Miracles

As he finished saying this, a local official appeared, bowed politely, and said, “My daughter has just now died. If you come and touch her, she will live.” Jesus got up and went with him, his disciples following along.

Just then a woman who had hemorrhaged for twelve years slipped in from behind and lightly touched his robe. She was thinking to herself, “If I can just put a finger on his robe, I’ll get well.” Jesus turned—caught her at it. Then he reassured her: “Courage, daughter. You took a risk of faith, and now you’re well.” The woman was well from then on.

By now they had arrived at the house of the town official, and pushed their way through the gossips looking for a story and the neighbors bringing in casseroles. Jesus was abrupt: “Clear out! This girl isn’t dead. She’s sleeping.” They told him he didn’t know what he was talking about. But when Jesus had gotten rid of the crowd, he went in, took the girl’s hand, and pulled her to her feet—alive. The news was soon out, and traveled throughout the region. (Matthew 9:18-26)

Jesus made it all look so easy. When Jesus healed someone, there were no explosions, no sparkles in the air, no waving of wands or muttering of spells. He didn’t flap his hands about. When the woman who had suffered a hemorrhage for twelve years needed healing, she was the one doing all the physical effort by attempting to sneak up and touch him. Just her belief and her touch was enough for her to become well. When the local official’s daughter was dead, all Jesus did was walk up to where she was lying. Then he grabbed her hand and helped her get out of the bed. She was simply alive.

The miraculous became mundane in Jesus. It was no more spectacular, seemingly no more out of the ordinary, than the work he had done as a carpenter. In fact, it was usually less time consuming and less labor intensive. Jesus, like any carpenter, could take some wood and with a bit of diligent effort, turn it into a table or a chair. With the sick or the dead, Jesus transformed them even more easily.

The miraculous is God’s normal. In fact, if resurrections were as common as sunrises, we’d stop paying attention to them. Which says, perhaps, that we might want to pay more attention to sunrises. God performs miracles all the time. But most of them we’ve learned to take for granted.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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