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

Don Stewart :: Why Should Anyone Believe in the Miracles of Jesus?

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Why Should Anyone Believe in the Miracles of Jesus?

The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ – Question 12

There is no doubt that the New Testament emphasizes the miraculous signs that Jesus Christ performed. They were given to demonstrate that He was the long-awaited Messiah. Spectacular miracles are indeed attributed to Jesus.

However, since the time of Christ, there have been many people who have denied His miracles. For whatever reason, they have not believed the New Testament’s account of His supernatural works. The people in Jesus’ day, however, had a chance to witness firsthand whether or not He performed miraculous deeds. The following are some of the reasons as to why the miracles attributed to Jesus should be believed.

1. There Was a Sufficient Number of Miracles

First, the number of miracles Jesus performed was sufficient for honest inquirers to believe in them. The four gospels record Jesus performing about thirty-five separate miracles. Most of the miracles that Jesus performed are recorded in more than one gospel. Two of His miracles, the feeding of the five thousand and His resurrection from the dead, are found in all four gospels.

2. Jesus Did Many More Miracles than Are Recorded in the Gospels

In addition, each gospel writer says that Jesus performed many more miracles than they recorded. We can make the following observations.

The Testimony of Matthew

Matthew writes about how Jesus cured every disease and sickness with which He came into contact with:

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. (Matthew 4:23 NRSV)

Jesus cured everyone who was ill.

Mark

Mark noted a number of miracles Jesus performed. He said that everyone who came to Jesus was cured of their sicknesses:

Wherever He entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and imploring Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured. (Mark 6:56 NASB)

According to Mark, Jesus did many miracles.

Luke

In his gospel, Luke also recorded how Jesus healed many people without giving the specifics. He wrote the following,

Everyone was trying to touch Jesus, because power was going out from him and healing them all. (Luke 6:19 CEV)

Again, we have the testimony of His many miracles.

John

John wrote about many miracles of Jesus that He too did not record. He said that the things he did write about Jesus were only selective of the signs that He performed. John wrote,

Jesus’ disciples saw him do many other miraculous signs besides the ones recorded in this book. (John 20:30 NLT)

Each of the four gospel writers make it clear that Jesus performed many more miracles than they record. The vast number of miracles in which Jesus performed demonstrates that they were a regular part of His ministry.

3. The Miracles Were of a Sufficient Variety

The miracles of Jesus were also of a sufficient variety to demonstrate that He had miraculous power. Of the specific miracles recorded in the four gospels, we find the following: seventeen were bodily cures, six were healing of demonic possession, nine were miracles of nature, and there were three occasions where He raised someone from the dead.

There Were Various Illnesses Healed

Of the seventeen specific bodily healing miracles that are recorded in the four gospels there is a variety of different illnesses that Jesus healed. These include: leprosy, paralysis, fever, shriveled limbs, an amputated ear, blindness, deafness, muteness, and blood hemorrhaging. In other words, Jesus was not limited in the types of healing He could perform.

He Has Ultimate Authority over Life and Death

The gospels record that Jesus Christ also had the authority over life and death. The Bible records three specific cases of Jesus resurrecting someone from the dead: Jairus’ daughter who had just died (Matthew 9:18-26), the widow of Nain’s son who was in the coffin (Luke 7:11-15), and Lazarus who had been in the tomb for four days (John 11).

Thus, these examples Jesus showed His control over three stages of death; those who had just died, those who were going to be buried, and those who were already in the tomb. The emphasis is that Jesus is Lord of all.

4. The Miracles Covered All Possible Areas of Authority

We find Jesus’ authority as “Lord of all” further illustrated. As the Son of God, Jesus exercised authority over all realms. For example, the Gospel of Matthew, in the eighth and ninth chapter, relates many different areas over which Jesus demonstrated His authority. The point of recording these various miracles is to show that Jesus is Lord of every realm imaginable—He is Lord of all! The evidence is as follows.

