Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying"... 7 "As ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
This passage of scripture teaches us of the proper use of miracles by those who are sent by God to teach, heal and preach. It is worthy of note that in this great commission given to the disciples of Christ, and also to the current Christian community, that the first duty on the list is to preach, and then comes the healing of the sick and the cleansing of the lepers, as the case might be. But Jesus does not make the working of miracles the focal point of our mission, for then we will have a situation where the multitudes follow Christ for the material benefits of the gospel, rather than for the redemption of the entire person, as it is His intention and purpose to accomplish.
Miracles in and of themselves do not prove anything, for although they were used back then in the days of Christ to help those in need, and also to confirm the authenticity of His sacred work, yet we find on several occasions, that the Jewish leaders deliberately interpreted them as works of Beelzebub, the prince of devils, for they were keenly aware that satan is quite capable of performing miracles too. At the raising of Lazarus, after they themselves had laid him to rest in the grave, they were faced with material and unmistakable evidence that Christ was indeed God in the flesh, and that the power of omnipotence was being exercised in and through Him, yet instead of believing and confessing their sins, they sought to slay the undeniable evidence in the persons of Lazarus and Christ Himself. Let's read:
John 11:41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. 42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. 43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. 53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.
Another point for our observation, as it pertains to the use of miracles, is that the disciples were not authorized to perform them for their own personal benefit, for the mandate given them of Christ was "Freely give" not freely take, and that's the reason why in not one instance, do we ever find the disciples of Christ ever using their God-given powers to deliver themselves or to heal their immediate families. This would be a conflict of interest, and would put self at the front and center of an inherently selfless ministry, and this would then encourage other Christians to be the immediate beneficiaries of the mercies that are intended for others.
When the mother of Peter's wife lay sick of a fever, Peter did not presume to use the powers granted him of Christ, for the benefit of his family, but instead waited on Christ to use both His discretion and power in this instance. Thus we have an overall view of the use and purposes of miracles, and it will do us well to study the matter further, for in the very near future, when the power of The Holy Spirit is poured out in copious measure, a resurgence of miracles will again be seen, and we should be well-informed to discern the difference between the true and the false.
The current heavy focus on miraculous manifestations, whilst the true gospel is studiously kept in the shadows, is not a system that is ordained of God, but instead has the stamp of devils all across such exercises. We therefore end with a passage of scripture which cautions us against the proliferation of miracles in our midst, especially in instances when the specific truths for our time are not even being mentioned, for as stated before, the miraculous workings of devils will soon take center stage, and if we are not rooted and grounded in the Living and written word, we run the risk of being swept off our feet. Let's read:
Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
May The Lord add His blessing to the study and practice of His every word. God bless!