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

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Don Stewart

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. They had a lot to say on the matter.

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 (or thirty-eight depending upon how you number them). 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 the resurrection, are found in all four gospels.

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.

And Jesus was going about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people (Matthew 4:23).

Mark noted.

And wherever he entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and entreating him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured (Mark 6:56).

Luke recorded.

And all the multitude were trying to touch him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all (Luke 6:19).

John wrote.

Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book (John 20:30).

The vast number of miracles in which Jesus performed demonstrates that they were a regular part of His ministry.

2. The Miracles Were Of A Sufficient Variety

The miracles of Jesus were also of a sufficient variety to show that He had miraculous power. Of the specific miracles recorded in the four gospels we find: 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.

Of the seventeen specific healing miracles that are recorded 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.

He Has Ultimate Authority

Jesus 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 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.

3. The Miracles Covered All Possible Areas Of Authority

As the Son of God, Jesus exercised authority over all realms. The Gospel of Matthew, in the eight 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!

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 - a man with leprosy. At this time there was no known cure for the disease. Therefore, a leper was considered one of the living dead. Jesus had compassion on this particular man and healed him instantaneously.

And behold, a leper came and worshiped him saying, 'Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.' Then Jesus put out his hand and touched him saying, 'I am willing; be cleansed.' And immediately his leprosy was cleansed (Matthew 8:2,3).

Here Jesus demonstrated authority over the realm of incurable disease.

B. Jesus Healed From A Distance

Jesus also had the ability to heal someone without being physically present. A 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 - there was no need for His actual presence. Jesus marveled at the man's faith.

When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to those who followed, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!' . . . Then Jesus said to the centurion, 'Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.' And his servant was healed that same hour (Matthew 8:10,13).

Jesus exhibited power to heal when He was not present, not even near the afflicted person. This demonstrates that He is Lord of space and time.

C. Jesus Is The Lord Of Nature

Jesus is not only the Lord over disease, He is also the Lord over nature. A great storm arose on the Sea of Galilee covering their boat with waves.

Then his disciples came to him and awoke him, saying, 'Lord, save us! We are perishing!' But he said to them, 'Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?' Then he arose and rebuked the winds and the sea. And there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, 'Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey him?' (Matthew 8:25-27).

When He calmed the storm, Jesus displayed authority over nature - the realm of the visible world.

D. He Is Lord Of The Supernatural Realm

Jesus also had authority over the supernatural realm. Jesus met two demon-possessed men who were terrorizing the countryside. When Jesus approached they cried out:

What have we to do with you, Jesus, you Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time? (Matthew 8:29).

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. 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 Over The Forgiveness Of Sins

This account is found in Matthew 9:1-8. In the episode of healing a paralyzed man at Capernaum, Jesus showed that His authority extended to the forgiveness of sins.

F. He Had Authority Over Life And Death

Furthermore, Jesus demonstrated His authority was over life and death.

While he spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped him, saying, 'My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her and she will live.' . . . And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing, he said to them, 'Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.' And they laughed him to scorn. But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose (Matthew 9:18,23-25).

Even death was subject to His authority.

G. Jesus Had Authority Over The Natural And The Supernatural At The Same Time

The last miracle consists of a man who had problems in both the natural and supernatural realm.

And as they were going out, behold, a mute man, demon-possessed, was brought to him. And after the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke; and the multitudes marveled, saying, "Nothing like this was ever seen in Israel." But the Pharisees were saying, "He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons" (Matthew 9:32-34).

This man was demon-possessed and mute at the same time. Jesus had no problem dealing with both realms simultaneously.

Therefore Jesus' miracles consisted of:

  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!

4. The Miracles Were Done Publicly

Another important fact concerning the miracles of Jesus is that they were done publicly. The Apostle Paul said:

I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason. For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner (Acts 26:25,26).

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

Everyone Knew That Jesus Was A Miracle Worker

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:

And one of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to him, "Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?" (Luke 24:18).

Cleopas could not believe that this stranger would even ask the question. There is only one subject that everyone was talking about - Jesus.

5. They Were Done In A Strategic Location

Furthermore, the land of Israel was a strategic 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.

