Thanks for joining our concluding two-part study about miracles. If you missed Part 1 (Vol. 119) about Old Testament/Hebrew Bible miracles, please review for a better understanding of today’s discussion. Also, interestingly, Scripture has no single word that is translated as “miracle.”
Let’s begin with a paragraph from Vol. 119 about the Old Testament miracles that we will contrast with the New:
“Miracles are God’s way of showing He is God with the power to impact human events and unleash natural occurrences to His glory for His desired outcome. God’s miracles make it easier for humans to love, trust, fear, praise, glorify, and pray to Him.”
In Vol. 119, we discussed examples of God’s miracles performed either through others (Moses) or by God directly at a moment of crisis or possible defeat (Joshua). More miracles occurred when one person (Daniel) or a group of God’s people (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) were in grave danger by others or self-inflicted (Jonah).
In the New Testament, Jesus performed His own multi-faceted miracles for others to witness. But sometimes, He asked observers or recipients not to tell others to not draw attention to Himself and raise the ire of Jewish and Roman authorities.
In the Old Testament, no one questioned God’s miracles, but Jesus, fully divine and fully human, had to live among flawed humans. Hence, Jesus’s miracles sparked religious/political conflict among leaders who were scared/jealous/unable to comprehend the meaning of His powers, and questioned the source of His miracles.
Subsequently, Jewish authorities ascribed them to the devil and accused Jesus of blasphemy. But, ultimately, Jesus’s miracles drew attention to Him and made people believe, which led to His conviction, crucifixion, and glorious resurrection.
Similar to God in the Old Testament, Jesus’s miracles were “His way of showing He is God” and for “His desired outcome” (both short-term and long-term.)
Many of Jesus’s miracles were spontaneous and associated with healing the sick or those with long-term afflictions. However, sometimes Jesus healed en masse:
“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14).
Other times He performed miracles when “moved by pity” during an encounter recorded in Mark that went viral:
“And a leper came to him [Jesus] imploring him, and kneeling said to him, ‘If you will, you can make me clean.’ Moved with pity, he [Jesus] stretched out his hand and touched him [the leper] and said to him, ‘I will; be clean.’ And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.” Jesus told him ‘say nothing to anyone… (Mark 1:40-45).
However, since Jewish authorities and the people believed that only God could cure leprosy, the man told everyone it was Jesus, and the people “came to him from everywhere.” Much to the chagrin of temple leaders.
Here is a list of 41 verses about Jesus “The Healer.” And today, believers pray fervently for His miraculous help with healing.
Besides healing power, Jesus’s miracles — similar to God in the Old Testament — showed His power over nature. Three gospels record the story of Jesus in a boat with his disciples. While Jesus was asleep, a raging storm threatened. The disciples awoke him, saying:
“‘Save us, Lord; we are perishing.’ And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?’ Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, ‘What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?’” (Matthew 8:23-27).
The more Jesus performed miracles, the more people believed in Him and associated Him with miracles. For example, in Mark’s gospel, Jesus healed a boy with an evil spirit. The father asked:
“‘But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’ And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, ‘You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again’” (Mark 9:14-29).
Then, in John’s gospel, Jesus appears irritated with people associating Him with healing miracles. In Cana, the site of Jesus’s first miracle (see Vol. 87), a royal official asked Jesus to heal his son, who was close to death. Jesus responded:
“‘Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, ‘you will never believe.’ The royal official said to him, ‘Sir, come down before my child dies.’ ‘Go,’ Jesus replied, ‘your son will live.’ The man took Jesus at his word and departed” (John 4:43-54).
Although Jesus said, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe,” Jesus used his most dramatic miracle — raising his friend Lazarus from the dead — for His glory to foreshadow His resurrection before He entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday:
“When he heard this [about Lazarus’s illness], Jesus said, ‘This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it’ ” (John 11:4). Thus, Jesus did not go to Lazarus and instead waited until he died:
Later, “Then Jesus told them plainly, ‘Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him’” (John 11:14-15).
Besides His resurrection, raising Lazarus was Jesus’s most profound miracle proving His divinity. (See Vol 52.) The miracle of Jesus’s resurrection means that Jesus can work miracles in our lives if we believe in Him. Remember what Jesus told Lazarus’s sister Martha:
“Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” (John 11:40).
That verse, along with what Jesus told the father of the demon-possessed child, are the two takeaways from the miracles of Jesus:
“All things are possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23). Amen!
Myra Kahn Adams is a conservative political and religious writer with numerous national credits. Her book, “Bible Study For Those Who Don’t Read The Bible,” reprints the first 56 volumes of this popular study. Myra is also Executive Director of SignFromGod.org, a ministry dedicated to Shroud of Turin education. SignFromGod was a proud sponsor of the Museum of the Bible’s opening events for its high-tech exhibition about the Shroud of Turin, open through July 31. New Shroud event on July 16. The caretaker of the Shroud from Turin, Italy, will be speaking. Contact: MyraAdams01@gmail.com or Twitter @MyraKAdams.
Cross-posted at Substack and Townhall.
Author’s Note: Readers can find all previous volumes of this series here. The first 56 volumes are compiled into the book “Bible Study For Those Who Don’t Read The Bible.” News Flash: New Shroud of Turin event at the Museum of the Bible on July 16.