A. Jesus Healed Incurable Disease

After delivering the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus came down from the mountain and reached out to the most repulsive of people. It was a man who had the dreaded skin disease of leprosy. At this time there was no known cure for it. Therefore, a leper was considered one of the living dead. However, Jesus had compassion on this particular man and healed him instantaneously. Matthew records it this way:

And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. (Matthew 8:2, 3 NASB)

Here Jesus demonstrated authority over the realm of incurable disease. The leper was separated from the people because he had a contagious skin disease that did not have a known cure. Jesus, however, was able to cure Him.

B. Jesus Healed from a Distance

Jesus Christ also had the ability to heal someone without being physically present. A Roman centurion approached Jesus on behalf of his paralyzed servant. The centurion’s faith was such that he believed the servant would be healed if Jesus just gave the word. In other words, there was no need for His actual presence. Jesus marveled at the man’s faith. Matthew records what occurred at this particular episode:

When Jesus heard this, he was so surprised that he turned and said to the crowd following him, “I tell you that in all of Israel I’ve never found anyone with this much faith! Many people will come from everywhere to enjoy the feast in the kingdom of heaven with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But the ones who should have been in the kingdom will be thrown out into the dark. They will cry and grit their teeth in pain.” Then Jesus said to the officer, “You may go home now. Your faith has made it happen”. (Matthew 8:10-13 CEV)

Matthew then records that the servant of the centurion was indeed healed. Thus, Jesus exhibited power to heal when He was not present, and not even near the afflicted person. This demonstrates that He is Lord of space and time.

C. Jesus Is the Lord of Nature

Jesus Christ is not only the Lord over disease; He is also the Lord over nature. When Jesus and His disciples were sailing on the Sea of Galilee the gospels record an incident when a great storm arose which and covered their boat with waves. Jesus then calmed the storm:

And they went and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?” (Matthew 8:25-27 NRSV)

When He calmed this storm, Jesus displayed His authority over nature—the realm of the visible world. He is Lord over it.

D. He Is Lord of the Supernatural Realm

As they completed this boat trip we find that Jesus also had authority over the supernatural realm; the realm where unseen spirits exist.

The Bible says that after they got out of the boat Jesus met two demon-possessed men who were terrorizing the countryside. When Jesus approached they cried out for His help:

Suddenly they shouted, “Jesus, Son of God, what do you want with us? Have you come to punish us before our time?” (Matthew 8:29 CEV)

Jesus cast out demons into a herd of swine and the two men returned to normal. By doing this Jesus showed authority in the area of the supernatural—the invisible realm. Therefore, in one short boat trip on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus showed His authority over both the visible and invisible realm.

E. Jesus Had Authority to Forgive Sins

This account is found in Matthew 9:1-8. When Jesus healed a paralyzed man at Capernaum, He claimed that His authority extended to the forgiveness of sins. The Bible records the following as having happened:

And just then some people were carrying a paralyzed man lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven”. (Matthew 9:2 NRSV)

Only God can forgive sins that are committed against Him. By claiming the ability to forgive sins that were committed against God, Jesus made Himself equal with God. As we have seen, Jesus did not merely make claims He backed them up with convincing evidence.

F. He Had Authority over Life and Death

Furthermore, Jesus demonstrated His authority was over life and death. We also read about this in Matthew’s gospel. He wrote,

While Jesus was still speaking, an official came and knelt in front of him. The man said, “My daughter has just now died! Please come and place your hand on her. Then she will live again.” When Jesus went into the home of the official and saw the musicians and the crowd of mourners, he said, “Get out of here! The little girl isn’t dead. She is just asleep.” Everyone started laughing at Jesus. But after the crowd had been sent out of the house, Jesus went to the girl’s bedside. He took her by the hand and helped her up. (Matthew 9:18, 23-25 CEV)

Even death was subject to His authority.