6. They Were Performed Before Large Crowds

When Jesus performed His miracles, it was often done in the presence of the crowds. Some passages emphasize that multitudes and entire cities saw the miracles of Jesus (Matthew 15:30,31; 19:1,2; Mark 1:32-34; 6:53-56; Luke 6:17-19).

7. They Did Not Occur In One Special Place

The ability of Jesus to perform miracles went with Him wherever He went. Whether it be on the Sea of Galilee, the city of Jerusalem, or the town of Jericho, the miracle power went with Him. 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.

8. There Was No Special Time Of Day When They Were Done

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.

9. They Were Performed Before Gentiles

The miracles of Jesus were not limited to His countrymen the Jews, we also find Jesus doing miracles for Gentiles as well (Mark 7:24-30; John 4:46-53).

10. 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.

11. The 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.

12. Jesus Did Only Beneficial Miracles

With only two exceptions, the cursing of the fig tree and the demons sent into 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.

And 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).

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

13. They Were Not Done For His Own Advantage

Jesus' miracles were not done in His own interest but in the interest of others. He would not turn stones into bread for Himself to eat, but He multiplied the fish and bread for the five thousand.

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 back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. "Or do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? (Matthew 26:52,53).

14. They Met Real Needs

Jesus performed miracles to meet real human needs, not to draw a 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.

15. 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.

16. 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.

17. 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 wrote:

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life (1 John 1:1).

18. 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 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 modern man. 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 were the first unbelievers of Jesus' resurrection. When certain women returned from the tomb and told them Jesus had risen, His disciples responded as follows:

And these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them (Luke 24:11).

When Jesus healed a man who had been blind from birth, the response was amazement. The crowd said.

Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of the blind (John 9:32).

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 as we would expect anyone to act who witnessed a similar thing.

And 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).

On the Sea of Galilee Jesus performed another miracle like no one had ever seen:

And a wind storm 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 one to another, 'Who can this be? For he commands even the winds and water, and they obey him!' (Luke 8:23-25).

These accounts illustrate that first-century man was just as amazed and puzzled as modern man would be when it comes to viewing the miraculous first hand.

19. The Miracles Of Jesus Were Never Denied

But we see 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.

Then one was brought to him who was demon-possessed, blind, and mute; and he healed them, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. And all the multitudes were amazed and said, 'Could this be the Son of David?' But when the Pharisees heard it they said, 'This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons' (Matthew 12:22-24).

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 would have, but the lack of denial on their part shows, from an unfriendly source, that the miracles attributed to Jesus did indeed occur.

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.

Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves also know (Acts 2:22).

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?"

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.

20. The Testimony Is Sufficient

The testimony of Christ's miracles comes from several different groups of witnesses. They include:

A. There Were Those Who Benefited From The Miracles

The first group that gives testimony are those who directly benefited from Jesus' 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.

C. There Were Those Who Were Unbelievers And Skeptics Of 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.

21. 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).

22. The Circumstantial Evidence For Jesus' Miracles

Apart from the four gospels, we also have circumstantial evidence for the miracles of Jesus that is found elsewhere in the New Testament.

The Testimony Of The Book Of Acts

The Book of Acts testifies to His miraculous deeds.

Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves also know (Acts 2:22).

The Testimony Of Paul

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

Who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 1:4).

The Miracles Of The Apostles

Jesus' miracle power was also given to His apostles. 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:

I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene - walk! And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. And with a leap, he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God (Acts 3:6-8).

After Peter healed this man, the religious leaders made the following admission.

What shall we do with these men? For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it (Acts 4:16).

Even the miracles of the apostles were undeniable.


We can say the following about Jesus miracles. There were a sufficient number of them. They were of a sufficient variety. They covered all possible areas of authority. They were done publicly. They were done in a strategic location. They were performed before large crowds. There was no special place in which the miracles occurred. There was no special time when they were performed. They were performed in front of Gentiles as well as Jews. They were done without props. They were done with restraint. The miracles were beneficial to humanity. They were not done for Jesus' own advantage. They met real needs. They are in contrast to the miracles in the apocryphal gospels. They were done with great ease. Eyewitnesses recorded the miracles. Those who observed them had same reaction as we would have. His contemporaries never denied the miracles of Jesus. There was sufficient testimony to them. His miracles were an essential part of His ministry. There is also circumstantial evidence that Jesus performed miracles.

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