Compare the “Miracles”

By Royce Frederick

Some people deny the miracles of the Bible. Others try to imitate the miracles to deceive people (see Matt. 24:24-25). But the miracles in the Bible were true miracles from God. In the first century A.D., many miracles were done by Jesus, His apostles, and other disciples chosen by the Holy Spirit (Matt. 4:23-25; 10:8; Acts 2:43; 1 Cor. 12:11). Several facts help us understand the differences between the true miracles of the Bible and the claims of men today.

Many of the miracles were CLEARLY SEEN. Jesus did not merely heal diseases which are hidden inside the body or mind. He healed every kind of sickness and disease (Matt. 4:23-24), including leprosy and crippled legs. He stopped a storm by speaking to it, fed more than 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fish, walked on water, and raised the dead (Matt. 8; 14; Jn. 11).

The healing miracles were IMMEDIATE. The people did not merely start recovering; they were instantly healed. Several years ago, some people made a film which portrayed Jesus healing the mother-in-law of Peter. She was lying in bed with a high fever. In the movie, after Jesus healed her, two people helped her into the next room where she continued resting to regain her strength. But the Bible tells us that the woman was completely healed, ...And immediately she arose and served them” (Luke 4:39). She was healed instantly and totally.

They NEVER HAD A “HEALING SERVICE” in the Bible. Jesus and His disciples never tried to gather a large crowd by advertising that they would have a “healing service.” They never worked their miracles on a stage, making a big show for the people. They never needed to do those things. Thousands of people came to them, because their miracles were real.

The miracles were VERIFIED BY A MULTITUDE OF PEOPLE on the Jewish day of Pentecost. The apostle Peter told them, “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death...this Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses” (Acts 2:22-23, 32). Those were bold words to people who had already shown their ability to hate and murder. But they did not rise up to kill Peter — and about 3,000 of them obeyed the gospel (2:37-41). By the silence of all and the obedience of many, the crowd clearly acknowledged the truth — Jesus had worked miracles among them, and they had killed Him. The powerful beginning of the church of Christ that day is evidence that the miracles truly occurred.

Many eyewitnesses VERIFIED THE MIRACLES in the face of PERSECUTION AND DEATH. Some people will fight for a lie. But would you willingly die for a lie — lay down your life without fighting? Would you endure torture and death for your “eyewitness testimony,” knowing you had lied about it — knowing there was no truth and no hope in it? In the face of persecution and execution, the apostles and hundreds of disciples remained loyal to their testimony about the miracles and resurrection of Jesus (Acts 2-9; 12-14; 16-28).

The miracles FULFILLED THEIR PURPOSES for all time. Many of the miracles in the Bible showed God’s compassion for human suffering. He also shows His love in many other ways every day without miracles (Matt. 5:45; Acts 14:17; Jas. 1:17). But providing physical help for man was not the primary purpose of the miracles. Jesus did not raise all the dead people to life. He did not come to keep everyone alive on this earth. He came to seek and save the lost — to take us to heaven after the end of this world (Lk. 19:10; Jn. 10:10; 5:28-29; 14:1-3). The purposes of the miracles were: to prove that Jesus is the Son of God (Jn. 3:2; Acts 2:22; Heb. 2:4; Rom. 1:4); to reveal His New Testament by inspiration through His disciples (Jn. 16:12-13; Eph. 3:3; Jude 3); and to confirm the message of His disciples (Mk. 16:17-20; Acts 2:1-12, 43). The miracles of the Bible were true and fulfilled the purposes for which they were intended.