G. Jesus Had Authority over the Natural and the Supernatural at the Same Time

The last miracle recorded in these two chapters consists of a man who had problems in both the natural and supernatural realm. Jesus had no problem healing him. Matthew writes,

As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a man, mute and demon-possessed. And when the demon was cast out, the mute spoke. And the multitudes marveled, saying, “It was never seen like this in Israel!” But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons”. (Matthew 9:32-34 NKJV)

This man was both demon-possessed and mute Jesus had no difficulty dealing with both realms simultaneously.

Conclusion: Jesus Showed Authority in Many Areas

Therefore, in these two chapters in Matthew Jesus’ miracles consisted of the following.

  1. Authority over incurable disease.
  2. Being able to heal without being physically present.
  3. Authority over nature.
  4. Authority over the supernatural realm.
  5. Authority over sins.
  6. Authority over life and death.
  7. Authority over the natural and supernatural realm at the same time.

These varied miracles prove that Jesus is Lord of all!

5. The Miracles Were Done Publicly and Were Well-Known

Another important fact concerning the miracles of Jesus is that they were done publicly. The Apostle Paul would later emphasize this when he spoke to a particular ruler:

But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking the sober truth. Indeed the king knows about these things, and to him I speak freely; for I am certain that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this was not done in a corner.” (Acts 26:25, 26 NRSV)

The facts concerning the miracles of Christ were obviously well-known. If not, Paul could not make such a statement.

Indeed, when Jesus rose on Easter Sunday He walked, unrecognized, with two disciples on the road to Emmaus. When Jesus asked them what they were talking about, He received the following response:

Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” (Luke 24:18 NRSV)

Cleopas could not believe that this stranger would even ask the question. There is only one subject that everyone was talking about—Jesus! The events concerning the life of Christ were well-known to everyone.

6. They Were Done in a Strategic Location

There is something else about Jesus’ miracles which should be appreciated. The land of Israel was a strategic geographic place in the Roman Empire, in the middle of great crossroads. A large amount of travel occurred through the Holy Land. This is the spot where Jesus performed His miraculous deeds, not on some barren fringe of the empire where no one could observe them. He performed His miracles where the maximum number of people could see for themselves if they were genuine.

7. They Were Performed before Large Crowds

When Jesus performed His miracles, it was often done in the presence of the huge crowds. Some passages emphasize that multitudes, and entire cities, saw the miracles of Jesus. We read in Matthew,

Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them. So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel. (Matthew 15:30, 31 NKJV)

Thus, we find that the miracles happened in front of large crowds and in a number of different places.

In addition, Matthew speaks of another occasion where large crowds followed Jesus. He wrote the following:

When Jesus finished teaching, he left Galilee and went to the part of Judea that is east of the Jordan River. Large crowds followed him, and he healed their sick people. (Matthew 19:1, 2 CEV)

There had to be a reason why large crowds would follow Jesus everywhere. The gospels say it was because He was healing everyone who had a disease.

Mark records that the entire city of Capernaum came out to see Jesus heal. He said Jesus healed all who came to Him:

When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed. And the whole city had gathered at the door. And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was. (Mark 1:32-34 NASB)

Mark too testified that very large crowds followed Jesus wherever He went. He wrote the following to his readers:

They crossed the sea, came to shore at Gennesaret, and anchored there. As soon as they stepped out of the boat, the people recognized Jesus. They ran all over the countryside and began to carry the sick on cots to any place where they heard he was. Whenever he would go into villages, cities, or farms, people would put their sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch the edge of his clothes. Everyone who touched his clothes was made well. (Mark 6:53-56 God’s Word)

The crowds came out to see Jesus because they knew He had the ability to heal every disease.

Luke also speaks of a great number of people being healed by Jesus. He gave the following description of the ministry of Jesus:

When they came down the slopes of the mountain, the disciples stood with Jesus on a large, level area, surrounded by many of his followers and by the crowds. There were people from all over Judea and from Jerusalem and from as far north as the seacoasts of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed, and Jesus cast out many evil spirits. Everyone was trying to touch him, because healing power went out from him, and they were all cure. (Luke 6:17-19 NLT)

Therefore, we have the consistent testimony of the gospel writers that Jesus healed large numbers of people wherever He went.

