Why Did Jesus Perform Miracles?

There many people to date that claim to perform miracles, most prophets of the bible also perfumed mighty miracles but none seems to compare to the miracles that Jesus did. So what makes the miracles of Jesus so special that they are remembered to this day? The quality of His miracles was so astonishing and usually linked the details of the scriptures into awesome general understanding that is easy to understand and hard to forget.

The Miracles of the messiah

Looking at Jesus as a Jew, and as we all know, He was and Is the messiah to come, however, the messiah had to perform certain kinds of miracles to prove he was the messiah. These miracles have been termed as the ‘messianic miracles’ in some denominations. Pulling a scene out the four gospels, “Are You the One who was to come, or should we look for someone else?” When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to ask, ‘Are You the One who was to come, or should we look for someone else?’ ” was a question answered by miracles and not words.

At that very hour, Jesus healed many people of their diseases, afflictions, and evil spirits, and He gave sight to many who were blind. So He replied, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor – Luke 7: 21-22.

Here are some of the many miracles that Jesus had to fulfill and why only He could do it.

                                                                      Born with infirmities 

Being born with abnormalities or sickness was perceived as punishment from God. Scriptures such as Exodus 4:11, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I the Lord?” are the foundation of such claims.

Fast forward in the New Testament, the disciples have compassion on a man born blind and could not help but ask their rabbi, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”- John 9:2. Their question revealed their knowledge of the Torah, considering Exodus 34: 7, “He does not leave the guilty unpunished; He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.” Contrary to their belief, Jesus testified that none had sinned but they were born so that the works of God might be revealed through him as a testament that God had sent Him.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed,” –Luke 4:18. Jesus quotes this scripture as it relates to His purpose.

After saying this, he spits on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and puts it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing – John 9:6-7.

                                                                        Giving life to decayed dead bodies 

Most people do not understand why Jesus tarried 3 days although being persuaded to come to heal his good friend Lazarus. “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick”. “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it”-John 11:14, was his reply. Despite being persuaded countless times to heal Lazarus of his sickness, Jesus still took his time and did not respond up to 3 days after Lazarus was dead and buried.

The answer to this has to do with the Jewish belief, that is, the spirit of a dead person will tarry on the dead body, and during this time someone could raise the dead since the spirit was still lingering around the body. However, after 3 days nobody could raise the dead, only the messiah could perform this kind of miracle. The words of Jesus, “… that the son of God may be glorified through it” revels that the raising of Lazarus from the dead was to fulfill the purpose of raveling that He was the messiah considering by this time Jesus was under investigation by the Pharisees and the Sanhedrin.

                                                                       Cleansing the leapers 

Leprosy is not an ordinary sickness in the context of the bible it was called the ‘the finger of God’ simply because ancient Jews believed it was only God that could afflict and heal one of leprosy. For example in Numbers 12:14-15, Miriam is afflicted with leprosy as punishment. In 2 Chronicles 26:18-21 King Uzziah, is also afflicted with leprosy by God.

Leprosy was a very shameful disease and all lepers were deemed to be outcasts and never to be seen among healthy people. In the Old Testament, all leapers used to hide outside the city walls, and not even the air was allowed to blow through them to the city.

Nobody was allowed to touch a leper any leaper found among the people would be likely stoned to death. If this kind of sickness was caused by God then only God was able to cleanse a leaper, an example is in, 2 Kings 5:1-8, God heals a gentile leaper Naaman through Prophet Elisha.

In Mathew 8:3 a leaper cries out to Jesus for healing, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” The bible records that Jesus touched Him and said, “I am willing, be clean!” and the leaper was made whole. However, it is important to point out how the healing took place, Jesus The Christ did not stand from far, in fact, He ‘touched’ him. Who could heal a leaper let alone touch a leaper but God himself? Jesus did this miracle as the crowd followed him as a demonstration that He was the Messiah.

In Mathew 8:4 Jesus sent the leper to show himself to the temple priest simply because of the temple priests because the priests knew that only the Messiah could perform such a miracle. He also asked the leaper to offer the sacrifice commanded by Moses which would be the ‘Guilt/Trespass’ offering as proof that He was cleansed.

