Miracles Performed By Jesus
Recently my eyes have been opened to a strange phenomenon in church. I don’t know if it is just that I never paid attention to this or if it is something recent that has developed but I have seen on more than one occasion where there have been miracles performed by Jesus, and people don’t see it.
It is almost like they go out of their way to find a natural reason for what happened instead of giving glory to God for the miraculous. It is like there is nothing that they can liken it to, so they don’t even think to consider that it was indeed God in their midst changing the situation.
Because of this, I wanted to do an article on the miracles of Jesus. I have always been fascinated and intrigued by the miracles of Jesus. I have gone so far as to underline in one of my older Bibles all the times Jesus healed the sick. I have placed myself in the storyline of the times that miraculous events were surrounding Jesus and tried to think of how I would have reacted and behaved if it had happened in our time.
So come with me if you will and let’s take a look at four fantastic miracles performed by Jesus.
The Miracle Of Turning Water Into Wine
The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. 3 The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.”4 “Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”5 But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”6 Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, 8 he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions.9 When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. 10 “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”11 This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
In this passage we see the miracle performed by Jesus of turning water into wine. Now some would contend that it was only grape juice. As much as the text disagrees with that assessment, the fact of the matter remains that water was turned into something besides water. This was indeed a miracle. Even today we cannot change one substance into another without mixing in other ingredients.
The reason this is one of my favorite miracles of Jesus is the one little line in the whole passage where it says
“(THOUGH, OF COURSE THE SERVANTS KNEW)”.
It is the servants that know when the miraculous happens. Everyone else is partying and celebrating and having a good time. It was the servants that were making the party happen that saw the miracle before their very eyes.
Maybe this is a little indicator of why today people have such a hard time seeing the miraculous. Perhaps they are so focused on their own life that they are unaware of what is happening around them. Maybe they need to start serving rather than being served.
The Miraculous Calming Of The Sea
Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. 24 Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”26 Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.27 The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!”
Here we see a tremendous miracle. The natural forces of nature are changed by a spoken word.
I have heard many sermons preached about how Jesus will calm the storms in our life from a metaphorical sense. What I have not heard is someone teach that God will step in and change the natural forces surrounding our experience with a miracle today.
In fact, what I find interesting about this passage is that the disciples waited until they had no other option before asking Jesus to step in. How typical is that today with the people who I had noticed who were not able to even comprehend when a miracle had happened in their midst.
They are the same type of people that try everything else before asking Jesus to step into the situation.
I believe that this is why Jesus complained about their little faith. Shouldn’t we who follow Jesus and have made Him our God, look to Him first? Shouldn’t we have faith that He will actively participate in the situations in our life?
I think so.
Jesus’ Miracle Of Walking On Water
Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. 23 After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25 About three o’clock in the morning[b] Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said.So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”32 When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
Here we have another example where Jesus is superseding the laws of nature by walking on water. I have a theory about walking on water. You have to walk very very fast!
In this miracle, you once again have Jesus complaining, if you want to call it that, about the size of Peter’s faith. Peter was fine as long as he kept his focus on Jesus, but as soon as he started looking at the natural circumstances, he began to sink.
In all of these miracles, there is one common element. All of these miracles of Jesus made the disciples look beyond their natural senses and sensibilities.
I believe that rationalism and the miraculous are at odds with one another. It doesn’t mean that we do not use our minds or our five senses, but it means that we need to understand that there is more than the rational and the physical universe. There are spiritual principles that also come into play.
This, in my opinion, is why we have gotten to the point where we see people healed miraculously, finances provided miraculously, circumstances changed miraculously, and we only see the natural causes, or we come up with natural causes to explain the miraculous.
The Miracle of Jesus Raising Lazarus from the Dead
Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. 39 “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” 41 So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. 42 You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here so that they will believe you sent me.” 43 Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in grave clothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”
Here we see one of the greatest miracles performed by Jesus. He is raising his friend Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus was not only dead but had been dead four days!
Even today’s breakthroughs in medical science cannot do this. There cannot be any theories that Lazarus had just passed out. He was dead.
Once again we see people thinking with their rational minds. Martha, who was known for focusing on the physical needs around her tried to stop Jesus. She was focused on what was common knowledge. People who are dead for four days start to rot! It stinks.
Jesus focuses on the spiritual principle that God the Father would hear Him when He prayed. After thanking the Father that His prayer had been heard, (We can only assume that the prayer that was prayed was a prayer to raise Lazarus.) we see Jesus put action to that prayer by telling Lazarus to come out of the tomb.
Lazarus comes hopping out wrapped in burial cloths.
Why Is the Miraculous Important Today?
In all 4 of these miraculous events, there is one thing that always happens. The glory of Jesus is revealed, and the people worship God.
The miracles that Jesus did and still does are not meant to bring glory to man.
When we give credit to the natural or physical, we are in all honesty, giving glory to our ability to figure things out.
The miracle of the wedding at Cana was the first time that the glory of Jesus was revealed.
The two times the disciples were on the boat, and a miracle happened, they were amazed and worshiped Jesus. They understood that He was the son of God.
With the raising of Lazarus, Jesus said they would see God’s glory.
So I want to both encourage you and challenge you. Is there a place in your life, heart, and theology for the miraculous today?
Are you ready to allow God to show you that He is still alive, still active in the affairs of man, and still wants to hear prayers and do things that cannot be explained by natural means?
I hope so.