8. They Did Not Occur in One Special Place

The ability of Jesus Christ to perform miracles went with Him wherever He went. Whether it was on the Sea of Galilee, in the city of Jerusalem, or in the town of Jericho, the miracle power went with Him. In other words, there was no staging area where Jesus brought those who needed healing. Consequently there was no way in which His followers could control the event or the outcome.

9. There Was No Special Time of Day When They Were Done

We also find that His miraculous deeds were performed at all times of the day—morning, noon, and night and all seasons of the year—fall, winter, spring, and summer. There was nothing hindering the miracle power of Jesus.

We find Jesus walking on the water in the early morning, healing the servant’s ear in the Garden of Gethsemane at night, and healing the infirmed in the temple during the day. There were no limitations on when, where, or how, He would heal.

10. They Were Performed before Gentiles

The miracles of Jesus were not limited to His countrymen, the Jews. Indeed, we also find Jesus doing miracles for Gentiles as well (Mark 7:24-30; John 4:46-53). These people were not looking for a Jewish Messiah. Yet Jesus performed miracles on their behalf. This demonstrates that He is the Savior of all humanity.

11. They Were Done without Props

Jesus’ miracles were performed without any props. There were no devices that helped Him when He performed His miraculous deeds as other religious figures have used. Many times Jesus merely spoke the word, and the miracle occurred. This demonstrated the authority which He had.

12. Miracles Were Done with Restraint

Whenever Jesus performed a miracle, it was always done for a specific purpose. The miracles were performed for two basic reasons—as signs to testify of God’s existence and power, or to meet a specific need. They were never performed as a sideshow or to merely attract attention.

For example, when Jesus was being tempted by the devil, He refused to use His miraculous powers to show off. The devil wanted Jesus to throw Himself down from the pinnacle of the temple and let the angels miraculously save Him, but Jesus would not stoop to this type of supernatural sideshow. His miracles were done with restraint and always for a definite purpose.

13. Jesus Did Only Beneficial Miracles

With only two exceptions, the cursing of the fig tree and casting of the demons into the herd of swine, the miracles of Jesus were curative in nature. They were done to help people, not to curse His enemies. When two of Jesus’ disciples wanted Him to destroy a Samaritan village by fire, they were rebuked. We read in Luke:

When James and John heard about it, they said to Jesus, “Lord, should we order down fire from heaven to burn them up?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them. (Luke 9:54, 55 NLT)

The New American Standard Bible reads,

When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of.” (Luke 9:54, 55 NASB)

The miraculous power of Jesus was never done vindictively, or in reaction to what someone said or did to Him.

14. They Were Not Done for His Own Advantage

Jesus’ miracles were not done in His own interest but in the interest of others. During His temptation by the devil He would not turn stones into bread for Himself to eat. However, He multiplied the fish and bread for the five thousand so they could eat something when they were hungry. He was always thinking of others.

When Peter tried to stop Jesus’ arrest in Gethsemane, Jesus corrected His well-intentioned sword play.

He also told Peter that it was well within His capability to perform a miracle if necessary:

Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword away! All who use a sword will be killed by a sword. Don’t you think that I could call on my Father to send more than twelve legions of angels to help me now?” (Matthew 26:52, 53 God’s Word)

Jesus did not stop His arrest by performing some miracle; though He made it clear that He could have done this.

15. They Met Genuine Human Needs

Jesus performed miracles to meet real human needs, not merely to draw a large crowd. For example, when people were in a desert place and needed food, Jesus miraculously provided the food. The miracle met the particular need of the people at that time. We find that each miracle of Jesus was performed either as a sign of His authority or to meet a genuine need. They were never performed as a sideshow or to attract attention.

