The miracles of Jesus are an important part of the four Gospel accounts, and who isn’t impressed by the compassion and mercy Jesus showed for the poor, suffering individuals that he helped. His heart went out to all that were sick or were under the bondage of sin and death, and he used his mighty power and personal strength to heal them.
But it is often overlooked that besides showing love and compassion, the miracles Jesus performed had great prophetic significance. For example, the raising of Lazarus from the dead was a prophetic picture of a future general resurrection of all who have gone down into death and will be raised during Christ’s kingdom on earth.
Times of Restitution
Apostle Peter pointed out the teaching of restitution in Acts 3:19-21, where he said, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”
This teaching of the Times of Restitution, or times of restoration, often goes unnoticed by Christians. It is a restoring of all those things that Adam lost when he disobeyed God’s commands and plunged the human race into a downward course of sin and death. Restitution will bring man back to life and fellowship with his Creator. This refers to an earthly salvation, as we pray: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth.” There is also a heavenly salvation, “as it is in heaven.”
Healing the Blind
In Matthew 9:27 it says, “Two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened.”
This healing of blindness by Jesus is a picture of what the world will experience in the future. Isaiah 35:5 states that “then the eyes of the blind shall be opened.” During God’s kingdom on earth, not only will literal blindness be cured, but also blindness to God’s Word will be cured. 2 Cor. 4:4 says, “The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.” But in God’s kingdom, people’s eyes of understanding will be opened. Habakkuk 2:14 states, “The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
Healing the Lame and Crippled
We read in Matthew 12:10-13, “And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.”
Nothing in the Mosaic Law prohibited pulling your sheep out of a pit on the Sabbath no matter how much work it took. Jesus knew the Pharisees who were questioning him would have rescued their sheep, and they knew it too. So how pretentious and hypocritical it was for them to find fault with our Lord for helping one of their own poor crippled brethren on the Sabbath.
Jesus asked them, How much better is a man than a sheep? This was their opportunity to tell their brethren how much they cared for them and to what extent they would go to ease their burdens and help them out. But the Pharisees thought the common Israelite, who they considered lowly publicans and sinners, were not even equal in value to a sheep, and because they had such a low opinion of their fellowman, they were not willing to show them the same mercy they would show their sheep.
But our Lord set the true value of man, when, by the grace of God, he gave his own life as a ransom for man. Our Lord placed such a high value on the world of mankind, who are represented by the one sheep, that, unlike the Pharisees who were unwilling to lift a finger to help his fellow man, Jesus was willing to sacrifice his life for him. And on the Sabbath day our Lord healed the crippled man, demonstrating in advance the glorious blessings that will come to the poor, groaning creation during the antitypical Sabbath day when God’s mercy will be extended to all through His beloved Son. Isaiah 35:6 tells us that during the Times of Restitution “the lame man shall leap as an hart.”
Other Features of Restitution
Those are remarkable promises, but here is another feature of restitution that should bring particular comfort to our day. There will be no more wars or violence of any kind. Men will no longer injure one another. Fear will be a thing of the past.
The prophecy in Micah 4:3 and 4 says: “He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.”
Nations and peoples of every kind and temperament will live peacefully with each other because it says, “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain.” In those times of restitution, oppression and exploitation will not be permitted. No one will enrich himself at another’s expense. Each man will enjoy the work of his own hands. Personal worth and dignity will be restored. Strict justice will prevail. The days of a man’s life will never end.
The prophet Isaiah describes it in Isaiah 65:21-24: “They shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat. For as the days of a tree are the days of my people; and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking I will hear.”
It will be a time when every problem of mankind will be solved. Everything will be restored that was lost by the disobedience of Adam; a “restitution of all things.” Life will be restored in its fullness. The dead will return to life. All physical disabilities will be eliminated. There will be freedom from fear and oppression. Peace and plenty will be restored to mankind. And all the willing and obedient shall live forever in health and happiness upon the earth. This has all been assured by the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ and is pictured in the miraculous healing of his Jewish brethren.
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