Every now and again the question comes up as to why the Christian church in general either does not see or is not seeing miracles too much anymore if at all (in the supernatural sense – as in what is seen in the Gospels and Acts in the NT era).
For some, this had led to a variety of conclusions among which are that miracles don’t happen anymore, they have ceased. For others, miracles have a more general feel to them – the life itself is a miracle, or every day is a miracle and so on, “it was a miracle that car missed me when I ran that red light,” etc, that sort of thing. I think this reveals a deeper issue that many of us may just be confused about miracles or some just don’t know what to think.
I can’t and don’t really want to get into all the dynamics of miracles and their supernatural aspects – I’ll leave that for those who are able to speak about such things – perhaps C.S. Lewis is one resource to consider. (please consider being gracious and clicking the link – Thanks!).
I think one thing that could help is to examine the basic context in which most of the miracles happened in the Gospels and or Acts – many of the miracles performed were in the context of when the gospel was being preached to the lost – as the gospel was being preached miracles began to take place – miracles also followed the preaching.
So here is what I offer: Christians are not seeing miracles too often if at all anymore because, in general, the church is not engaging the lost. We’ve really withdrawn ourselves into the church and so expect people to come to us and or we’ve tranferred the idea of healing to more spiritual and emotional terms and not so much physical terms. Miracles are to serve as a sign to unbelievers to lead them to God but since so few of us actually and seriously engage the lost in the world – on their territory be it the street or in their homes and lives, this is why we do not see miracles too much anymore if at all.
Miracles are signs of the light overcoming the darkness – like the sparks of confrontation as people of the light engage a dark and lost world. Really the are the signs of the work of the second exodus in which Jesus has come into this world to bring true and lasting deliverance from our slavery to sin and the powers of darkness.
Not unlike how the plauges of Egypt where the signs and wonders God performed to bring about the deliverance of his people from slavery in Egypt – the miracles of Jesus and his disciples, and really all disciples of Jesus, are the signs and wonders performed to show the enactment of and the completion and finality of the second exodus – that through the cross and resurrection Jesus broke the back of the powers of darkness and has brought about our deliverance and from slavery to sin and all of its effects.
So, I think one reason among others for why Christians, especially in the West, are not seeing miracles too much if at all, is, because, in part we are not really engaging the lost and preaching the gospel to them, of which signs and wonders should follow.