Small Groups in student ministry are going through the books of Mark and Acts. We absolutely love watching students dig into a book of the bible for an entire school year. Along with relationships developing with peers and a qualified leader, it is our desire to give students tools and a passion to dive into their bible. A question that has come up a few times this year is “Do or Did Miracles Really Happen?”. Students often doubt the biblical stories because they can’t see miracles happening in their life right now. I will provide some insights to how to handle if you or your student has this question.
Genesis 1:1 states, “In the beginning God created the Heavens and Earth.” This verse is very important and often forgotten. When we ask the question, “Do miracles really happen?”, it exposes that we have a misunderstanding of who God is and what he has done. God is the creator and he can do whatever he wants with his creation in any way possible. He created it all so He can control it all. Miracles can be defined as any supernatural and inexplicable act of God. An accurate understanding of God as Creator, not just an experiential or emotional life helper, but as the sole creator will provide you with confidence that God can and will do miraculous things.
In Mark 6 Jesus feeds five thousand people with five loaves and two fishes. Yes, you’ve heard the story. Yes, it really happened. This story echoes the feeding of manna to the people of Israel as the wandered in the desert centuries before. Jesus is showing himself as divine to a culture who only thinks YAWEH is divine. God in the flesh is revealing himself to his disciples and the surrounding crowds. His miraculous works are very counter culture and served a purpose. Jesus used miracles to accomplish a goal that needed to be accomplished when he walked the earth. Today, the same goal of declaring Jesus as God and bringing glory to himself exists. In our American self-serving, entitled culture, miracles are probably not the best way to accomplish this goal. God still uses miracles to accomplish this goal.
Paul, in Acts 28 is stranded on the Island called Malta. He is bitten by a snake and unharmed. Vs. 6 says “They were waiting for him to swell up or suddenly fall down dead.” The natives of the island obviously had history of this snake biting and killing their own, but this did not happen to Paul. A couple of options that I can think of for God to save Paul: create that specific snake with no venom or a mutation of the venom, create Paul with an immune system that can defend that snake, immediately remove the venom from Paul’s skin, the list can be endless. God created so he can manipulate his Creation in any way he wants to accomplish his goals. God was glorified in this situation by saving the saving of Paul. We recently had a HDC missionary bitten by a venomous snake in another country. The local doctors and natives could not understand why he was not killed instantly. The checked his blood regular to see when it was going to mutate and die. God, in his miraculous ways, saved this missionary to glorify and reveal himself his followers.
Give your students confidence that the Bible is true and God is who he says he is. An accurate understanding of God and His purpose will provide you with confidence to help you and your family change your world’s for Christ.