Why won't God heal amputees? After all Jesus said, "If you ask anything in my name, I will do it" (John 14:14).
Why doesn't Jesus appear to us?
The questions remind me of an event in the Gospels that we just studied last night. "Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said to them, "When it is evening you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red'; and in the morning, 'It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah." And He left them and departed" (Matthew 16:1-4).
By this time in Jesus' ministry, he had preformed countless miracles of healings and other wonders. Yet here comes a group demanding that Jesus do something else, a "sign from heaven." The fact that signs had been done is never enough. Because they do not want to believe the message, they look for some way to discount the messenger. They weren’t looking for any old sign, they wanted a sign from heaven; that is, a sign like those found in the Old Testament where the sun stood still (Joshua 10:13), or moved back ten degrees (Isaiah 38:8), or lightening striking from the sky (I Kings 18:38). They demanded a big, showy sign that would be readily attributed to God – which they believed Jesus could not produce.
Jesus sighs and points out that they were able to tell the weather for the day by observing the signs that the weather produces in the sky in advance. While they were willing to pay attention to these small details, they refused to see the signs that have already been given. It is useless to give additional signs to people who refuse to see signs.
They would not get the sign they were demanding because they were a sinful and adulterous people. The only sign they would see is one similar to what happened to Jonah. By this Jesus is alluding to Jonah having spent three days in the deep before being restored to land (Jonah 1:17). He is hinting that the one sign they would recognize is his resurrection (Matthew 12:39-40).
These questions are of the same order. What was given, in the view of the questioner, is inadequate; therefore, a demand for more is made. But you and I know that even if that was given, it too would be dismissed and something else would be demanded.
The use of John 14:14 is misapplied. To ask in Jesus name is to ask in accordance with Jesus' will or to ask with Jesus' permission. The questioner is taking the verse to mean that Jesus was giving the disciples a blank check and anything they wrote would be given to them. But Jesus is stating that anything they ask that is in harmony with his will would be given to them. Jesus is not giving all of his authority over to his disciples. (See the sermon outline "All in a Name.")
"Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord." So he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!" Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing." And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name" (John 20:24-31).
"The Hostility of the Pharisees and Sadducees" from the study A Harmony of the Gospels
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