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The Supreme Miracle

The Supreme Miracle

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Published by glennpease
By Theodore Gerald Soares, Ph.D., D.D.



He that sent Me is with Me; He hath not left Me
alone; for I do always the things that are pleasing to
Him* — [John viii: 29.]
By Theodore Gerald Soares, Ph.D., D.D.



He that sent Me is with Me; He hath not left Me
alone; for I do always the things that are pleasing to
Him* — [John viii: 29.]

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 16, 2013
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THE SUPREME MIRACLEBy Theodore Gerald Soares, Ph.D., D.D.He that sent Me is with Me; He hath not left Mealone; for I do always the things that are pleasing toHim* — [John viii: 29.]In one of the former conversations between Jesusand the Jews, they had asked him to work a miracle asproof of his Messiahship. Doubtless they thought theycould believe if something sufficiently marvelous wereshown to them. Jesus did not comply with their de-mand. As he said afterwards in a parable : if men be-lieve not Moses and the prophets, they will not believethough one rose from the dead. Moral faith cannotbe founded upon physical marvels. If the pretendedhealer of today could walk into a hospital, and by hisword cure every patient of every disease, I should notbelieve in him, and his boasted apostolic mission. Ishould very readily admit that there was a set of psy-chical phenomena beyond my understanding, meritingcareful study by competent investigators, but I shouldnot believe in a man for whose methods I have no re-spect and whose disinterestedness is so decidedly ques-tionable. A miracle is not a spiritual argument.In former days a favorite method of proving thetruth of Christianity was by the record of the miracles.It was felt that all should say with icodemus of ourLord, "o man can do these signs that thou doest ex-cept God be with him." But what if one should deny12 THE SUPREME MIRACLE.the miracles? It is very difficult to prove them. As.
 
a matter of fact, we believe the gospel first and themiracles afterwards. Our faith is founded upon some-thing infinitely more fundamental than any marvelousevent that ever happened. We do not believe in the in-carnation, "God manifest in the flesh," because of themiraculous conception. We love to read the chaste andexquisite story of the virgin of azareth. It seemsso beautiful, I had almost said so natural, that Jesusshould come thus into the world. But he never askedanyone to believe on him because he was conceived of the Holy Ghost. And the apostles made no claim forthe truth of their message upon that ground. The mys-tery of the coming of Jesus can never be an argumentfor his spiritual authority. We must believe in himfirst, and in the wondrous Christmas story afterwards.Have I gone too far in stating that our faith does notdepend upon the marvelousness of any event that everhappened? Will it not be objected that the apostlesdid found their faith on a miracle — that great miracle,the supreme exhibition of the power of the spiritualover the material — the resurrection of Jesus? ButPaul's splendid argument upon the resurrection is notbased on the fact (though he showed that the fact couldbe five hundred .times attested) that the dead body wassupernaturally restored to life. That would be a mar-vel. But the resurrection was far more than a marvel.It was a revelation. It revealed that Jesus is living- andis alive for evermore. ot the marvelousness theneven of the stupendous miracle of the Easter morning,but its spiritual significance, is its , value for our faith.THE SUPREME MIRACLE 13Thanks be unto God who giveth us the victory throughour Lord Jesus Christ, the living Saviour.And yet it was a true instinct that led men to expectmiracles as an evidence of religious truth. Religion is
 
God's revelation to man and man's experience of God.It is out of the ordinary. It is supernatural. Assured-ly then religion- will impress men as wonderful. Butbecause religion is altogether of the spirit, the super-natural wonder must be in the sphere of the spirit.Christianity has a miracle in the sphere of the spirit.It is more wonderful than the virgin birth, more won-derful than the resurrection. It is the supreme miracleof the world — Jesus himself.We need not be surprised that this miracle did notimpress all the contemporaries of Jesus. It does notimpress us as it ought. We still think sometimes thatthe act of walking on the sea was more wondrous thanthe personage who walked there. We have often readthe eighth chapter of John without being startled andarrested by the words of our text. They seem to comeso naturally from Jesus that we do not perceive themarvel. "I do always the things that are pleasing tothe Father." What a statement ! Always ? He whounderstood the divine will so completely that he couldgive us an ideal of life that still seems infinitely beyondus — did he always the things that were pleasing to theFather? He who could say, "Ye therefore shall beperfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" — did he ful-fill his own commandment?That is the supreme miracle. There is the super-14 THE SUPREME MIRACLE.natural occurrence as evidence of your religion — thesinless man.For think what sinlessness involves. Sin is every-where and in everybody. Its taint is in every infantthat is born into the world. Sin meets us at everyturn in life, mingling with our best motives, spoiling

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