Mondays with MacDonald (on how the Kingdom comes)

Except for the loving help they gave the distressed, revealing him to their hearts as the Redeemer from evil, I doubt if [Jesus] would have wrought a single miracle. I do not think he cared much about them. Certainly, as regarded the onlookers, he did not expect much to result from those mighty deeds. A mere marvel is practically soon forgotten, and long before it is forgotten, many minds have begun to doubt the senses, their own even, which communicated it. Inward sight alone can convince of truth; signs and wonders never. No number of signs can do more than convey a probability that he who shews them knows that of which he speaks. They cannot convey the truth. But the vision of the truth itself, in the knowledge of itself, a something altogether beyond the region of signs and wonders, is the power of God, is salvation. This vision was in the Lord’s face and form to the pure in heart who were able to see God; but not in his signs and wonders to those who sought after such…The truth must show itself in God’s time, in and by the labour. The kingdom must come in God’s holy human way. Not by a stroke of grandeur, but by years of love, yea, by centuries of seeming bafflement, by aeons of labour, must he grow into the hearts of the sons and daughters of his Father in heaven.

George MacDonald

from Unspoken Sermons, vol. 1, “The Temptation in the Wilderness”

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