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Sunday: At Lydda and Joppa — 16 Comments

  1. Today's lesson raises the issue of the significance of miracles to our faith. The story of Tabitha is about a miracle, but it is also the story of a person who was valued for her contribution to the life and well-being of the community. Ultimately what was more important; her Christian service, or her miraculous return to life?

    Would your faith in Jesus be strengthened if you saw a miracle? Why?

    • Miracles alone do not strengthen the faith.
      The israelites experienced the great miracle of their time parting of the Red Sea yet, turned away from the Lord in the short period.
      In the story of the rich man and Lazarus.
      27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

      29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

      30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

      31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

      Jesus does raise the man named Lazarus instead of turning to Jesus and accepting him they crucify him.

      Miracle alone cannot strengthen the faith.
      We must have relationship built on faith with weather the storm.

  2. Miracles -- what role do they play in the scheme of things?

    We read above that "the Bible is filled with stories of those who saw miracles and still didn’t believe".
    Thus miracles are not an automatic device for conviction. Yet there were those who saw the miracles and did believe. So miracles do have quite a high power of influence.

    Also, we are warned that in the last days false prophets and false Christ's "shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. " Matt. 24:24

    Miracles do testify that a power higher than human ability is at work. Yet we need to be watchful as this powerful tool is used to influence on both sides.

    When the latter rain is poured out -- it will be similar to the early rain. "By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers. Satan also works with lying wonders, even bringing down fire from heaven in the sight of men. Thus the inhabitants of the earth will be brought to take their stand." {CM 151.4}

    But if both sides present miracles as their token of authenticity, then miracles can't be relied upon as the ultimate evidence of truth.
    So how do we tell the difference?
    --By the law and the testimonies (Isaiah 8:20)
    --Motive -- to glorify the Lord, never to seek glory or for advancement to himself.
    --Character --by their fruits ye shall know them." Matt. 7:20

    On what, then, should our faith in Christ be based upon?
    It needs to be based on truth as it is found in scripture revealing Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit must be asked to lead us to that truth.

  3. Compare the healing of Peter with the healing of the man by Bethesda
    They both were healed immediately

    Contrast the healing
    Healing of Jesus created hatred and anger by the religious leaders.
    For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath.

    The religious more fervently turned away from Christ.
    Peter healed Aeneas and they turned to the Lord

  4. I've always said that if I saw a miracle, that would do it for me but in truth if we did, how long would that feeling last? It's like hearing a great message and feeling convicted and a few days afterwards everything goes back to normal. Our belief needs to be based on something much stronger. Not on the action but on God.

  5. In this lesson we find Peter, faithful to Jesus' command to “feed my sheep”. As Jesus had bid Peter; “follow thou Me”(John 21:22), so we find him doing. We may all follow Jesus, and be found as Him “doing good” wherever the Holy Spirit might lead us. Many little ways of “doing good” always near us if our eye is single to the glory of God.

    As for the basis of our faith, I think Peter gives a clear indication when pointing to the “exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature...”. How can we doubt when seeing the many promises fulfilled in Christ, as well in our daily lives? Doesn't the history of Israel admonish us to refrain from the unbelief they continually demonstrated after seeing the "great and marvelous" works that God performed to deliver and preserve them time after time?

  6. I do realize that the miracles of healing and "return from death" are impressive. However, do we not realize that all the modern technology which we enjoy and take for granted are indeed miracles? Can you imagine what Alexander Graham Bell would think if he returned today and saw someone outside with a small object in his hand talking to another person next door much less on another continent? In my simple every day is a miracle.

  7. We had a miracle happen in our church, a few weeks ago. I often wonder how many people overlooked it. A man stood up to his employer and asked for Sabbath off. The people in the meeting went home and looked up Sabbath, and did their homework. The had never heard of that. But they saw that he was right. He got Sabbath off. Now people are mocking him. Calling him the "Preacher Man" God is so Good. He is our Deacon.

    • Love your story because such miracles happen in my church too. Humble, sincere sisters boldly standing like the Hebrew youth, “The God we serve is able to ..... But even if He does not ...”

  8. Perhaps we should ask ourselves, am I a Christian, an SDA only because of the good things God is doing for me?

  9. On several occasions, Jesus would ask the miracle receiver or those who witnessed a miracle, not to tell anyone. The reason being that unless it brought Glory to His Father or unless it was of benefit to bring others to the knowledge of the Father - it was only of use to the healed person. It may be also because it would put His life at risk prematurely

  10. Miracles are not for unbelievers, as they will not be swayed by such; miracles are to strengthen the faith of believers.


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