The Nature Miracles

Today's Bible reading: Luke 5:1-11

The Lord who first created the world of order is present in Jesus re-establishing order in a chaotic, fallen world.  He stills storms.  St. Mark clearly shows the connection between this miracle and the exorcisms.  Jesus says to the wild winds the same thing He says to the demons – He rebukes them and says: “Be quiet!”  The demonic powers which keep humankind captive have also introduced chaos into nature.  By stilling the storm, Jesus shows His divine power over Satan, and also calls His disciples to complete trust in Him.

Much of the time here in worship we read verses of Scripture in small snippets … and we don’t get to see the reading’s full context and how it relates to the surrounding story – what comes immediately before and immediately after the given reading.  So it’s interesting for us to note that the feeding of the 5000 in the wilderness is followed by Jesus walking on the water.  Once again, Jesus shows that He is Lord of creation.  But there’s special significance in the coupling of these two miracles.  During Israel’s Exodus wanderings, God also fed His people in the desert after leading them safely across the dangerous waters.  Thus, we are led to see that a new exodus is taking place!  Even further, it’s neat for us to consider our own spiritual reality, as each of us was brought through the waters of Holy Baptism and is now nourished spiritually by the bread of heaven in our Lord’s Holy Meal.

The miraculous catch of fish - one at the beginning of Luke’s Gospel, one at the end of John’s Gospel - are, in each case, a revelation of divine power resulting in a special call to ministry.  Jesus’ disciples are to become fishers of men.

The changing of water into wine at the marriage feast at Cana is a manifestation of Jesus’ divine glory.  Glory here means creative, saving power.  Jesus comes to the rescue of an embarrassed bridegroom, and at the same time - according to some commentators - shows that the old water of Jewish legalism is being replaced by the wine of the Gospel.  The only destructive show of power by Jesus is His cursing of the fig tree.  But this act is more like a parable then a miracle.  It is a sign of the judgment that must fall on God’s unrepentant people.

Prayer: Stay with me, Lord, for I am a sinful person.  Grant me repentance and a new life in service to You.  Amen.