Coming to the verses offered today by SacredSpace (http://www.sacredspace.ie) … the feeding of the five thousand (loaves and fishes ex-full baskets afterwards … John 6:1-11), I was reading through … reflecting … imagining the young boy’s suppressed annoyance … his frown outside … his “That’s mine! Me mam made it!! Give it back!!!!” inside … that kind of thing ….
And a thought entered my head.
There are no “current day” miracles like Jesus Miracles. I hear about the hallelujah, hands on, sweaty brow, gotta work real hard cos “He did it for Me” kinda look at me performance stories. But no “Jesus Miracles” anymore.
The stylish, effortless, role model kind. Not anymore. And maybe that’s why we have lost our way. Lost so much credibility. Maybe that was why Jesus made such a stir. He was the Miracle Meister!
But there is only one JC. He could pull a crowd. Some preaching and some Jesus Miracles – they were real crackers!! If we could but do that today … Wow!!
And then another thought entered my head.
A memory of something I read recently. And I found it. And the reason I tracked this one down? This is not BCJ stuff, nor even Jesus Miracles stuff … this is deffo PCJ (post-Christ Jesus) stuff.
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Acts3:6-8
There is no Jesus.
Peter and John are heading to the temple for afternoon prayer time. So this is deffo PCJ time. And yet … a Jesus Miracle! No sweaty brows, no hype, no huffing, no hallelujahs. Just a look in the eye. A firm hand. And a few words. A Jesus Miracle role model miracle: same modus operandi (almost) … bona fide … genuine article … PCJ Jesus Miracle … without Jesus in the ring.
(read the whole thing : McDaniels Gyamfi: http://graceology.org/2014/04/28/clothed-in-perma-glory/)
And then He asked me a question.
“Just what is the difference between you and them, Paul?”
And you want to know my answer?
“I need more faith Lord”
Reality check: I – paulfg – do not believe I have enough faith “to do that”. I just know I am gonna fail and look stupid!
And – He waited quietly – until I had stopped feeling sorry for myself, and then He gently and lovingly walked me though a few home truths:
Peter and John … they saw, they walked, they fell down, they got back up, they got it wrong, they got it right, they argued and bitched, they ran around serving and watching, they prayed and they slept (at the wrong times usually), they denied and they fled. They weren’t Jesus. They were you and me. Always with an excuse.
Then they wrote. Then they preached (still seeing similarities here). They are still us. And – yes – they also did that “I need more faith” thing … even when Jesus was with them. More similarities. So much of it just like you and me.
And then we differ.
Because post Jesus Christ … they got it …and we don’t. Not like the boys got it:
“We have “enough” faith – just an even greater faith – of looking stupid.”
Fear of looking stupid. Oh boy, and we are so good at wrapping that fear up in righteous labels and fluff and sweaty brows and mournful looks and all that sackcloth and ashes stuff – just so we can kid ourselves it is not us. It really isn’t that simple God. Honest.
But you know what (“type faster Paul, type faster!)?
It is not “sin”, nor is it “evil.” There is no holy and righteous and saintly wrapping paper to hand.
It is simple fear. Fear of looking Stupid. To others like us.
Fear of looking at someone just like this crippled chap … looking him straight in the eye, offering him a firm hand, and saying: “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” And nothing happens. And we look stupid. And our ego is crushed. And God has let us down. And is not Real. And we look stupid. To others just like us.
We have enough faith.
And that “almost the same modus operandi” comment above?
Jesus needed us.
Jesus needed us to flick our own “faith” switch to ON. Every time. (check it out – others have and I thank them – Little Monk: http://sharethecoffee.wordpress.com/ – for sharing their own research and wonder at their findings of “Jesus Miracles”)
God Jesus needs us – to let God Jesus – flow in us. Just like electricity and the on/off switch.
And all we “need to do” (He is smiling, chuckling and slapping my back right now as I type this!) is to NOT flick the faith switch to OFF. Because sitting here writing, tapping out thoughts, communing and relationship-ing … Faith is Flowing. Or else He would not be real to me (or slapping my back quite so hard!!).
“I need more faith Lord” WRONG ANSWER
Just leave my/your faith switch ON so Faith may Flow from Him “through you” to another whose faith switch we turn on – just as Peter and John did that PCJ day. Just like the boys did. Like I can. Like you can.
Because unless we believe we can do that … are we really walking the walk … or just “talking the talk”? Like so many of the bible peeps who came to Jesus and walked away again. The ones we judge as being different to us. The ones with not enough faith. Not like us.
How different are we really? Doesn’t that make us … “them”?
All those poor lost souls. The “unbelievers” “lost world” “sinners” “not of faith yet” we keep targeting with bible warfare.
PCJ those Jesus Miracles really did happen.
Now ain’t that a thought!