Why are we looking for Jesus in a tortilla?
The other day I saw a post on a major news website saying that someone found a burn mark in a tortilla that looked just like Jesus. No, they didn't eat the tortilla, because now they are treasuring the tortilla as a miracle.
If Jesus were to put a picture of Himself burned into the flour of someones lunch would it be so roughly done? Because I saw the burn mark in the tortilla and it is a toss up between being Jesus, Fidel Castro and the Scarlett Letter's Gary Oldman.
I mean, would Jesus do a half-hearted miracle?
If I look at the miracles that Jesus did in the bible, I am given clues as to the quality of miracles Jesus performs as well as why He performs them.
Exhibit #1: Jesus Turns Water Into Wine, John 2:7-11
"Jesus ordered the servants, "Fill the pots with water." And they filled them to the brim.
'Now fill your pitchers and take them to the host,' Jesus said, and they did.
When the host tasted the water that had become wine (he didn't know what had just happened but the servants, of course, knew), he called out to the bridegroom, 'Everybody I know begins with their finest wines and after the guests have had their fill brings in the cheap stuff. But you've saved the best till now!'
This act in Cana of Galilee was the first sign Jesus gave, the first glimpse of his glory. And his disciples believed in him."
Exhibit #2: Jesus raises a boy from the dead, Luke 7:11-17
"Not long after that, Jesus went to the village Nain. His disciples were with him, along with quite a large crowd. As they approached the village gate, they met a funeral procession—a woman's only son was being carried out for burial. And the mother was a widow. When Jesus saw her, his heart broke. He said to her, "Don't cry." Then he went over and touched the coffin. The pallbearers stopped. He said, 'Young man, I tell you: Get up.' The dead son sat up and began talking. Jesus presented him to his mother.
They all realized they were in a place of holy mystery, that God was at work among them. They were quietly worshipful—and then noisily grateful, calling out among themselves, 'God is back, looking to the needs of his people!' The news of Jesus spread all through the country."
In each of these miracles we see great quality, water being turned into the best wine and a boy being raised from the dead. He didn't just settle for a cheap wine, although He knew no one would probably notice or begrudge it's quality, but He produced the best wine at the wedding. He also didn't just comfort and bring overwhelming peace to the mother who had lost her son but instead he raised her son from the dead, completely eliminating her grief and need for comfort.
There is also a recurring reason for His miracles and that is for people to see His glory and spread word about Him so all can come to know Him and believe in Him.
So I sit here and think about which God I would serve. If my friend ran up to me, shouting and saying she just saw a man touch a child who had died and raise him from the dead, I would surely want to follow her to find out who this man was. But, if someone (the internet) tells me that a man found a sketchy picture of Jesus who looks like Gary Oldman on a tortilla then I am going to (and did) just skip right over the information making my way on to more interesting news.
I know of people who have born children after being told it was impossible and people who have lived years after the date the doctors told them they would die. I know of someone the doctors told would never have full use of their brain who now has multiple masters degrees and the brain to reflect the achievement. These are the types of miracles I expect to see a great God perform and these are the types of miracles that have spread through whispered and shouting voices, spreading His glory. These are miracles that are happening around us now in our modern day seemingly god-less world. These are the miracles that I am going to expect to see more of because these are the ones that would lead people to believe in Him.
Is a warped image of Jesus in a tortilla bringing Him glory OR bringing glory to the man who sold the story to CNN? I find myself wondering how great a God do I think I follow? Do I expect true, huge, God revealing miracles or do I think He is small and incapable of them? Truly?
This weekend I am reminded of the greatest miracle of all time. A Savior became man so that on a Friday He could let his human nature be eclipsed by His God-like nature and become a sacrifice for His people. So that He could stand in our place when all our sins, wrongdoings, grievances were stacked against us and we were found guilty. So that He could become the payment for our crimes. But His awful death for us is not the miracle...the miracle happened three days later, when people were getting back into the rhythm of their normal lives. Three days after being entombed He did what He always said He would do, what people thought was impossible, a task so great that no one actually expected Him to fulfill His promise. He rose, our sin no longer on Him but buried there in the grave to no longer be looked at. He rose, clothed, instead, with life and hope and freedom. He rose showing how it is possible that one day, when our mortal bodies lack the ability to remain breathing and moving any longer, we will be buried and our skin will become an empty shell as we rise to meet Him in eternity.
This week I am thinking about the greatest miracle and it's promise to me. This week I am believing. This week I am spreading and singing and shouting and carrying and handing and showing and whispering and giving and displaying and telling about Him and this miracle of life we have been adorned with and I am eager to watch people placing each arm carefully and sometimes rapidly inside this rescue coat as they wrap themselves inside it. These people and their stories of salvation will be today's miracles, leaps and bounds greater than a burn in a tortilla because their stories will speak and echo throughout eternity. Yes!