Every weekend I evangelize on the streets together with the Pancake Church, and last week’s Holy Saturday was no exception. I started to speak with two guys about Jesus, and one of them said that he really liked Jesus. He thought that Jesus was a good moral teacher and said: “I believe that when it says that he healed blind people and lepers and stuff, he didn’t actually physically heal them, but he was kind to them and taught that they should be accepted into society.”
“That’s a very tragic and pessimistic view!” I said. “Wouldn’t it be better if He actually physically healed them? As the Son of God He’s surely able to do it, right? Miracles exist, medically verified healings happen all around the world even today. Surely that’s good news, isn’t it?” He was actually a bit speechless when I said this.
There has been a tendency among several Western preachers to de-emphasize miracles, Heaven and evangelism in order to “focus” on peace and justice. They may say things like “Jesus greatest miracle wasn’t to heal the leper but to touch the leper” or “God doesn’t just want to give you eternal life in Heaven but a descent life on earth.”
Their intentions may be very good, but they create an unnecessary dichotomy that make the good news less radical, less relevant and less good. What makes Jesus’ message and life so amazing is that He completely combined salvation, miracles, peace and justice in a holy unity. And of course, eternal life and supernatural healing from all diseases aren’t the worst parts, you won’t get that anywhere else.
I listen to a podcast today that discussed miracles, and while the panel initially was open to their existence they eventually started to talk about how a greater miracle could be for the sick or disabled person to accept their state and find spiritual peace. And while that’s surely something that many find and God may approve, it surely isn’t greater than being completely healed. That’s why Jesus performed actual healings rather than metaphorical ones.
We have to realize that if the existence of God is possible, which most non-believers can agree with, then miracles are just as possible. Eternal life is totally possible. And the real existence of these are very, very good. The idea that they don’t exist is a tragic one, the idea that they aren’t relevant is a false one. The full Gospel message of a loving God who gives and sustains life both now and after the grave changes everything, and it is a Gospel that we should boldly proclaim.