C.S. Lewis describes Aslan in those terms to Lucy in one of his Narnia chronicles, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
The concept of a three personal God is very precious to me. I love the idea that He is not depending on us before He works miracles, not even on our faith.
Of course, without faith it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 6:11). Anyone that comes to Him must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those that seek Him.
But when it comes to doing miracles, God isn’t limited by our faith. He is quite capable of doing His own thing.
John wrote his gospel after the others. And one of the things he does in his gospel account is write about miracles that have nothing to do with anyone’s faith except that of Jesus Himself.
- In Chapter 5 he heals a man that was 38 years beside a pool waiting to try and get in when it was stirred up. All he asks is whether he wants to be healed or not. To this the man replies in a manner that shows that he only believed that the stirred up pool could save him, not Jesus. Nevertheless Jesus heals him. Later the same man betrays Him to the Pharisees.
- In Chapter 6 Jesus feeds the five thousand when the only response of anyone present to his command to feed the people was “What are these among so many?”.
- In Chapter 11 Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. We know Lazarus was incapable at the time of exercising faith(!). But Martha who was capable showed significant unbelief despite earlier promising statements. There is no sign anyone else had any faith that He would do this. (Go and read it).
There are times when people do exercise faith in John’s gospel. In these cases Jesus says a very specific word, the person concerned obeys and the miracle occurs:
- In Chapter 4 the royal official sees his son healed after doing what he was told. But it was probable that Jesus healed his son before that anyway.
- In Chapter 9 he heals a man born blind after he does what Jesus says. Here is an example of a man hearing the Word of God in a specific way, being obedient to what he heard and then seeing – literally – the miracle occur.
Now all I need to do is put this into practice a bit more myself!