Jesus did some awesome stuff in the Gospels. My goodness. Casting out demons, bringing dead people back to life, healing droves of people, feeding thousands—!—with an appetizer—Jesus did some awesome stuff.
Now, have you ever thought about why?
Why did Jesus do miraculous, jaw-dropping, heart-soul-strength-and-mind-blowing feats?
He was showing us the Kingdom of God. Jesus was giving us an sample platter, to taste and see what the Kingdom of God has in store.
“Jesus performs innumerable acts of such healing and restoration not merely because he is compassionate or to apologetically prover that he really is a special one sent from God, but rather primarily because they are pictures of the promised kingdom that is to come. They are like our mother’s secret gift of a piece of turkey breast in the kitchen before the anticipated Thanksgiving feast that is soon coming.”
– Jonathan Pennington, Reading the Gospels Wisely, p.44
Jesus declared sight to the blind, to set captives free (Luke 4:18). He made dead-legged men hop around because “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert” (Isaiah 35:5–6 ESV)—this is what the Kingdom is like. And as Jesus strolled on this old earth, the New Heavens and New Earth were beginning to invade.
Every miracle is like a sneak peek of the sweet potato casserole that your grandma let’s you nibble on. It’s here—sure, have a taste—but the whole shebang is coming. The Kingdom is here, taste and see, and it’s coming soon.
“No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 35:9–10 ESV).
Every miracle, healing, and flexing of the Spirit’s mega-power that we see in the New Testament is meant to draw us vertically into praise—and into a biblical time-warp, to see the future. There won’t be any miracles in the New Heavens and New Earth. We need them on this old Earth; this rock is cracked. The New Earth won’t need miracles—it will be the Miracle. The Redeemed, from every tribe, skin color, and language, walking around in glorified bodies worshipping the Triune God . . . that is the miracle.
The Kingdom of God will be the Miracle. It will be natural. When we taste and read about the supernatural, it is proof that the Kingdom is already and not yet here. And when the supernatural becomes natural, the Kingdom is here—there goes the neighborhood.