16. They Are in Contrast to the Miracles in Apocryphal Gospels

After the New Testament was completed, a number of accounts about the life of Jesus were composed. Some of these filled in the gaps of Jesus’ missing years. When they are read in comparison to the four gospels, the differences become immediately obvious.

One of these stories has Jesus making birds out of clay and then making them fly. Another account of the boyhood of Jesus has Him turning the shell of a snail on the Sea of Galilee into the size of Mt. Tabor! Then suddenly the snail went back to its original form. Some of these later stories paint Jesus as vindictive—one who uses His miraculous power to turn His friends into stones or animals.

In contrast, the four gospels never contain any of this type of nonsensical material. Thus we never find the type of miracles that are grotesque or childish. Nothing in the miracles of Jesus leads us to think of the absurd or the bizarre.

17. They Were Done with Great Ease

The miracles of Jesus were performed without ceremony or ostentatious behavior—they were done with great ease. There was no strain on Jesus’ behalf to bring forth the miracle. He simply spoke and it was done. In almost all of the cases, the miracles occurred immediately after His simple word or gesture. They were so much a part of His ministry that He could easily move into the area of the miraculous without going through any outward display. This is further demonstration of the unique abilities which He possessed.

18. They Were Recorded by Eyewitnesses

We will emphasize again that the accounts given to us in the four Gospels were from eyewitnesses. The writers Matthew and John were observers of the miracles and reported what they saw occur. Mark and Luke recorded the eyewitness testimony that was reported to them. Therefore, the miracles of Jesus are well substantiated by people who were there. John the evangelist would later write the following about what they saw and heard:

The one who existed from the beginning is the one we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is Jesus Christ, the Word of life. (1 John 1:1 NLT)

They were reported by people who were there.

19. The Reaction to His Miracles Is Exactly What We Would Expect

Our next point is extremely important! The reaction to Jesus’ miracles from those who observed them is exactly what we would expect—if they had occurred. Those who witnessed the miracles of Jesus were not gullible people expecting miraculous deeds. It must be recognized that the people living at the time of Jesus were as skeptical of the miraculous as is modern humanity. One need only look at the responses by the people to the miracles of Jesus to see that this is the case.

The Disciples Were the First Unbelievers of the Resurrection

For example, the disciples of Jesus were the first unbelievers of His resurrection! When certain women returned from the tomb on Easter Sunday and told them Jesus had risen, His disciples responded as follows:

But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. (Luke 24:11 NIV)

Jesus’ disciples have the dubious distinction of being the first doubters of His resurrection from the dead.

In another example, when Jesus healed a man who had been blind from birth, the response of the crowd was amazement. The crowd said,

Since the beginning of time, no one has ever heard of anyone giving sight to a person born blind. (John 9:32 God’s Word)

They were not used to seeing something like this. The deed was something extraordinary to them.

They Had Never Seen This Sort of Thing Before

On another occasion, Jesus healed a man who had been lame. When He performed this miracle, the people reacted just as we would expect anyone to act who witnessed a similar thing. Mark records the following reaction:

Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” (Mark 2:12 NKJV)

Notice the response “We never have seen anything like this!” Their words speak volumes. Miracles were not the norm. Indeed, they had never seen anything like this before!

On the Sea of Galilee Jesus performed another miracle like no one had ever seen; He calmed the raging wind and the waves in an instant. Luke writes,

But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!” (Luke 8:23-25 NKJV)

Again, we have the response of people who were amazed at what they witnessed.

These accounts illustrate that people of the first-century were just as amazed and puzzled as modern humankind would be when it comes to viewing the miraculous first hand. Indeed, their response is exactly what we would expect.

