Wilson, Jared C. The Wonder Working God: Seeing the Glory of Jesus in His Miracles. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014. 190 pp. $14.99.
It’s too easy to yawn our way through Jesus’ miracles in the Gospels. Feeding of the five-thousand—heard it before. Walking on water—no surprise here. Healing a blind man—whoop-dee-doo. Is Jesus just showing off? Ok, we get it, you’re God incarnate. Is that all?
Jared Wilson, in The Wonder Working God, attacks this line of thinking head-on in his winsome and humorous work. Wilson strips off layer after layer of calloused thinking by revealing the glory, beauty and awe of Jesus’s power. He writes, “Jesus’s miracles are the very windows into heaven, and through them heaven is spilling into earth like sunlight through panes whose shades have been violently rolled up” (31).
Each chapter aims to reveal the shocking and awesome nature of Jesus’ miracles that churchgoing folks have long come to assume. Yet the miracles are not an end to themselves. They ultimately reveal a powerful and gracious Savior. They illustrate that Jesus is fulfilling Old Testament prophesy, imagery, and signs. Wilson deftly shows that the miracles point to and reveal a greater reality: Christ is a sovereign, powerful, gracious saving God.
How should you and I understand Jesus’s calming of the storm in Mark 4 and Matthew 14? Wilson says, “The miracles that demonstrate Jesus’s control of the natural world…reveal Christ as sovereign Lord, as master of the universe, as maker and therefore commander of the laws of nature” (76). With this eye-opening truth, the reader is challenged to behold Christ’s power afresh as fodder for worship, awe, and trust.
Wilson does not allow the miracles to terminate as merely supernatural phenomenon. Instead, they point ultimately to the power of Jesus in the gospel. While heaven breaks in temporarily, it is a mere foretaste of the expressible joy that awaits when fully with Christ. The Wonder Working God reminds us our faith is supernatural, our God and Savior is glorious, and the kingdom of heaven is breaking into our world.
Benefit for Pastoral Ministry
It’s too easy to become aweless. Look at the Bible long enough with too little humility and without a good recognition of your own brokenness and suddenly it becomes merely facts. Wilson attempts to awaken the dazed from their stupor to see how the miracles of Jesus point to the beauty of our Savior, the grace of his incarnation and the power of his actions. Really see Jesus in all his glory. See with fresh eyes. Don’t glaze over how glorious and amazing he truly is. Don’t inoculate yourself from the awe of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Behold him in all his glory.
Wilson summarizes his work as such, “In the miracles, we Jesus as he was, is, and evermore shall be. His glory is revealed in them, so many gleaming facets of the diamond of his finished work, so many roaring waves of the oceans of his mighty power, so many resounding notes of the music of his saving message” (178). Wilson paints picture after picture with this aim in view. He ably handles the texts and this book will serve any who have lost the luster of their faith.
As a pastor, this book is one I will heartily recommend to any believer struggling with apathy, lifelessness, or despondency. Wilson recaptures the wonder of the Word and distills for the struggling. The Wonder Working God will help Christians of any maturity consider afresh how sweet and how good Jesus truly is. Jesus is indeed a wonderful, wonder-working Savior.
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The Wonder Working God is a timely reminder of how awesome and amazing our God truly is.