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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ

Don Stewart :: What Was the Purpose of Jesus' Miracles?

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What Was the Purpose of Jesus’ Miracles?

The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ – Question 11

The consistent testimony of the New Testament is that Jesus Christ performed a number of miraculous deeds. The word translated miracle can also mean, “sign.” The question arises is why did He perform these signs? We can make the following observations.

The Signs Were to Cause Belief in Him

The Apostle John testified as to why he recorded Jesus’ miracles in his written gospel. He wrote the following:

Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:30, 31 NASB)

Jesus’ miracles were signs to the people that He was indeed the person whom He claimed to be. They were specifically performed to cause belief in Him.

The Miracles Testified to Jesus’ Identity

Thus, the miracles of Jesus were done as a testimony to the His identity. We find that these signs that Jesus performed convinced many that He was the Messiah. John writes,

When he was in Jerusalem during the Passover festival, many believed in his name because they saw the signs that he was doing. (John 2:23 NRSV)

Many people believed in Jesus after seeing the signs He performed.

Some Doubted the Miracles Which Jesus Performed

Yet even with all these miraculous signs, there were some who doubted. When Jesus was speaking to the multitude, He said,

“Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.” (John 12:28, 29 NKJV).

Though it was actually the voice of the Father who spoke, many believed they only heard thunder.

Some Didn’t Believe That Christ Had Risen

After Jesus’ resurrection there were still some who did not believe that He had actually risen from the dead. We read of this in Matthew,

When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. (Matthew 28:17 NKJV)

Consequently the evidence of Jesus’ miracles did not cause everyone to believe. There were still people who rejected Him in spite of the evidence.

An Important Lesson Learned: Miracles Will Not Convince Everyone

This teaches us an important lesson. No amount of evidence will convince someone who does not wish to be convinced. Jesus testified to that fact when He compared the reasons the religious leaders rejected Him and John the Baptist. We read Him saying the following,

“For John the Baptist didn’t drink wine and he often fasted, and you say, ‘He’s demon possessed.’ And I, the Son of Man, feast and drink, and you say, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of the worst sort of sinners!’ But wisdom is shown to be right by what results from it”. (Matthew 11:18, 19 NLT)

John the Baptist lived without worldly comforts. The people didn’t believe his message because of his lifestyle of self-denial. Jesus ate and drank with people. He was rejected because He was eating and drinking! Unbelief is never satisfied.

Therefore, while the miracles of Jesus were convincing evidence that He was the One whom He claimed to be there were still people who did not believe in Him. However, this occurred in spite of the evidence; not because of it.

Summary – Question 11
What Was the Purpose of Jesus’ Miracles?

The miracles of Jesus Christ were performed as signs to testify to His unique identity as the Messiah sent from God. Indeed, only God could perform such miracles as Jesus did. By doing things on a scale that nobody else has ever done, including God’s own prophets, Jesus set Himself apart from anyone else who has ever lived. His miracles left no doubt as to who He was.

Although the signs convinced many, there were still some who doubted. We discover that was not so much that they could not believe in Jesus’ signs as they would not believe. These chose to ignore the evidence.

Jesus emphasized this in His illustration of why He and John the Baptist were rejected. John was rejected because he lived in self-denial and Jesus was rejected because He did not live a life of self-denial. It illustrates the truth that those who do not wish to believe in Jesus will always find an excuse. However no excuse will be accepted on Judgment Day. Jesus miracles made His identity clear to all.

Did Jesus Perform Miracles? ← Prior Section
Why Should Anyone Believe in the Miracles of Jesus? Next Section →
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