Over the past few months I have had the privilege of sharing the Gospel with the middle school skaters who attend SkateChurch. Recently, I began a series through the 7 signs of Jesus in the Gospel of John.
One of the questions that often arises in my mind while teaching on Jesus’ signs is, “why did he only help a few people?” In the sign where Jesus healed the lame man at the pool of Bethesda (John 5), it is interesting to note that there were many hurting people at the pool, but Jesus, apparently, only helped one man. In the sign of the feeding of the 5,000 (John 6), Jesus fed thousands of people, but it was a select few in comparison to the population of Israel (and the world) at the time. Why didn’t he feed everyone? Why did he only perform this sign a couple times?
The conclusion I have drawn is this: God is a giver of good gifts but, particularly in the context of the 7 signs of Jesus, his gifts are meant to point to an ultimate gift. John 3:16 says, “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus performed signs and gave good gifts to some people to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was the Messiah, the Son of God. Thus, when the time came for him to lay down his life, people would immediately recognize that his death was the ultimate gift.
God still gives good gifts today! His ultimate gift remains salvation for the lost, but he gives other gifts, too!
Earlier this week, I was making lunch for myself and heard a rustling outside. I saw someone scurry under a tree that divides my lot from the one next door, get into their car, and drive away. It was very odd, and I thought they might have been doing something with my mail box. When I was able to take my food off the stove so it wouldn’t burn, I went out to investigate. Sure enough, I found an envelope in my mail box, addressed to me, with no return address. Inside the envelope was a handful of cash and a note that said, “Prompted by God to give this gift to you.”
I have been blessed so much this week by the good gifts God has given me.
“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15