“Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’” (Luke 10:8-9, ESV)
Here we see that Jesus gathered 72 of His disciples and commissioned them to go down to Judea in order to bring the good news of the coming of the Messiah to the people there. They were to prepare the Jews in Judea and Jerusalem for His ministry. Jesus knew that he was about to journey to Jerusalem to sacrifice His life for the sins of all mankind. They were commissioned to be the agents or representatives of His Kingdom. Their presence announced that Messiah had arrived. And so Jesus gave them the authority to preach the gospel as well to perform miracles as proof that He was the Christ.
Today much is made of miracles. They do occur at the will of God and always are designed to lead people to Christ for they are a testimony of His power and of the truth of the gospel of grace. Yet many people go to Church primarily for miracles, and many preachers and churches feed off of this desire. Now we all would love to be part of a miracle, we all would love to be healed and delivered from all our suffering, woes and temptations. Many of us too seek the power to do so for others. Yet miracles are not the greatest example of God’s love and power. The greatest miracle is that we can dwell in the presence of a Holy God. Though we are all sinners deserving of God’s punishment, God chooses to save us by His grace manifested in the sacrifice of Christ. Those who benefit from miracles will all suffer again and die but those who have their name written in the Book of Life will live eternally in the presence of a Holy God. Forgiveness, salvation and oneness with God are the greatest joys we humans can know.