Jesus performed many great miracles in His ministry. These works of power helped people believe in Him as God’s chosen Messiah. Most of His miracles demonstrated His love and power in healing suffering and pain. However, while reading my devotions yesterday, I came across a “special” miracle which occurred only once in the whole Bible. Here it is: “After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, ‘Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?’ ‘Yes, he does,’ he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. ‘What do you think, Simon?’ he asked. ‘From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?’ ‘From others,’ Peter answered. ‘Then the children are exempt,’ Jesus said to him. ‘But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours’” (Matthew 17:24-27). In all the history of fishing, if a fisherman pulled up a fish and discovered a coin inside its mouth, that would be quite surprising—but not necessarily a miracle. However, what if the fisherman were given these specific details: “Go to the nearby lake, catch the first fish, look in its mouth, find a coin, and pay the exact amount for the tax”? What is the “chance” of that randomly happening? This miracle of Jesus does not reverse or supersede nature; it demonstrates the unlimited knowledge of Jesus and His ability to work together divine timing with the actions of a fish!
This past Wednesday, I was in the sanctuary praying, when a powerful storm swept through the area. Once it was over, I didn’t think much about it until I got a call from my friend Mike at the Carpenters’ Union next door. He told me to take a look at the church chimney (smokestack) located right next to their building. This huge, heavy, thick iron chimney (about 40 feet high) was blown off its hinges and was tilted dangerously toward the church like the leaning tower of Pisa! Not only that, but the bottom, which had broken off, was right next to the wall of the union building. My first prayer was, “Lord, please don’t let it fall any farther!” If it had completely collapsed, it would have crashed through the roof of the church, and the lower end would have damaged the union building. After I was sure that the chimney had stopped moving, I went up on the roof to take a closer look and take some pictures. To my amazement, the present safety bars were still holding the chimney from a total fall…and the bottom was only inches away from the wall of the carpenters’ building. There had been no damage. Now, how to get this fixed? Mike, from the carpenters’ hall volunteered to look for a company to assess the job. This special project would need a high crane and would cost thousands of dollars. The next day, Mike called me to say he had found a company that would do all the work for free!
Now, this whole event may not seem like a miracle compared to say—raising the dead, but, as we have seen with the fish and the coins, the Lord knows how to work together all things: wind, chimney, broken bolts, church roof, and neighbors’ walls. Added to all this, the Lord gave us favor to freely receive the help we needed to correct the issue. Our God is good, and His miracles are disguised in many shapes and sizes!
Pastor Mark Boucher