                                                                       Healing the deaf and dumb 

The ancient Jews could cast out spirits from the possessed even before Jesus showed up. However, for them to carry out the exorcism they had to cast out the spirit by its name which they usually knew by asking the spirit and it would reply through the voice of the one possessed. What if the one possessed was deaf and dumb? That usually meant that they could not cast out the spirit and the one possessed would have to live with it. The Jews believed that it was only the messiah that could cast out such kinds of Spirits.

“And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered” – Luke 11:14. Now you know why the people wondered when He performed this kind of miracle. However, it openly displayed that He was the messiah.

 

 

Miracles the reward of Faith

Countless times when Jesus performed miracles especially miracles of healing he continuously said, “Your faith has healed you” or “let be unto you according to your faith”. These phrases are tied to the fact that the ones who relieved the miracles believed that God was able to perform the impossible. Jesus could not afford to overlook these kinds of people and was usually moved to performing miracles for them. In Mathew 13:58, the bible records that Jesus was unable to do miracles at his home tome due to the hardness of their hearts. This means they were hard to believe.

Although Jesus terms the miracles as the children’s bread, which means that they were meant for the Jews only. Jesus does more mighty miracles for the gentiles and even testifies that gentiles although not having the knowledge of the law of Moses, have more faith and therefore perform miracles for them. In Matthew 8:5-13, Jesus heals the centurion servant and is amazed at the faith of the gentile centurion. “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith”.

In Matthew 15:22-28, a Canaanite woman receives healing of her daughter possessed with an evil spirit. However, taking consideration of Jesus’ controversial response, “…it is not meet to take the children’s bread and to cast it to dogs”. This just meant that Jesus was not sent to offer healing for non-Jews. However, the woman’s persistent faith and finally acceptance that she is not a Jew moves Jesus to compassion and performs a miracle for her. “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt” –Mathew 15:28.

 

 

To show His deity

Some of the miracles that Jesus performed did not involve healing or raising the dead most of these miracles were only witnessed by the disciples. As we meet Jesus as a grown-up for the first time, He turns water into wine at a wedding ceremony –John 2.

Turning water into wine only meant He was God, the head guest at the wedding testified that it was ‘the best wine’. As we all know the older the wine the better, the wine that Jesus had supplied was the best yet He did it in seconds. This showed that He was able to transcend time and compress years into seconds. Who else is not bound by time apart from God? Diving deeper into this miracle, Jesus was proclaiming the shedding of His blood and how it would bring Joy on the last day. On the cross when a roman guard pierced his side, blood and water came gushing out –John 9:34. The only other place blood and water were coming from was the temple, as the lambs were being slaughtered and offered for sin atonement. The priests would regularly pour water on the blood to rinse the temple outlet. Jesus was proclaiming on this miracle that His blood will wash away sin.

But some of the scribes were sitting there and thinking in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like this? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” The scribes although did not have the understanding they knew the scriptures and were right. Who else but God can forgive sins? Jesus is God.

In Mathew 14, as Jesus goes to pray at the mountain his disciples get on a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee. Left alone night fell became pitch dark since it was the fourth watch, which is around 3 Am, yet the bible records that looking down from the mountain He saw the disciples struggling in the sea, their boat about to be wrecked. Who can see through darkness apart from God? (there was no night vision technology here) –Mark 6:47-48.

He came walking on the water that was about to drown them and once they received Him in their boat, ‘immediately’ they were on the other side –John 6:21. Other than a time machine, who besides God can teleport a bunch of guys with their boat?

In Mathew 17:24-27, Jesus instructs Peter to get money from a fish and use it to pay for temple taxes. This reminds me of the whale that was sent by God to swallow Jonah.

In Luke 4:30, an angry crowd is set to kill Jesus by throwing him over a cliff, however, once they get to the cliff, the scriptures say that Jesus passed through their midst and went his way. To their eyes, He had disappeared.

In Mark 1:13, Jesus is in the wilderness with wild animals and they do not harm him. Even Daniel was thrown in a den of lions and they did him no harm, although, for Daniel, the Lord shut the lion’s mouth, however, for Jesus an interesting detail is that He was not just among the animals but the animals gathered around him and He could communicate to the wild animals.

In the book of Job 38:11, God reveals that He ‘declared’ to the waters. This reveals a God that commands nature. “Quiet! Be still!” Jesus talks to the raging waters and they obey. “… Who is this man that even the storm obeys Him?” was the question that runs deep in the hearts of His disciples as they witnessed this miracle. Well, it’s only God that commands nature.

