If I could see a miracle. Really?

John 11:40 “Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” “

Have you ever heard someone claim that if they saw a miracle, then they might believe in God?  Jesus spoke about this line of thinking in the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16.  You see, the rich man in this story never gave a moment’s thought to God while he lived in luxury during his time on earth.  By contrast, Lazarus, a believer, lived a life of misery on earth in poverty, hunger, and ill health. It says that the dogs licked his sores.  Not a pretty picture. However, after they both died, the rich man found himself in hell while Lazarus enjoyed the glory of paradise. Suddenly the rich man, although it was too late for him, came to his senses.  In his agony, he cried out to Abraham, “I beg you, father, to send him (i.e., Lazarus) to my father’s house — for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

You see, like others who might say that they would believe if they would just see a miracle, God is telling all of us that the order of this line of thinking is backwards.  Belief must come first, then the glory of God will appear and not the other way around.  In the Bible’s account of another Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, we see this again.  After this Lazarus had been dead for four days, Jesus commanded that the stone be rolled from his tomb. Martha objected, telling Jesus “By now he stinks!!”  Then Jesus replied, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”  And Martha did see God’s glory in the miracle of her brother’s resurrection.  But notice that Martha was already a believer.  Jesus knew this, thus His promise to her.  However, incredibly, we are told later in John 12 “When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesuswas there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.”

The chief priests saw nothing of the glory of God in the miracle of Lazarus. They didn’t see the glory, because they didn’t believe.  Many of the Jews believed that Jesus had raised Lazarus upon hearing about it. They believed first, and now they must see.  Belief first, then the glory of God – that’s always the order because it is only believers who are given the eyes to see.  So, have you ever seen the glory of God, or in your belligerent unbelief, are you blind to it?  If so, you should know that you wouldn’t believe even if you saw a miracle.  And that belief, if you would ever have it, will always come by hearing, and never seeing, for God has told us “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ (Romans 10:17).”

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