Jesus, counter cultural as always, asked the messengers sent by John to report back to John about what they saw around them – Jesus’ equivalent of Homs and Aleppo: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.
Miracles? You don’t believe in miracles, do you? My words are poor so here are some from one who can do better – Philip Yancey in his book “The Jesus I Never Knew” which has sold one million plus worldwide.
“The miracles Jesus did perform, breaking as they did the chains of sickness and death, give me a glimpse of what the world was meant to be and instill hope that one day God will right its wrongs. To put it mildly, God is no more satisfied with this earth than we are; Jesus’ miracles offer a hint of what God intends to do about it.
“Some see miracles as an implausible suspension of the laws of the physical universe. As signs, though, they serve just the opposite function. Death, decay, entropy, and destruction are the true suspensions of God’s laws; miracles are the early glimpses of restoration. In the words of Jurgen Moltmann, “Jesus’ healings are not supernatural miracles in a natural world. They are the only truly “natural” things in a world that is unnatural, demonised and wounded.””
But what about Jesus’ final message to John? And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.
The original Greek word for “offended” is skandalisthe. It refers to the trigger on a trap. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of seeing Jesus as weak and useless – no power, no money, no clothes, no reputation, no beauty.
If he had clung to any of these he wouldn’t have changed the world. But folk are offended by him and not by Assad.