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At Compassion, we have one thing in common: We are all miracle workers because we are all part of this ministry that, around the globe, is preaching the good news to the poor.
How big is the problem of extreme poverty? Three billion people worldwide and 1 billion children deep. But despite the size of those numbers, many people at Compassion believe that we can eliminate extreme poverty in our generation, that we can remove or utterly destroy it.
You might think we’re “drunk on the spirit,” that our goal is unrealistic, completely irrational or even not Biblical, and I will be honest with you, I thought it was out of I thought of it as an impossible task, too.
Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities. And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” — Matthew 11:1-5, NKJV
Jesus, when asked for proof that He is the King of Kings, that He is the promised Savior, responds by listing the miracles He has performed.
The last item Jesus lists in His response to John’s messengers is the one that seems, for me anyway, to stick out the most — “the poor have the gospel preached to them.”
What? Why lump this in with the other things? Surely the poor hearing the gospel can’t be equated with giving sight to the blind or life to the dead?
But Jesus responds to this important question by listing the ways that He has fulfilled the prophecies written about Him.
The Old Testament tells us that the Savior will bring sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf.
The Old Testament tells us that the Messiah will raise the dead and help the lame walk. And it tells us that the Messiah will bring salvation to the poor.
Folks, don’t overlook this important line in Jesus’ answer. It’s not there by mistake. It’s not there as an afterthought.
This is Jesus’ way of telling us that it is divine to bring the gospel to the poor. And it’s the one miracle that we can perform today.
If you think about it, bringing the gospel to the poor IS bringing life to the dead, sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf. This is the miracle that changes lives for eternity!
I’ve been struggling lately with one of Jesus’ miracles. You’re probably familiar with it — it’s in the book of Mark, chapter 8, verses 22-26.
Jesus was in Bethsaida, when a group of people brought a blind man to him. The crowd begged Jesus to touch the man. So Jesus took the man by the hand and led him to a place out of town. There, our Lord spit on the man’s eyes and asked him if he saw anything.
“He looked up and said, ‘I see people; they look like trees walking around.'” – Mark 8:24 (NIV)
So Jesus puts His hands on the man’s eyes a second time … and this time, the man’s sight was restored fully.
Why? Why did it take a “do-over” for Jesus to heal this man?