I heard a story in a pastor’s meeting a few weeks ago, where a hard working and dedicated pastor died around the age of 60. Some of the elders were so distraught that this hard working pastor was gone, they wanted to get together and pray for God to resurrect him and put him back to work. However, according to the story, his wife simply replied, “No. He has earned his rest. Let him rest.” I am not sure if his wife was thinking of this passage or not when she said what she did, but to me it seems to fit.
Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.” Revelation 14:13 NKJV
While teaching a Bible class years ago, a young student asked me why we don’t see more miracles today like we did in the Bible? He was especially wondering about resurrections. I shared several thoughts with him. For example if God was going to resurrect someone, why not just heal them and not let them die in the first place? If God was going to resurrect them, why not just not let them die? Also would modern day resurrections give the deceiver more ammunition for counterfeit miracles suggesting spiritualism? I believe the resurrections in the Bible served a practical purpose, for example the widow’s son continued to live and provide for his mother. Dorcas continued her community services. But beyond serving a practical purpose for that time, these resurrections also gave us hope for the resurrection when Jesus returns.
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4 NKJV
Our hope comes from the Scriptures and not modern day miracles. Having said that, I do believe if God sees fit he can work the same miracles through us today that he worked trough Elijah, Elisha and Peter when they raised the dead. While its obvious that you and I cannot raise the dead, it is also obvious that Elijah, Elisha and Peter never raised the dead. Actually Jesus in His humanity does not even take credit for raising the dead. He tells us His Father raises the dead.
For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. John 5:21 NKJV
Every miracle Jesus performed He performed by faith in His Father. In His humanity Jesus claims without the Father He was just as helpless as we are in our humanity without the Father.
Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. John 5:19 NKJV
When Jesus raised the dead His humanity was just as dependent upon the Father as Elijah, Elisha and Peter were. While its obvious we cannot do such miracles on our own, it is also obvious that
with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26 NKJV
Jesus even said,
Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. John 14:10,12 NKJV
Sure Jesus meant we will take the Gospel farther into the world than He did when he said “greater works” but it also implies that as we rely on the Father the way Jesus, Elijah, Elisha, and Peter relied on the Father it is obvious we can do the same miracles Jesus did, if God actually needs the same miracles to be performed. Jesus said,
for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20 NKJV
We need to keep in mind just because it is possible does not mean it needs to happen. Jesus doesn’t need us to move every mountain, and He does not need us to resurrect every dead person. After all, there is a reason why mountains are where they are and there is a reason why those who are dead are still asleep. By the way I think a baby being born is just as big a miracle as someone being raised from the dead. I also believe God moves mountains today as needed. I also would not doubt that God can still raise the dead through us today as He did through Elijah in his day. Obviously we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength, Obviously, what the Father did through Elijah, Elisha, Peter and Jesus, He can do through us.
You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson here.