I've been reading through a number of the miracles Jesus performed (as recorded in Matthew) over the past few days. It's obvious that Jesus' miracles attracted a lot of attention because there were crowds of people following Him everywhere (Jesus was a rock star!). But these miracles didn't always result in people turning to God in faith. In Matthew 11:20-24, Jesus condemned the towns of Koran, Bethsaida, and Capernaum because they had seen with their own eyes who He was and what He had done - yet had failed to believe. It seems that witnessing miracles does not always lead people to want to get to know God. This is so hard for me to understand because God has used miracles in my own life to draw me closer to Him (although, I definitely miss out on some from time to time because I'm retarded...). So it got me thinking - when two people witness the same event, how is it that one person is left doubting and another is found running into God's presence? I think the answer lies in God's grace. Only God's grace can bring about a change in our hearts.
While these New Testament miracles may have constituted irrefutable evidence that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, they can not in and of themselves soften and change unyielding hearts of stone. When we witness things around us that build our faith, draw us near to God, and basically just blow us away - that is the Lord wooing us into His presence, saying - come my child - let me show you what I have for you - this is just the beginning!
I think it comes down to three things...commitment, worship, and repentance. You see, Jesus desires our commitment, not our applause. He longs for our worship, rather than merely our wonder. And he yearns for our repentance, rather than simply our respect.
The greatest miracle anyone can experience is having his or her heart transformed by the touch of God's love and grace (see Matthew 13:11-17 and Ephesians 2:4-10). I think I always view this as the big salvation transformation of our hearts, and forget that God wants to transform my heart daily. I think too often I miss the small touches of His love because I am looking for the big signs and wonders. O how I pray that we will begin to understand His grace on a level beyond salvation and repentance. And move into an understanding that daily He rejoices over us with singing, He delights in us, and His love quiets our hearts - drawing us in to see the world through His eyes (Zephaniah 3:17).