20. The Miracles of Jesus Were Never Denied

But we also discover that these same people, even though they were not used to seeing miracles, could not deny these deeds. The religious rulers, who were enemies of Jesus, sought to discredit Him. Instead of denying His miracles, they attributed them to the power of the devil. We read the following account in Matthew’s gospel:

Then a demon-possessed man, who was both blind and unable to talk, was brought to Jesus. He healed the man so that he could both speak and see. The crowd was amazed. “Could it be that Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah?” they wondered out loud. But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan, the prince of demons.” (Matthew 12:22-24 NLT)

The religious leaders, by arguing that Christ’s miracles were a work of Satan, were acknowledging the fact that Jesus was a miracle worker. If they could have denied them, they certainly would have, but the lack of denial on their part shows, from an unfriendly source, that the miracles attributed to Jesus did indeed occur. We can give two illustrations.

Everyone Was Aware of His Miracles

On the Day of Pentecost, after the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, Simon Peter, in testifying to Christ’s resurrection, appealed to the knowledge of His hearers. He made it clear that they were all aware that Jesus had performed miracles. He said,

You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know. (Acts 2:22 NRSV)

He stated to that large audience that the miracles of Jesus were something that they themselves knew about. The fact that Peter was not immediately shouted down demonstrates that the people knew he was telling the truth. Multitudes had seen Jesus perform many miracles. The certainty that Jesus performed miracles was never in question. The question was, “How did He do it?”

21. All Early Reports of Jesus Agree That He Performed Miracles

Another important point is this: for the first five centuries of the Christian era, every account of Jesus, whether coming from a believer or a non-believer, has Jesus performing miracles. No friend or foe, in the early centuries, ever denied His miraculous power. Indeed, they could not deny it for Jesus Christ truly worked miracles.

The Testimony Is Sufficient

The testimony of Christ’s miracles comes from several different groups of witnesses. They include those who benefited from the miracles, those who observed the miracles and those who were skeptical.

A. There Were Those Who Benefited from the Miracles

The first group that gives testimony to Jesus’ miracles are those who directly benefited from His deeds. They give first-hand testimony with respect to what Jesus did for them.

B. There Were Those Who Observed the Miracles

Next, we have those who were not direct beneficiaries of the miracles but who saw them occur. This would include Jesus’ disciples as well as the multitudes. They too confirm His miracles.

C. There Were Those Who Were Unbelievers and Skeptics His Miracles

Not only were the miracles of Jesus done publicly with the multitudes present, they were also performed in front of unbelievers. Among those who watched Jesus perform healings were the unbelieving religious leaders (Matthew 12). They were there to find fault, not to believe. Jesus, therefore, was not just preaching to the converted.

22. They Were an Essential Part of His Ministry

Miracles were not something that was an afterthought in the ministry of Jesus. They are interlocked with everything that He said or did. Certain teachings of Jesus would be meaningless without the miracle connected to it.

For example, the discourse in John’s gospel about Jesus being “the bread of life” makes no sense whatsoever without the miracle that explains it. Apart from the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand, this discourse is unexplainable (John 5, 6).

23. The Circumstantial Evidence for Jesus’ Miracles

We also have circumstantial testimony to Jesus’ miracles. This is evidence from sources other than the four gospels. This can be listed as follows.

The Testimony of the Book of Acts

The Book of Acts testifies to Jesus’ miraculous deeds as having literally occurred. On the Day of Pentecost, Peter said the following to the crowd that had gathered:

You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know. (Acts 2:22 NRSV)

Peter emphasized that the miracles of Jesus were common knowledge. In fact, they were such common knowledge that he could say to the crowd that Jesus performed miracles “as you yourselves know.” He appealed to the knowledge of those who were present. They knew that Jesus was a miracle-worker. It is likely that some in that very crowd had actually been healed by Jesus.

The Testimony of Paul

The Apostle Paul emphasized that the miracle of the resurrection proved Jesus was whom He claimed to be. He wrote to the Romans:

From Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle and appointed to spread the Good News of God. (God had already promised this Good News through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures. This Good News is about his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. In his human nature he was a descendant of David. In his spiritual, holy nature he was declared the Son of God. This was shown in a powerful way when he came back to life. (Romans 1:1-4 God’s Word)

His resurrection proved His identity as God the Son. It separated Him from all other human beings before or since.

