3.4.8.5 Jesus' miracles

All four gospels handed down to us in writing give account of the miraculous deeds of Jesus as real events that attested to His Messianic identity. His miracles demonstrate God's merciful devotion to suffering people. They are events of revelation in that they serve to manifest Christ's glory (John 2: 11) and His divine authority (John 5: 21).

The miracles which the Son of God performed were diverse. They included healing the sick, casting out evil spirits, raising the dead, miracles of nature, miracles of feeding, and gift miracles.

Healing the sick

Jesus healed the sick, the blind, the lame, the deaf, and the lepers. This healing of the sick drew attention to the divine nature of Jesus Christ, who acted exactly as God had described Himself to Israel: "For I am the Lord who heals you" (Exodus 15: 26). One of these miracles is the healing of a paralytic in Capernaum (Mark 2: 1-12), to whom Jesus first of all said: "Son, your sins are forgiven you" (verse 5). The scribes considered this blasphemy, but the Lord made it clear that He had both the authority to forgive sins as well as the power to heal. These miracles of healing were closely linked to the faith of the people whom He healed.

Casting out evil spirits

The miracles worked by Jesus also included casting out evil spirits (Mark 1: 23-28). Jesus Christ was even recognised as Lord by the demons (Mark 3: 11). Here it becomes clear that evil is not an independent power in itself, but is subject to the power of God: the time of its destructive rule and influence on mankind has come to its end with the appearing of Jesus Christ (Luke 11: 20).

Raising the dead

The gospels give account of three cases in which the Lord brought people back to life after they had died: the daughter of Jairus (Matthew 9: 18-26), the young man of Nain (Luke 7: 13-15), and Lazarus (John 11: 1-44). Before raising Lazarus from the dead, the Lord revealed Himself with words of fundamental importance: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die" (John 11: 25-26). Jesus Christ not only had the power to raise the dead to life–He Himself is the life, He Himself is the resurrection. The raising of the dead is a symbolic reference to the fact that faith in Jesus Christ signifies the overcoming of death and thus the attainment of eternal life.

Miracles of nature

When the Lord commanded the wind and the sea to be still, He demonstrated His power over the elements (Matthew 8: 23-27). This power over the forces of nature underlines the creatorship of the Son of God, who, as the eternal Word of the Father, existed before all creation (John 1: 1-3).

Miracles of feeding

All of the gospels give an account of the feeding of the five thousand (Mark 6: 30-44). Beyond that, both Matthew and Mark also relate the feeding of the four thousand (Matthew 15: 32-39; Mark 8: 1-9). On the one hand, these events are reminders that God fed His people in the desert, and on the other hand, they constitute a reference to Holy Communion: "I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world" (John 6: 51).

Gift miracles

Those miracles in which people received an abundance of earthly gifts are also signs of Jesus Christ's divinity and the proximity of the kingdom of God. Examples of these are Peter's miraculous catch of fish (Luke 5: 1-11) and the events of the wedding in Cana, when Jesus transformed water into wine (John 2: 1-11).

SUMMARY

The grace, love, and reconciliation revealed in Jesus Christ constitute fundamental content of the gospel. (3.4.8.4)

All the gospels speak of miracles as real events. They attest to the Messiahship of Jesus and clearly show the merciful care of God toward suffering human beings. (3.4.8.5)

The miracles which the Son of God performed were many and diverse: He healed the sick, cast out evil spirits, raised the dead, and performed miracles of nature, miracles of feeding, and gift miracles. (3.4.8.5)

See also