Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, "Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you."
What a strange thing for the Pharisees to say! They had been witnessing the most amazing miracles day after day but they asked for a sign from heaven as though they had seen nothing unusual at all.
- He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. Matthew 12:38-39 (NIV)
In the Gospel of John, we read that the many miracles of Jesus were signs from God.Of course the Pharisees knew all about miracles that Jesus worked but they refused to recognise them as signs from God.
However, even amongst the religious leaders there were some who were humble enough to recognise the hand of God at work.
There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” John 3:1-2So it is today that many Christians who believe in the Bible are like the Pharisees who saw themselves as the defenders of Biblical truth.
When evangelists today pray for the sick, many are healed but quite a number are not healed. There are also some who are apparently healed but then get sick again or go back to their wheelchairs. Then there are others who are healed but not converted.
So many pious Bible believers today point out these apparent failures and accuse men and women with miracle ministries of being fakes and frauds.
However if they sought out the many people who really were healed and stayed healed they would change their minds but clearly they don’t want to change their minds.
I was privileged to hear a wonderful man of God preach in Germany. He was a pastor and evangelist from West Africa. He leads a church in Düsseldorf where there are over 750 baptised members who converted from Islam, mostly because they had received miraculous healings or seen their friends healed by the power of Jesus.But the critics are not interested in success stories. They are only looking for evidence to discredit miracle ministries and prove themselves right, just like the Pharisees.
- Please don’t think I am an arrogant and aggressive Pentecostal. I dislike this brand of Christianity myself. I am not against non-Charismatic Christians in general but I will not tolerate the negative unbelief of the people who are completely anti Charismatic and do nothing but criticise and attack.
Years ago there was a pastor in a very conservative denomination who was taught not to pray for miraculous healings.
He was called to minister to a little girl who was terribly sick with a terminal condition. He was moved with compassion, just as Jesus often was. The pastor prayed for the little girl to be healed and to his astonishment God raised her up and healed her completely.The conservative pastor was very confused and troubled. Was the doctrine of his church right after all? Had he done the right thing?
When the pastor attended a preachers’ conference he told his story to the famous evangelist, Oral Roberts. He asked Oral Roberts: “How can I know if I did the right thing?”