The New English Translation puts it this way,

From Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God. This gospel that he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, concerning his Son who was a descendant of David with reference to the flesh, who was appointed the Son-of-God-in-power according to the Holy Spirit by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 1:1-4 NET)

Jesus was appointed the Son of God in power by coming back from the dead.

24. Miracles by Jesus’ Disciples When He Was Still on Earth

Jesus’ disciples also performed miracles. This includes miracles during the time of His public ministry and after His ascension into heaven. While Jesus was here on earth, He gave His own disciples the power to perform miracles. Matthew records Jesus sending out His disciples with the same miraculous power that He had:

Jesus called together his twelve disciples. He gave them the power to force out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and sickness. (Matthew 10:1 CEV)

They were given the ability to do the miraculous signs as their Lord. They performed these deeds to testify to Jesus’ identity.

There Were Miracles by the Disciples after Jesus Had Ascended

After Jesus ascended into heaven, the disciples of Jesus still had the ability to perform miracles. The Book of Acts records some of their miracles done through the authority of Jesus. When Peter saw a lame man at the temple he said,

However, Peter said to him, “I don’t have any money, but I’ll give you what I do have. Through the power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth, walk!” Peter took hold of the man’s right hand and began to help him up. Immediately, the man’s feet and ankles became strong. Springing to his feet, he stood up and started to walk. He went with Peter and John into the temple courtyard. The man was walking, jumping, and praising God. (Acts 3:6-8 God’s Word)

After Peter healed this man, the religious leaders made the following admission about the fact that this man had been healed:

“What should we do with these men?” they asked each other. “We can’t deny they have done a miraculous sign, and everybody in Jerusalem knows about it.” (Acts 4:16 NLT)

Even the miracles of the apostles were undeniable. The religious leaders had to admit that they had the same miraculous ability as Jesus.

Conclusion: Jesus Christ Was a Miracle-Worker

The evidence is loud and clear. Jesus Christ worked miracles. Indeed, this is a fact which cannot be denied!

Summary – Question 12
Why Should Anyone Believe in the Miracles of Jesus?

There are a number of reasons as to why we should believe the miracles attributed to Jesus actually occurred. We can summarize them as follows.

To begin with, there were a sufficient number of them. Indeed, the gospels list about thirty-five separate miracles which Jesus performed.

They were also of a sufficient variety. He could heal any disease, any ailment. Nothing was too difficult for Him. The miracles of Jesus covered all possible areas of authority; His miracles were in the realm of nature as well as in the area of the unseen supernatural world.

These signs were also done publicly and in front of large crowds. Jesus went to where the people were rather than expecting them to come to Him. Thus, there was no special place in which the miracles occurred. His miracle power went with Him wherever He went. Neither was there a special time when these miracles were performed. Wherever He went, whenever it was necessary, Jesus could perform a miracle. These signs were performed in front of Gentiles as well as Jews.

The miracles were beneficial to humanity. They met real needs. They were not done for Jesus’ own advantage.

It is also important to note that eyewitnesses recorded the miracles. Those who observed them had same reaction as we would have. They were shocked and amazed by what they saw. Furthermore, His contemporaries never denied the miracles attributed to Jesus. This includes unbelievers as well.

There is also circumstantial evidence that Jesus performed miracles. In the Book of Acts we have the testimony that Jesus performed miracles while here on earth. The Apostle Paul also confirmed the fact that Jesus did miracles.

In addition, Jesus’ disciples had the ability to perform miracles. This ability was with them during Jesus’ public ministry and after His ascension.

The totality of the evidence shows that Jesus was indeed a worker of miracles. He did signs that only someone can perform if the power of God is with them.

What Was the Purpose of Jesus' Miracles? ← Prior Section
What Objections Have Been Made to Jesus' Miracles? Next Section →
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