t doing that. Instead, they were trying to eliminate what they saw as a problem in their own logical way. These men have been performing miracles in Jesus’ name and in His power, but when they encountered this situation, they didn’t look to Jesus or His power. They told Him what to do. And He answered them, saying, “You give them something to eat.”
Now, a good church member reading this today probably wants to believe he (or she!) would simply reply, “Yes, sir!” and go about the work Jesus had prescribed. And maybe he (or she!) would. But that’s not what we always do, and that’s not what the Disciples did. They challenged Jesus. They worried about the feasibility and the cost of feeding this crowd. They were standing with a man who carried with Him all the power of Heaven, and they made excuses when their own power and resources weren’t sufficient to solve the problem.
Jesus could have let the Disciples have their way. He didn’t have to push them to let Him be the solution. That’s a risk we always run when don’t look to Jesus; He might let us continue in our own power. But this time, He didn’t. And because He didn’t, we have a record of a remarkable miracle, the feeding of more than 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish from a lunch a young boy had brought from home.
This miracle gives us a simple formula that holds true in every circumstance: x+Jesus=more than enough. My failure+Jesus=more than enough. Your insuffieciency+Jesus=more than enough. An impossible diagnosis+Jesus=more than enough. A bad financial situation, or a crumbling marriage, or a difficult situation with a child, any of that, plus Jesus, equals more than enough.
Because the Disciples relented and trusted Jesus, a boy’s lunch+Jesus=more than enough. But the point of this miracle wasn’t to have enough food or to fill empty stomachs. John’s account of this miracle shows us that it opened many eyes in the crowd to the truth of Jesus’ identity – they saw that He really was the prophet.
Jesus again modeled for the Disciples (and us!) what to do after a big miracle. The temptation might be to take credit, to bask in the glory meant for God. But Jesus sent the disciples ahead of Him in the boat and He retreated to the mountain alone, to pray.
Even though many in the crowd were convinced by the miracle that Jesus was the prophesied Messiah, and even though the Disciples had given up their old lives, had been working in His name, healing people in His power, they still had their moments of doubt.
As Jesus was on the mountain praying and they were back in the boat, a storm at sea caused the Disciples panic. When Jesus appeared to them, the didn’t recognize Him. They didn’t even think the image they were seeing was real. But once He spoke to them, their hearts saw what their minds were struggling to understand. Then those in the boat worshiped Him and said, “Truly You are the Son of God!”
So, to spell it out, Isaiah 61 prophesied that Jesus would come and free the captives. Then in Luke 4:18 Jesus arrives and performs miracles. In Mark 6:12 Jesus brings the disciples in as miracle workers themselves, anointing them to perform miracles for His glory, in His power. And finally, in John 14:12 Jesus tells the disciples this anointing goes beyond them, and He grafts us, all future believers, into His line as miracle workers
We’re in the line of miracle workers. Miracle Workers exist to GLORIFY GOD by the POWER OF GOD. Therefore, we exist to GLORIFY GOD by the POWER OF GOD.
God is inviting us to be still, to listen, and to be part of His miracle-working ways.
Are you ready to live the life of a miracle worker this week?