By Thomas A. Hagewood
The scriptures reveal that the basic purpose of Jesus’ miracles was to establish his deity. Jesus assigned this purpose to them himself in John 10:19-42. Paul began his epistle to the saints at Rome by stating that the resurrection of Christ declared him to be the Son of God with power (Rom. 1:4). We see this in actual example in the case of Thomas in John 20:26-29. Only after close examination of the scarred hands and pierced side of our Lord did Thomas exclaim, “My Lord and my God.” John concludes the chapter with these words: “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:30, 31).
From these pertinent passages we can learn just what it means to believe in Jesus. The scriptures make belief in Christ as the Son of God essential to our having life through his name. This means no less than believing that Jesus is divine. Thomas declared, “My Lord and my God”-not a lord and a god, as the Jehovah’s Witnesses would have us believe. Nothing short of this will constitute acceptable faith in Jesus, the Son of God (Cf. John 10:30, 33, 36).
We also learn that Jesus, having once caused others to believe on him through his miracles, now accomplishes that purpose through the written word of God. Therefore, anyone who claims that miracles are needed today to prove that Jesus is divine denies the plain import of John 20:30, 31.
This same principle is true in regard to the miracles of the early disciples. When the great commission was given to the apostles in Mark 16:14-18, they were promised various signs contingent upon their believing what Jesus had just told them. When they went forth preaching, the Lord went with them confirming the word with signs following (Mark 16:20). Since we learn from the Hebrew writer that the word has been confirmed, anyone who declares that miracles are needed today to confirm the word of God denies the plain message of Hebrews 2:1-4.
The infidel or the unbeliever who is waiting for a miracle before he will, be convinced that Jesus is divine is lingering in vain for such will never happen this side of eternity. Indeed, such need not happen again in this life. Miracles have served their purpose and we now have the written word of God, which is all we need. The fact that no one on earth possesses miraculous powers now does not in any way diminish the veracity or credibility of the Bible. Jesus says, “Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:23, 24). Enough evidence has been recorded in the Bible to produce faith in Christ as the Son of God. Thus, Jesus warns, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). Truly, if one will not examine the many infallible proofs and will not believe God’s written word he would not be persuaded though one rise from the, dead (Cf. Luke 16:2731).
Truth Magazine, XVIII:3, p. 2
November 15, 1973