Jesus’ mighty works call for repentance? This is backwards from how we might normally think of Jesus miracles. Simplistically we may think Jesus’ mighty works only demonstrate His love and compassion. Certainly it makes no sense to think that Jesus’ cleansing the leper was a demonstration of His wrath, His judgment. He did not condescend thinking, “I’m so angry I want to heal someone.”
We understand acts of judgment calling for repentance like those we see in the Exodus against Egypt and those against Israel as they wandered in the wilderness. The many judgments on Israel throughout the Old Testament called for repentance. Those were mighty acts of judgment, but here, Jesus’ deeds are mighty acts of salvation.
So how is it that Jesus’ cleansing lepers, healing the sick and paralyzed, casting our demons, restoring sight to the blind and speech to the mute, and raising the dead call for repentance? It is because these deeds, while they do demonstrate Jesus’ love and compassion, also evidence His authority; a supreme authority that calls for full and total allegiance. His miracles are a summons to Himself. His miracles are wed to His message, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 4:17).” You may not enjoy the show without submission. You cannot take the benefits of the Christ without the cost of the cross.
We cannot neuter Jesus’ love. It is a holy love, a love that comes with authority, a love that demands. Jesus’ love is love with a backbone. It is a love that would not be loving if this were not so. Jesus doesn’t just love us for the sake of loving us. He does not save us just to save us. He saves us for His glory. We must remember that Jesus is not idolatrous. There is something He loves more than you and me, namely, Himself. Jesus is holy, He is unique, His love is like no other. God is the only being in the universe for whom vanity is a virtue. In upholding the value and worth of His name, Jesus is making much of that which will most satisfy our souls.