A Healing Messiah - A Brief Study Of Miracles Of Christ
* all [bracketed] words in Scripture verses are mine *
Many people have the idea that there should be no hardship or pain in life because God is supposed to be loving and kind. When hardship strikes a household or family or even one individual, they assume that God, if He exists, just doesn't care. Then they reflect on that thought and tell themselves that He could care, He could help but just doesn't want to. I hurt and He chooses not to help. Then the anger and the bitterness set in. The following poem is fictional but based on a true event and is about a woman who was suffering from loss. This godly woman has recently lost her husband and was desperately trying to forge a living without that support that he gave. She could not do the farm work by herself and is now watching her babies slowly die because of lack food or any means to obtain it. Anyone could understand why she has become bitter and angry toward a God that would allow this to happen. She didn't know she was about to meet God, face-to-face.
My children's eyes held an emptiness, that spoke to me of need
For I had no man with me, to help me plant the seed,
The little rain that did come, left a crop that was small
Shortly after harvest, we had no food at all,
Each night my youngest cried, until he went to sleep
For a while I'd stay up, prayed the Lord would but keep
My children alive til tomorrow, but I soon realized
That it would be far better, should they both just die,
It was not that long after, my milk did give out
Sadness and grief burst, from me with a shout,
My sweet and tiny baby, died without a sound
So my baby buried I, deep in the cold, hard ground.
Then I looked up to heaven, and began to shake my fist
"Why did you do this? Was there something that I missed?
I was at the Temple, when I learned of your great love
That you're Jehovah-Jireh, and give gifts from above
You've taken my little girl, taken her from my arms
And starvation is coming, to do my son great harm,
I remember how I loved you, but you've hurt me so bad
How will anything ever, make my heart feel glad?"
But heaven was silent, and there was not a sound
I kept right on looking, at that spot on the ground,
I can't let this happen, let my son die like this
So I held him in my arms, and gave to him a kiss
I held my precious baby, that awesome little life
But then something happened, as I reached for the knife
I heard a great commotion, just outside my door
So I opened to see, what was the big uproar,
I saw people were all running, toward something on the hill
To hear the Man called Jesus, speak of God's good will,
But I screamed out the door, "I've no need of a God!
Who'd hurt me this way, in my mind He's just a fraud!"
But then I looked right beside me, and saw my little boy's fear
My anger really scared him, he wouldn't even come near
So I gathered him up to me, and we went out for to see
What this Jesus would say to my family, to answer all my grief.
A crowd had gathered around Him, so I wended my way
To see Him close and hear, all that He would say
Perhaps He would tell me why, that God had took my man
And how that taking my baby, could fit into His plan,
I drew closer so I could hear, the words that He spoke
When His eyes met mine, inside me something broke
There was a depth to those eyes, that drew me way inside
But my thoughts were unclean, I was filled with such pride.
He said, "Blessed are the hungry, for they shall all be filled
God takes care of His children, it is always in His will,
For a sparrow will not fall, without His knowing that it's so
But He loves you much more, and He wants you to know
That you will be His child, if you ask Him inside
And you can have the knowledge, that God always will provide."
"I want to have faith Lord, to let my God inside
Please forgive me for all of my sin, my anger, and my pride."
"You're forgiven my child, see, you are clean every whit."
Then He turned to His disciple, and said, "Bid them all to sit."
All of us there were told, on the grass to sit down
So my little boy and I sat, still there on the ground
He had food in His hand, only five loaves and two fish
Just a morsel for my son, for him was all that I wished
If he had the heart for only, one bite to share
I'd give that bite to my son, but there were so many there,
That this man came from God, to me there was no doubt
But my son was very hungry, and I said with a shout,
"Why do you mock us? Starving some of us be.
My child has had nothing, Look! why can't You see?"
But Jesus just looked at me, there was peace in His eyes
Tenderness like a mother, He is the El Shaddai
Then Jesus raised the fish, and bread to the sky.
And said, "Thank you my Father, for hearing Me and I
Thank you that you do this, so that all will see
That Almighty God is faithful, as faithful as He can be."
I watched in amazement, as the food in His hand
Became enough there to feed, every woman, child and man
Food enough for all, and plenty for even me
So I wasn't hungry anymore, and inside I felt free,
My heart had changed forever, and inside I felt new
But the people were all leaving, as soon as eating was all through,
So I went up to thank this Jesus, and confess all my heart
How my husband had died not long ago, and my life just fell apart,
Of the hunger I had had, and the blessings I had missed
And how I had shouted, and how I shook my fist.
"Peace to you My daughter, for God knows all of your heart
You never hated as you said, but hurts were in your heart,
He knows you always loved Him, knew deep down that He cared
But you felt alone, deserted and very scared,
God lives way up high, you thought too high to see
But He looked and He saw you, and that's why He did send Me."
And again I was drawn, to those deep and loving eyes
And the love I saw there, was no big surprise,
So I tell everyone, all that now I see
I love Jesus because, He had first had loved me
And I tell them the example, of the loaves and fish
And how to have life eternal, if that is their wish,
If I can but reach them, with words that reach to you
I can watch their lives change, with joy in all they do.
