August 18, 2017

Let the Miracles Speak!

By Donald P Ames

One cannot turn through the pages of the New Testament without being impressed with the nature of the miracles performed by Jesus while here on this earth. In contrast to those performed by so-called "faith healers" of today, they did not fail "for one's lack of faith" and were able to stand the test of investigation. They did not have to be drug out until the person eventually was "healed," but were instantaneous in their very nature. They did not deal with those things no one could see, but were obvious to all who saw what had happened. (See also 1 Cor. 13:8-10).

In fact, these miracles were so overwhelming that they readily bore evidence to the Jews of the power of God. When Nicodemus came to Jesus, he said, "Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him" (John 3:2). In John 9, as the blind man disputed with the Pharisees, he said, "Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes.... Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that any one opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, He could do nothing" (Jn. 9:30-33). The Pharisees themselves were forced to admit He was performing many signs (John 11:47-"miraculous acts"-Vine), and the people asked, "How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?" (Jn. 9:16-here implying they did not believe such a man could be a sinner, but had to be from God). The disciples were constantly amazed as they saw the power of Christ manifested in the miracles He was performing.

But the sad fact remains that not all of the Jews believed. Did they deny that a miracle had been performed? Did they deny that someone had actually been healed? No! Just the opposite is true: they denied that such a miracle had taken place by the power of God, and instead attributed it to the power of the Devil (Matt. 12:24). They accused Him of being a false teacher and a sinner (John 9:16), but still asked how the miracle had actually been performed (Jn. 9:26). They could not deny that such had actually taken place (Jn. 11:47-48, Acts 4:16), or they most gladly would have produced that evidence to refute and expose Christ.

But let us note here another feature about these miracles that were being performed by Christ. That is, that by doing these things, He was also making some rather bold claims, namely, that He was the Son of God. In fact, Jesus repeatedly turned to His miracles as direct evidence of this fact. In Matt. 11:4-6, He sends answer by John's disciples that the miracles He did were all the testimony He needed to demonstrate He was the Christ. In John 10:37-38, He appeals to the miracles as clear evidence that will stand-even if they reject His spoken word. In John 10:25, He calls on them as clear evidence God was with Him. In John 15:24. He not only notes that the miracles He performed were of such a nature no man could reproduce them, but goes so far as to claim that because of them, those who rejected them would be lost in sin. Indeed these were some rather bold claims to be made as a result of what He was doing.

Many today are willing to come along and admit Christ was a great man, who did some great teaching, but like the Jews, they refrain from admitting He was the Christ. They claim the miracles were mere figments of the disciples' imaginations. However, the disciples not only recorded them during the life-time of those who were eye-witnesses of them (and could thus have easily refuted them), but called upon them as testimony of the deity of Christ (Acts 2:22), and through the power of the Holy Spirit demonstrated what they preached was the truth (Acts 4:16; Mark 16:17-20; Heb. 2:1-4). That which was revealed is too well established for modern day deniers to dismiss that easily.

And what is the consequence of all this? What do these miracles tell us regarding the claims of Christ? Either He was what He claimed to be, or God bore witness through His miracles to what was a boldfaced lie! Since we know God does not lie (Titus 1:2), and would not substantiate a lie with such miracles which were appealed to as proof Jesus was the son of God (if the claim was false, God himself would have turned against him in refutation of that which was claimed. Acts 12:23), then we are indeed forced to accept the conclusion presented by Nicodemus, "We know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him" (John 3:2). And since He claimed, and confirmed, to be the Son of God, why will we not heed that which He has set forth (Luke 6:46)?

Truth Magazine, XVIII:2, p. 10
November 8, 1973