When we read the Old Testament, we find stories of “Great Miracles.” We find God creating the world from nothing. We see the entire earth being flooded. We remember Moses parting the Red Sea so that the Hebrews could walk through the ocean on dry ground. We think of Daniel’s three friends in the fiery furnace. Then we come to the New Testament where we read about Jesus turning the water into wine, feeding the 5,000, calming the storm, healing those with diseases, casting out demons, and healing the blind and lame. But after the Gospels, miracles of this magnitude become more scarce. We find Paul performing only a few miracles. As the New Testament comes to a close we seem to see fewer and fewer miraculous things. Even Jesus’ miracles seem to be on a smaller scale than parting the Red Sea.
So what happened? Do miracles still occur today? Why don’t we see “Great Miracles” anymore?
When we really stop and think about these questions, we begin to wonder if the stories in the Old Testament really happened? Could the Ark really carry that many animals? Did the Nile really turn to blood? Did God really cause writing to appear on a wall?
As we ponder this issue we begin to wonder if the problem of no longer seeing these kinds of miracles is us? Have we begun to trust in science so much that we have explained away our ability to be cognizant of the miraculous? Has our desire to see before we believe killed our ability to experience anything that must be believed prior to seeing?
It seems that we should also question how many small miracles occur around us everyday that we do not see. Would I have been in that wreck if I had gotten out of the house on time? Was God saving me by allowing me to run late? How often does God keep me from being in the wrong place at the wrong time?
I don’t really know why we don’t see “Great Miracles” as much today, but I do believe that miracles still happen and happen often. I think we just need to be more mindful of what God is doing around us in order to see them. But then, in the time of the writing the Old and New Testaments, we find that only a select number of “Great Miracles” occur over a period of about 2,000 years. So who knows, there may yet be a few big miracles to be seen.
Dr. Scott Shiffer has a Ph.D. in Christian Theology from the B.H. Carroll Theological Institute and has been teaching religion classes since 2006. He leads Transformation Media Ministries, an organization to help believers think biblically about culture in America. Scott has given numerous presentations including one at Oxford. He has spoken at church retreats, youth retreats, conferences, and has taught discipleship classes for over 10 years. Scott is married and has three children. He has a heart for helping believers draw closer to God and for aiding them as they are faced with new challenges in America every day.