The account of Jesus feeding crowds of people with a seven small loaves of bread and "a few fish" is a wondrous tale that captures the imagination of any who would imagine themselves in this situation, at that time in history. There were actually two incidents of Jesus feeding the crowds of people with only a tiny bit of food. Here is the Biblical account in which the fictional woman of the story was placed:
"Jesus departed from there, skirted the sea of Galilee, and went up the mountain and sat down there. Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame [cannot walk], blind [cannot see], mute [cannot talk], maimed [disfigured in some way] and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus' feet, and He healed them. So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole [other verses say "made every wit whole" or "in every way whole" which means if the person had no arm Jesus grew him one, or an ear, whatever was missing, Jesus fixed it], the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel. Now Jesus called the disciples to Himself and said, 'I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.' Then His disciples said to Him, 'Where could we get enough bread in the wilderness to fill such a great multitude?' Jesus said to them, 'How many loaves do you have?' And they said, 'Seven, and a few little fish.' So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets full of the fragments that were left. Now those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children [estimates between 15 and 20 thousand people]." (Matthew 15:29-38)
In our story, this woman, pushed by recent events in her life was near mental breakdown with the very end of all she held dear in sight. Loss of her husband and provider (especially in that culture) was very difficult. Then to have her newborn die in her arms as her own milk supply dried up was about all she could stand. The thought of her young son going through what her baby daughter just did was the point where she had to shake her fist at the God who did not help her at the time of her greatest need. Desperation drove her to decide to take her son's life and spare him from the slow lingering death of starvation. Just as she took the knife in hand, the excitement got to her that everyone was going to the hillside to listen to a Man who had become famous in a very short time. It was said that He cured a leper, made a blind man see and even raised a man from the dead. It was said that He preached about the great love of God and how God wants to be personally involved in the lives of people. How dare He think He can tell people about a God of love with the suffering in her house and the pain in her heart! So with a mixture of anger, bitterness, guilt and curiosity she went forth to see the Man on the hillside. Maybe He could tell her why this evil was happening to her.
In His preaching, Jesus made the woman see who He really was. She was a godly woman and was looking for the Messiah. Every Sabbath she went to temple and heard of how the Messiah was to come and save humanity from their sins. She saw the worship services filled with ritual all pointing to the Savior to come. She had been taking her sin offering to the priest so that sacrifices could be made for her sin and she looked forward to the Messiah that would forever take that sin away. She looked into the Man's eyes and knew. She saw Him heal the blind and make a leper whole. Leprosy is a horrible disease in which people gradually lose body parts, ears, noses, even whole arms and legs before they eventually die. Jesus healed them. Imagine being there and seeing Jesus grow an arm for someone or a leg and the man get up and jump around. She knew who this Man was, He was God in human flesh, come to save her from her sin. She could see He had compassion on the crowd and how He loved people. She could see His love for her and her heart melted and her boy's stomach was filled. She broke before Him and decided right there and then that she would follow this Man and not live the way she was before. Her way of life was not bad but it not His Way. Her heart was changed. She also knew that this God would always take care of her and see to her needs. Looking at all the satisfied faces around her on that hill was enough to convince her of that.
"[Jesus said] O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread? Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? Nor the seven loaves of four thousand and how many large baskets you took up?" (Matthew 16:8-10)
Jesus was making a double lesson here to His disciples, one about sin that we will speak to at another time, and one about provision. Out of very little Jesus created much. It was an act of creation. No one caught the fish they ate. From only a few fish they had baskets full of leftovers after a crowd had eaten. No one made the bread or baked it. From seven small loaves came all that bread. No one grew the grain, or ground it to make flour, or kneaded it, or baked it or did anything to it. Jesus created it. The woman knew in Her heart that she was forever His child and God would take care His children.
Where are you in your relationship with the Creator God? What would convince you that He is who He says He is?
"Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
"Jesus said to him, 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6)
Jesus is the Son of God, who came out from God. He put on flesh so that He would have a body and blood to be taken in sacrifice for the sin of the world. He died for my sin and for yours. All people are born sinners and Jesus having compassion on the fact that nothing we can do can earn us heaven came to pay for our sin Himself. When He died He cried out, "The debt is paid." Now all a person would have to do is turn to Christ and simply ask Him into their heart. He says in Revelation that He will "come in and dine" with you. Imagine the God of the universe being so close to you that He lives in your heart and enjoys with you the meals you eat.
If you are burdened and heavy laden and are just tired of being beaten down in life, you can turn to Jesus and pray something like this:
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I am so tired Lord. I know that my sin would send me to hell, but that You came to die for me so I do not have to pay for my sin myself. Please Jesus forgive me of my sin and save me. Come into my heart. Be my Savior, Master, and Friend. I believe that You died, were buried and rose again. I turn from my life and how I was living it and I turn to follow You Jesus all the rest of my life. Thank You Lord for doing this great thing for me. I pray this in Jesus' holy name. Amen.