 

 

That you may believe and repent

“But if I am doing them, even though you do not believe Me, believe the works themselves, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father ” –John 10:38. Jesus performed miracles to help those that had a hard time believing to believe and be saved.

But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” – Matthew 12:28 was the answer Jesus gave when He was questioned about His authority and power to perform miracles. “… then the kingdom of God has come upon you” means that His miracles served as a sign that God had sent Him, for it is He that empowered him to perform such miracles.

“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes” -Luke 10:13. Jesus performed miracles to bring those that witnessed to repentance to avoid Judgment.

 

 

Now is the time of Salvation

The prophet Isaiah wrote about the ‘acceptable year of the Lord’ where God is going to help his people and show them as a covenant people throughout the whole world –Isaiah 49:8-9.

Prophet Zachariah wrote to the daughter of Zion, which would be the Israelites, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass” –Zachariah 9:9.

“Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him” – Exodus 23:20-21.

All these prophesy were fulfilled by Jesus and through Him. The workings of miracles played a crucial role, for example as Jesus enters Jerusalem on the Sabbath the people receive him as a king quoting ancient prophecies to him while singing ‘Hosanna to the son of David’, the raising of Lazarus from the dead made the crowd believe that He was the messiah. To make things even more clear, while the Pharisees told Him to rebuke the people from proclaiming Him as king and the messiah, he replied, “I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out” –Luke 19:40. Jesus was not claiming the stones will grow a mouth; He was referring to the dead buried in stone tombs in the upper Kidron Valley just opposite Jerusalem that they would raise from the dead and praise Him. The miracle of the raising of the dead had a significant meaning of pointing the Israelites to Jesus as the messiah sent by God.

The apostle Paul, later on, quotes Isaiah’s prophecy and links it to Jesus, arguing for them to receive God’s Grace. “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. ‘For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” – 2 Corinthians 6:1-5.

 

 

Jesus the true Sabbath

Although keeping the Sabbath is still a point of contention, Jesus Himself was accused multiple times of not keeping the Sabbath. God has blessed us enough that we know He was not the problem, He was the word of God perfect to fulfill all the laws of God. The Jews before Jesus perceived the Sabbath to be a day when everybody would rest and do nothing. However, Jesus taught of a new Sabbath that pertains to the ‘rest’ of the soul. True Sabbath, true rest, is the clear consciousness that all your sins are forgiven, with no consciousness of sin.

“For the law having a shadow of good things to come and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins” – Hebrews 10: 1-2. Although the Jews had physical rest, their consciousness was not at rest with the constant remembrance of sin as they offered their sin atonement every often. However, Jesus through His death and resurrection would provide true rest to their ‘weary heart’.

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest”-Mathew 11:28.

To bring attention to the Jews’ misunderstanding of the meaning of the Sabbath Jesus performed miracles during the Sabbath. In Mathew 12:10 -12, Jesus heals a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath and when accused of unlawful behavior He challenges the understanding of scribes and Pharisees concerning the Sabbath. “If one of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out?” At the temple pool, Jesus commands a paralyzed man to ‘take up your bed and walk’ which was considered work by the Pharisees but in the real sense, Jesus was proving rest and true Sabbath.

 

 

Moved with compassion

“When He saw the crowds, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” – Mathew 9:36. This verse reveals that Jesus is moved by compassion to save and provide, which involves doing miracles. He communicates His compassion to his disciples referring to the crowd as a ‘harvest’, and in the next chapter, Jesus commissions His disciples and gives them authority to cast out unclean spirits and perform miracles of healing.

In Mathew 14:13-21, Jesus is moved with compassion refuses to send away the crowd, and feeds the 5OOO. They ate and were filled.

In Luke 7:11-17, Jesus while in the city of Nain is filled with the compassion of a widow whose only son had died. “And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep” –Luke 7:13.

Gene Botkin

Gene is the director of the Theosis Christian Project. He studied physics and military science before founding the Project. Gene is currently pursuing his doctorate in systems engineering at an engineering college in the Ozarks. The Theosis Christian Project is his attempt to expand Holy Orthodoxy in America.

Recent Posts