Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our father.” For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. (Matthew 3:8-9)
God Is Able
John the Baptist was a fiery preacher who challenged the religious norms of his day with the boldness of Amos, the power of Isaiah, and the convictions of the prophet Jeremiah. The Pharisees and Sadducees marveled at the preaching of John as he proclaimed a message of repentance and baptism. When the religious leaders came to see John for themselves, they found the son of Zacharias the priest, demanding their repentance for the hypocrisy of their office and corruption of the people through their deceit and oppression. John called them a brood of deadly snakes. God would only receive them if they changed their lives and turned to God. The Pharisees and Sadducees prided themselves in being the children of Abraham but this was only by heritage. Their lives were far from the faith of Abraham. So corrupt were the religious leaders, they were in peril of the wrath of God.
The pride of ancestry ran deep in the heart of the Pharisees and Sadducees. John does not make an idle boast when he tells the leaders that God is able to raise up children from the stones their feet trod upon. It was not a threat that the power of God could not bring about. John wanted the Pharisees and Sadducees to remember that the same power of God that spoke the universe into existence could take Judean stones and form a nation of His own people. The proud heart boasting of inheritance in Abraham could be taken away in an instant. God is able to take stones and create a nation.
John’s threat was a message to all men of the power of God. Jeremiah declared there was nothing too hard for God. The Lord destroyed the world in the days of Noah by His power. He delivered the Hebrews from Egypt by His mighty hand. The first commandment of the Law began with the acknowledgment that God was the one who brought them out of the land of Egypt. Throughout Biblical history, God was able to carry out His will as He saw fit, regardless of what men did. If it was the will of the Lord, He could create a nation of two million people from stones.
God is able to do the impossible and nothing is lacking that He is able to do. The miracles of scripture attest to the incredible power of God. Jesus showed the power of God when He healed every disease including leprosy, blindness, blood issues and the lame, mute, and deaf. The forces of nature were at His command in an instant. Jesus could heal without being present. All the miracles Jesus performed were amazing but raising the dead was most demonstrative of what God is able to do. Lazarus had been dead four days when Jesus raised him from the dead.
If God is able to do all the things described in the Bible (and He is), what is there in the life of a child of God the Lord cannot accomplish? The people of God face nothing that He cannot subdue, conquer, dismiss, and remove. Unhappy marriages can be resurrected from certain death because God is able. Conflicts in families will only find resolution when God is permitted to exercise His power in the heart. Life can be a burden, but God can bring peace, comfort, assurance, and hope. If God can raise dead Lazarus, He can raise me from the dead. The greatest joy and hope a child of God can have in life is to know their God is able – to bring life in the face of death. What is death? Nothing more than a sleep when the Father awakens His children into the eternal home of glory. God is ABLE. Thank God!